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

"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:

1920s Houses at The Peak

Where: The photographer is standing on Plunkett's Road, looking northwest towards Victoria Peak.

Who: This view made me think of Jean Gittins, and her description of the daily journey from home on The Peak to the Diocesan Girls School in Kowloon, "by rickshaw, Peak tram, ferry and rickshaw again for the last mile along tree-lined Nathan Road on Kowloon side" [1]

The rickshaw to the Peak Tram would have run along the road in the bottom-left corner of the photo, and her view from the rickshaw's seat would have been much like this one.

When: Based on similar photos I've seen, this was taken in the 1920s. As we'll see below, one of the buildings may be able to pin it down to an exact year.

What: Here's what I think we're looking at. (The 1924 Map of The Peak is helpful to identify the buildings.)

The path on the right leads to these two houses, known as the

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]

Fire Control sites

Here is the second batch of Places from Rob Weir's research. The first [1] showed the artillery batteries around Hong Kong. This batch records Fire Control sites and buildings. These housed the people and equipment responsible for identifying targets, then telling the gunners where to aim their gun so they'd hit the target.

Here they are on a map (subscribers, please click here to view it on the website):

1920 Born to be wild

What: A motorbike, registration number 190, which I guess makes it the 190th motor vehicle registered in the colony. Do we have any motorbike historians reading, who can tell us what model we're looking at?

The white suit is an interesting choice, given the

Nancy, get your gun!

The following guest post is courtesy of Bill Griffiths, introducing us to his late wife, Nancy Kong. Nancy joined the Hong Kong Defence Force Naval branch in 1949, and soon gained a reputation as a sharpshooter. Here is her story:

Joining the Wrens

In 1949, the Hong Kong Regiment was reorganized and became part of the Hong Kong Defence Force, which also included separate Air and Naval units. A certain young Chinese girl, Nancy Kong who had lived in constant danger and suffered under the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War two, joined up to serve as a Naval Rating determined to do her best in serving as a volunteer.

Learning to shoot

It was not long before she was introduced to the service rifle, and started learning to shoot using the old Lee Enfield bolt action .303:

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