Gwulo.com is for everyone that is interested in old Hong Kong.

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Enjoy the site,


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

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.

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:

1950s Des Voeux Road Central

We're back to Hong Kong island for this week's photo.

Where: The building on the right pins it down:

That's Central market, still standing today:

1950s View north along Nathan Road

There were lots of interesting comments to last week's photo. Here's another Kowloon photo, which I hope will also spark a few stories.

Where: We're looking north along Nathan Road. The crossroads in the foreground is the junction with Jordan Road.

The photographer has chosen a high vantage point for this photo, the roof of the Shamrock Hotel [1]. It was a popular place to take views over Kowloon like this one.

Who: We can see a mix of people at the crossroads: Read more »

c.1950 Argyle St. & Prince Edward Rd.

Several of Mike Cussans' recently posted photos [1] were taken looking along Argyle Street, so I'll continue the theme with this week's photo.

Where: We're at the junction of a couple of major roads in Kowloon. Prince Edward Road runs along the right edge of the photo, while Read more »

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