Dry docks at Hong Kong

For my new talk, we'll look through the eyes of different people connected with Hong Kong's harbour. As you'd expect, the Royal Navy are one of the groups we'll look at, both the Navy themselves, and how they affected Hong Kong.

Dry dock at Royal Naval Dockyard

One obvious affect was the Royal Navy's dockyard [1], a major construction project in the early 1900s, and then employer until it was scaled down at the end of the 1950s. The photo above shows the dockyard's dry dock, also known as a graving dock. The dry dock could be sealed and the seawater pumped out to enable repair work on the parts of a vessel that were usually underwater.

Hong Kong's oldest dry docks were

c.1900 Movember

Two splendid moustaches to celebrate the start of Movember [1]:

Cabinet card portrait
Cabinet card portrait

What: The photos are each stuck on to thick cards, measuring 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches. This was the most popular format for portrait photos in the late 1800s, and was known as the Cabinet Card.

Where: The photos were taken at a photographer's studio, "Tin Wah" on Pottinger Street.

Who: I don't have any background information about these photos, so what can we find out about them?

They're clearly

Rebuild the KCR Terminus - step 2

An update on progress, plus requests for modern drone photos of the tower, and old photos / films of the whole station building.

Here's the latest model (email subscribers, you'll probably need to click here to visit the website and see the model):

KCR Clocktower (masked) by gwulo on Sketchfab

The first model was built from modern photos of the clocktower, and shows the whole tower. (click here to view).

But the problem with using modern photos is


August 1945 - "It won't be long now"

Last month we read Barbara Anslow's memories of liberation as the Japanese surrendered in August 1945. In this passage, Graham Heywood remembers August 1945 and his liberation from the Prisoner of War camp at Sham Shui Po.

August came in with beautiful days; towering white clouds drifted gently over the hills on the south wind, and we would lounge on the terrace in the afternoons basking in the blazing sunshine. Everything seemed utterly peaceful; there was no sound or movement in the town around us.

And then one day the news filtered in, and was whispered around the hospital, that Russia had invaded Manchuria. We heard nothing more until Thursday, August 16th. This was a very curious day, in the morning the Japs were observed to be burning their documents in the incinerator ... the first sign of changes to come. Rumours were circulated of a landing at Osaka, then that fighting had ceased. A sentry coming from Sham Shui Po in the evening informed us that the band had been playing and the prisoners making merry all day. Another said “you very happy; I too very happy; soon go back to my house in Formosa.” But evening muster took place as usual; Capt. Saito, the Japanese medical officer in charge of the hospital, was in a vile temper, and refused to say a word.

What was really happening? Was Hong Kong to be handed back without the horrors of another invasion? Was this only an armistice, or had Japan surrendered? There were some very sick men in hospital, who could be saved by good food, and for their sake particularly we trusted that the rumours were not false. We could hardly believe that our three-and-a-half years of imprisonment were really ending; the whole atmosphere was so completely vague and quiet and undramatic. We went to bed in a mood of subdued optimism, but bubbling with impatience to see the outcome of the next few days.

At breakfast the following morning I was so

One photo, two "Please help", and a grumble

The photo: 1955 Queen's Road Central

1955 Queens Road Central

This week's photo was for a customer who needed a 1950s view of Queen's Road Central to include in a booklet they're producing. Click here for more information about the scene, and find out why any nervous readers should avoid that car!

Please help #1: Rebuild the TST KCR Terminus

The goal is to recreate the old TST KCR Terminus as a 3D model, by using modern computer software to process old photos of the building. I've got the software, but I need


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