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Enjoy the site,


PS 'Gwu lo' is roughly how '古老' sounds in Cantonese. It means 'ancient' or 'old-fashioned'.

The price of rice in wartime

Rice is Hong Kong's staple food. As shown below, the cost of rice increased over 600 times during the 3 years 8 months of the Japanese occupation. Read more »

1930s Street Scene

Where: This postcard is just labeled "Street Scene HK", so I'm hoping you can help identify this one. Here are the clues I can spot:

The Hong Kong Culture Press had an office here, Tel: 33231. I haven't found any mention of them on the web though.

Looking at the shadows the sun is on our left, so we're facing roughly towards the west. Then looking ahead, we can see buildings:

Savitsky's Stanley Sketches

Who: The sketch shows John Pennefather-Evans [1], Commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force in 1941 when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong.

What: Look carefully at the paper it is drawn on:

Brown wrapping paper - an odd choice for a drawing of a senior government official!

Where & When: Here's the artist's signature:

1924 Happy Valley

Where: We're looking north across Happy Valley. Down in the bottom-left corner, the hill has been excavated to make space for Fung Fai Terrace [1]:

The Terrace is on two levels. The buildings on the lower level are all finished, while the upper level is still bare.

Some of the features of the lower level are still visible today, eg the staircases up from the street:

c.1932 Peninsula Hotel

Where: Not a hard one to locate - we're looking across Salisbury Road towards the Peninsula Hotel. What's not so clear is where the photographer took the photo from. He was certainly high up, level with the third or fourth floor of the hotel.

Here's another view of the area, taken from Signal Hill around 1935:

There aren't any buildings between the Peninsula and the sea. Did he climb up onto the

 Read more »

1960s Street scene, unknown location

An early photo this week - we're off on a family vacation tomorrow, so I won't be here at the weekend to send it out.

If you can add anything about its "who / what / when / where", please can you let us know in the comments below? I look forward to reading them when we get back next week.

Regards, David

Pillboxes and Lyon Lights around the coast of Hong Kong island


The following post is courtesy of Rob Weir. He describes the pillboxes the British built around Hong Kong's coastline in the lead-up to the Japanese invasion. Over to Rob:

c.1925 Pedder Street

Where: We're looking south along Pedder Street, from the junction with Des Voeux Road Central. Here's how it looks today: Read more »

City of Darkness Revisited - a new edition of the Kowloon Walled City classic

Ian Lambot co-wrote the well-known book about Kowloon Walled City, "City of Darkness". Here I ask Ian about the new and expanded edition, "City of Darkness Revisited".

David: The book is full of beautiful photos - do you have a favourite?

Ian: Where to begin! Should it be the aerial image I took one misty evening in, I think, 1989, which now appears all too regularly – and almost invariably without permission – on any website about the Walled City you care to mention? Read more »

1932 Queen's Road Central

Where: This postcard shows the heart of Central, looking east along Queen's Road. The junction on our left leads into Theatre Lane, while the break in the shadows on the right marks the junction with D'Aguilar Street.

Who: Here's a closer view of some of the people on the streets:

There were plenty of offices nearby, so they could have beeen working locally. Or they might have been

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