c.1922 View of Hong Kong from the harbour

c.1922 View of Hong Kong from the harbour

Where: Hong Kong island as seen from the harbour. I've been tidying up this photo to use it in my next talk in November. One sequence looks at how this view has changed over the years, with the new photo following a similar view from 1906:

1906 View of Hong Kong from the harbour

What: So what did change? Let's start at the top and work our way down:

1957-8: Andrew Suddaby's photos

Thanks to Andrew Suddaby for uploading over 200 of his photos showing Hong Kong in 1957-8:

Central, Connaught Road and Law courts

Over to Andrew ...

An amazing year in Hong Kong

In 1957 I was half way through my National Service in the Royal Air Force. I’d spent the first year living in bleak wooden huts on various camps in England, but now I was bound for Hong Kong.  It’s strange to recall but I even had to look up ‘Hong Kong’ in an atlas to find out where I would be spending the last year of my National Service.  It wouldn’t be on yet another wooden-hutted camp in some remote and boring area of Britain; it would be to the exotic and mysterious Far East.  Yes, in the 1950s Hong Kong was still both.

The end of October 1957 saw me going abroad for the first time and flying for the first time in a wonderful if somewhat noisy B.O.A.C. Argonaut.  Three and a half days later it landed on

Sailing Junks around Hong Kong

This email arrived on Monday:

... we are looking for any arresting photo that one might want to frame and hang on a wall of a junk with or without the city in background that could be printed vertically in the size 8 x 10. If you send some examples that'd be great.

Easy, right? Junks are iconic images of Hong Kong so let me just turn to Gwulo's catalogue which ... has nothing suitable at all. Oops.

After a quick search through my collection, I've added these four photos, taken in the 1950s. First is my favourite, also the oldest:

c.1950 Sailing Junk in harbour off Sheung Wan

In the background are Sheung Wan and mid-levels. You can get your bearings by looking for the

August 1945 / August 2015: Is it really true?

70 years separates these two accounts, both written by Barbara Anslow. Barbara wrote the first one in Stanley Camp not long after the Japanese surrender. She says:

You will see that 'Is it really true' was written on August 24th 1945, 6 days before Admiral Harcourt liberated us. Although I was still writing my diary then, I had this urge to record how things were during the period when we knew the war was over but had no contact with the outside world.

She follows up with a description of taking part in last week's VJ Day ceremonies in London. Over to Barbara...

24th August 1945  -  IS IT REALLY TRUE?      

Even a week after all this started, we still ask each other is it really true, or is it just another of those dreams which has haunted and tortured us for 3 and a half years? We have been nominally free for a week, but neither envoy nor Fleet having arrived, our suspicious natures are inclined to wonder whether they ever will materialise, or whether this is all a trick. We feel we want to urge the Allies to come while the coming is good, lest the pendulum should suddenly swing the other way, leaving us in a far worse position than that in which we have been for so long. The sure knowledge that

1960s: Views along the tram line

Join us for a tram ride eastwards across Hong Kong island. You can click any of the photos below to see other readers' comments, and / or leave your own.


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