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

Daughter reads father's diary of wartime Hong Kong for the first time - after a 70-year wait

Exciting news this week – we’ve heard from Rae, daughter of R E Jones. She has just read her father’s wartime diary [1] for the first time, having always believed it was destroyed in 1945.

Background Read more »

CPS project 2nd update: Magistracy & its magistrates

I'm searching for old photos of the buildings in and around the Central Police Station (CPS) site (click here for details of the project). In this update I'll look at the Magistracy building and the Magistrates who served there, then finish with the latest news on questions from earlier updates.

The Magistracy Read more »

1920s View over western Hong Kong

Where: A couple of buildings on either side of the photo pin down where it was taken. First look down in the bottom right corner, where you'll see these buildings: Read more »

c.1961 Cine-film of Hong Kong

Many thanks to Tania Scott for sharing her family's cine films. 

They were taken by her father, David Scott, between 1960 - 1962. He was in Hong Kong with the RAF on a two year posting.

My favourites are the shots of boats where he's so low you think he must be whizzing along in a speed-boat, but then... well, see if you get the same surprise I did!

(Subscribers, you'll need to click here to visit the web version of this page to see the links to the videos.)

Regards, David

c.1900 View of beached sampans along the Yau Ma Tei shoreline

Where: Local historian Cheng Po-Hung has a very similar photo in his book "Early Hong Kong Kowloon's Peninsula". He describes it as:

Boats in front of Reclamation Street and boat people gathered along Sixth Street (Jordan Road).

That certainly sounds to be the right part of town, unless anyone disagrees with the ridgeline in the distance:

But I don't think he's got the names of the roads quite right.

c.1920 Des Voeux Road, Central

Where: This is the same stretch of road we saw in the previous photo, but looking in the opposite direction. Here's the previous photo again, looking east along Des Voeux Road from Pedder Street:

In this week's photo we're looking west from the junction with Ice House Street.

When: In the previous photo I struggled to find anything that gave a firm date, but here the  Read more »

Pillboxes on the mainland

Thanks to Rob Weir for the latest instalment from his records of British military sites in Hong Kong. Here's a map of their locations:

c.1915 Des Voeux Road, Central

Where: As the postcard says, this is Des Voeux Road in Central. We're looking east from the junction with Pedder Street.

What: We can see the name of the building on the left, Alexandra Buildings:

It also shows a couple of

c.1920 Statue Square & Prince's Building

Where: As the postcard says, we're looking across Statue Square towards the original Prince's Building (the building on the left).

Who: The only living person in the photo is outnumbered by the statues that gave the square its name.

Over on the left is the grand cupola that was in the centre of the square, and housed a statue of Queen Victoria [1]. The cupola is long gone but you can still see the statue, now living in Victoria Park [2].

Another statue is this one of King Edward VII, standing on a simpler plinth: Read more »

CPS Project: 1st update, more questions

I'm still searching for photos of the Central Police Station, Magistracy, and Prison [1]. Here are some of the photos I've found, and also a few questions that they've raised. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far, and any extra offers of help will be very gratefully received!

The Central Police Station and its parade ground

Here's an old postcard view that was sent by reader 'moddsey':

The policemen are lined up on the parade ground, in front of the Barracks Block.

We'd originally dated this photo to the 1910s, but I'll have to update that. The Barracks Block had a fourth storey added in 1909, so this view of the original 3-storey building must have been taken earlier.

A photographer would usually be present for the big events held here. They weren't always professional photographers though. The next photo was taken in 1917 by Harry Ching [2]. It was sent in by his son Henry, who says his father was a keen amateur photographer.

The Police Reserve was formed in 1914 to help replace the policemen who went back to Europe to fight in World War 1. Reader '1314' gives a likely explanation of the event being photographed above:

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