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

Photos from last night's talk

Thanks to everyone who attended last night's talk. Here are the photos we looked at. You can click any photo to see a more detailed copy, and notes about that photo.

A walk around Central

We started off on the old seafront

turned into Pedder Street Read more »

You're invited: David will give a talk on 2nd November

I'll show a selection of my favourite photos of old Hong Kong, and tell their stories. The venue has a good projector & a big screen, and I'll bring along high-resolution scans of the photos so we can zoom in to see their detail.

The talk is arranged by the Royal Asiatic Society (RAS), as part of their series of regular talks. Here's their announcement:

1906 The Praya near Blake Pier

When: A great typhoon hit Hong Kong on 18th September, 1906. This photo was taken a day or two later, with debris from the typhoon still clear to see:

Where: The stout stone wall is part of

Lugard Road [1921- ]

Barbara Park has kindly shared these photos of Lugard Road under construction. Running along the north face of the side of the Peak, it's got some of the best views of the city and the harbour.

I thought it would be easy to pin down a date for these photos, but it turns out the road was built in two sections, with a five-year gap between them. More on that later, let's start with the photos:

"Line of Gaps" pillboxes on Hongkong Island

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:

1969. Hong Kong island from across the harbour

When: "September, 1969", as stamped on the cardboard mount for this slide.

Where: The photographer is standing on the southern tip of Tsim Sha Tsui, looking across at the island. It's been a popular postcard view for many years:

1906: Read more »

1930s Tai O

What: Trestles, planks and mats like these can still be seen in Hong Kong's fishing villages. They are used to dry seafood and so preserve it.

There are a couple in use in the photo. Rows of Read more »

1920s Nathan Road

For any Blue Peter fans reading. "Here's one I prepared earlier". We started our family summer holiday yesterday, so there'll be a break in posting new photos for a few weeks. We're back to Hong Kong in mid-August.

Where: Looking south along a deserted Nathan Road.

On the left edge of the photo is a tree that marked the junction with Carnarvon Road. Looking further along can see a gap between the two buildings. That's the turning into Mody Road.

Here's how it looks today: Read more »

c.1955 Star Ferry

What: The 'Solar Star', one of the Star Ferries.

Who: People heading across the harbour to Kowloon. Today we can take the MTR or a cross-harbour tunnel bus, but in the 1950s a boat was your only option.

Where: On the right of the photo we can just see the Read more »

c.1908 Fly to work with the KCR !

What: The photo has this caption:

"Aerial Ropeway ???? ???? K. C. Rly"

An "aerial ropeway" is what we call a cable car today. I can't read the next two words, but "K. C. Rly" means the Kowloon-Canton Railway, commonly known as the KCR.

Where: We know there was a ropeway in operation near Beacon Hill, while the Beacon Hill Tunnel was being dug. It transported miners between their camp and the site. [1]

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