1911-12: Warren Swire’s second visit to Hong Kong

The highlight of his first visit was the construction of the new Taikoo dockyard [1] at Quarry Bay. On this next visit, four years later, he could show it as a going concern.

He took several photos of ships under repair, both up on the slips and down in the dry dock:


Repairing a ship's stern


Steamship in dry dock


He also visited the ship-building yard to watch a new ship being launched:


Ship being launched


Launching a ship


He didn’t note the name of the ship, but the title of the photo below says

The changing faces of the Star Ferry pier off Ice House Street

Two rounds of reclamation ago, the Star Ferry pier was at the junction of Connaught Road and Ice House Street. Here's how it looked when it opened in 1912:

Kowloon Ferry

It was a popular subject, so we've built up a sequence of 30+ photos showing it through to the 1950s. Let's see how it changed over the years.


Change #1 - Dome-topped clock tower added, 19??

Star Ferry clocktower

This view is cropped from a larger photo, which shows the Central Fire Station under construction. That dates the photo to around 1925.


Change #2 - Dome removed from clock tower, 19??

Barbara Anslow remembers old Hong Kong. Part 2: 1938-42

In part 1, Barbara talked about her first visit to Hong Kong as a young girl, living here from 1927 to 1929.

In this part 2, Barbara tells us about returning to Hong Kong in 1938, then being evacuated with her mother and sisters in 1940. While in transit in the Philippines, they received news that her father had died suddenly, which meant they all returned to Hong Kong. They decided to stay here, and so were caught up in the Japanese invasion of December 1941, and the internment that followed.

But back to 1938 - the family were following her father who'd been posted to the Royal Navy's dockyard in Hong Kong. What brought him back to Hong Kong again? (Scroll down for additional notes and photos.)

(E-mail subscribers, if you can't play the recording, please visit the web version of this page.)

Additional notes:

1920s Sheung Wan

1920s Sheung Wan


Where: There's a shop sign for "Lee Jim Kee / 李占記" that shows the address:

Lee Jim Kee sign

Although the text is a bit fuzzy, we can see it's a single digit address on

Exploring the Japanese wartime sites at Tai Mo Shan

A couple of weekends ago I joined Thomas to explore the WW2 radar station [1] and anti-aircraft gun sites [2] that the Japanese built on Tai Mo Shan. We'd read Tymon Mellor's account of the Japanese wartime radar site there [3], and wanted to see what remains today.

"Tai Mo Shan" is Cantonese for "Big hat mountain", and it certainly had its cloudy hat on the day we visited. Despite the fog we still found lots to see.

Getting there - the walk to the site

Here's the route we took, marked in red on the map [4].

Military sites at Tai Mo Shan

We started at


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