Gwulo: Old Hong Kong


Welcome to, and over 30,000 pages about old Hong Kong.

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Kind regards,


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

1960 - Lorraine J. Ford's slides of Hong Kong

60 years ago, Ms. Lorraine J. Ford visited Hong Kong. She signed up for a sight-seeing tour, and captured these scenes on Kodachrome slides.


The view from above

I guess the tour started as most do, with a visit to the Peak. We don't know if she took any photos there, but she did take several scenes as the tour bus drove along Stubbs Road to Happy Valley.

The first of her slides I have shows the view looking out across Wanchai and Causeway Bay.

Looking out over Wanchai and Causeway Bay


One of the areas I'm always drawn to is Morrison Hill. It was first excavated in the 1920s to provide material for the Wanchai Reclamation, but it seemed to take forever to get rid of the whole thing. Here in 1960 they're so close to finishing the job, but there are still two rocky remnants at the left and right of this close-up.

Gwulo's 2013 Top Ten

A look at the most popular pages that appeared on Gwulo in 2013.


#10 - Ferry Routes (11,740 views)

IDJ created this page to gather information about Hong Kong's disappearing ferry services. Old maps show the harbour criss-crossed with ferry routes, but the ferries have gone out of business as passengers and vehicles moved to the new tunnels.

1950s Praya Central & Vehicular Ferry pier
1950s Praya Central & Vehicular Ferry pier


Read about Hong Kong's Ferry Routes


#9 - Old Hong Kong Telephone Numbering System (11,776 views)

Do you remember 5-digit telephone numbers? This page shares memories of some of the quirks of the old telephone systems, eg that HK Telephone employees could choose telephone numbers that, with a bit of inside knowledge, would let them

New on Gwulo: 2020, week 20

I've listed some of the recent highlights below, but you can visit the What's New page at any time to see the latest additions to the site.



  • Klaus looks at how Hong Kong's roads were made in the early 20th Century
  • C is gathering the history of the Kayamally fabric company.
  • The 1933 Jurors list has been typed up and is now online. If you can spare 30 minutes, please could you help us to type up a page of the 1934 list?
  • The Ah King Slipway [c.1891-2002], famous boatbuilders in Hong Kong for over 100 years.
  • Can anyone identify which of the Dollar Steamship Line ships is shown here:
    Star Ferry, Kowloon, 1923
    Star Ferry, Kowloon, 1923, by HIstoryBuff6
  • If you were in Gun Club Hill School in 1961, can you help identify the people in this class photo?
    Gun Club Hill School, HK. July 1961.jpg
    Gun Club Hill School, HK. July 1961.jpg, by taffyroberts
  • Phil has identified the location of another still from Love is a many splendored thing. This one shows

Gwulo's 2012 Top Ten

A look at the most popular pages that appeared on Gwulo in 2012.


#10 - Duncan George MACPHERSON [1912-1989] (11,896 views)

Duncan began life in a crofters cottage in the Highlands of Scotland, but we meet him much later when he was a policeman in Hong Kong. He spent the Japanese occupation interned in Stanley Camp, where this photo of his wedding was taken:

1920 Map of Kowloon

A few weeks ago we looked at how the 1920 map of Kowloon was added to Gwulo. Today we'll take a closer look at the map itself, and see what stories it has to tell of early 20th-century Kowloon.

1920 map of Kowloon
1920 map of Kowloon


Tsim Sha Tsui (TST)

The start of the 20th century saw huge changes in TST. Here's how it had looked in 1896.


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