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

1961 - Doug Brentlinger's photos

Many thanks to Doug Brentlinger for sharing this set of photos with us. I understand that Doug visited Hong Kong in 1961 with the US Navy. The photos (probably slides) are still sharp, with lots of detail to see.

Here are a few samples from the set:

View of Wanchai from the harbourView of Wanchai from the harbour

1909 Unveiling statues in Statue Square

When: King Edward's birthday, the 11th of November, 1909. This auspicious day was chosen to unveil the latest additions to Statue Square: statues of his wife, Queen Alexandra, and his daughter-in-law Mary, the Princess of Wales.

Where: We are looking out from Read more »

1954 Side-party

What: This group of smiling ladies worked as a side-party. Not 'party' as in drinks and dances, their job was to paint the side of navy ships visiting Hong Kong.

Here's a description of Mary Soo, well-known in this line of business:

The U.S. 7th Fleet, which plies its trade in the troubled waters of the Far East, has a girl friend named Mary Soo. Mary Soo, by tradition but not contract, has the garbage concession of all United States Navy ships entering Hong Kong, which out here is no small potatoes. Read more »

c.1922 The best hotel in Hong Kong

What: "The best hotel in Hong Kong", at least that's what whoever bought this postcard thought: Read more »

Artillery Batteries in Hong Kong

Thanks to Rob Weir who has generously shared his records of British military sites in Hong Kong with us. The first list is of artillery batteries, and covers over 70 sites.

He's further sub-divided the list by category. Here's a map of batteries in the largest category, Harbour Defence Battery:

1930s Hurrying to TST

Who: People heading in to Tsim Sha Tsui and Kowloon.

What: They had several travel options... Read more »

c.1900 Peak Hotel

Where: We're looking across at the Peak Hotel, where the Peak Galleria stands today. You can just make out its name on the corner of the building:

The building on the left is the upper terminus for the Peak Tram. The clouds of smoke and steam come from the

1920s Queen's Road Central

Where: Looking west along Queen's Road Central. In the distance there's a gable with a circle:

That building was on the corner of Jubilee Street, just past the Central Market.

How about the buildings in the foreground, where were those? The first building on the right pins it down:

1950s 7-storey resettlement block

What: The 1956 Annual Report tells us more:

[...] the decision was taken in 1954 to embark on a gigantic programme for the construction of large Resettlement Estates of seven-storey blocks as the only practicable means of solving the squatter problem, and so releasing the land urgently needed for the houses, factories, schools, hospitals and other essential requirements of a rapidly expanding community. Read more »

1920s Excavation of Morrison Hill

What: The men are digging away Morrison Hill, so that the rock and soil can be dumped in the sea to form the large 1920s Wanchai Reclamation.

Given the scale of the project, it's remarkable to see the excavation is done by hand. Here's a man working at the top of the hill, digging away with his pick:

The rock and soil runs down a channel, and ends up in this temporary silo at the bottom of the slope. They've cleverly left a wall of rock at the bottom, with V-shaped holding areas. The one in this photo is blocked with a couple of boards:

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