Welcome to Gwulo

Here you'll find over 50,000 pages about old Hong Kong to explore, including over 30,000 photos. The content is added by a friendly community of people who enjoy sharing what we know about Hong Kong's history, and you are very welcome to join us.

Kind regards, David

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Who were the family in these photos?

Submitted by David on Sun, 02/25/2024 - 11:00
People at Deep Water Bay golf course

We've seen this group before - I used this photo of them in my latest book. From left to right we have Cedric, Maud, Father, Lewis, Mr Hosie, Mrs Duncan, and Annie. The photo is dated to 1 Jan 1916, and shows them taking a break from playing golf at Deepwater Bay.

I bought it on eBay as part of a bundle of this family's photos. Let's take a look at their other photos and see what else we can find out about them.

Living & working

In the book I'd identified the men in the group as working for the Dock Company at Hung Hom, as Jurors Lists from that time show both Mr Hosie and Mr Duncan were working there. None of the other photos show men at work, but several show people in front of homes.

Many of the Dock Company's men lived in company accommodation on the site - did the family live there too? Here's a photo from a different source that shows the Company's quarters along Bulkeley Street in Hung Hom.

Kowloon - Unknown
Quarters, by hfsiu


One of the family's photos shows Annie in front of a building that is certainly very solid, but isn't an exact match for the quarters shown above:

New on Gwulo: 2024, week 07

Submitted by David on Sun, 02/18/2024 - 12:00

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website:



Hong Kong history galore!

  • UK readers, if you have a family member who was in Hong Kong in WW2, check the newly catalogued collection of wartime record cards at the National Archives to see if they have a card for your relative. Read the full story in their article: Life and death in Hong Kong during the Second World War. Thanks to David Wallingford for letting me know about this.
  • Still in the UK, Bristol University's Hong Kong History Centre is producing a series of videos, where they interview different people who are exploring Hong Kong's history. The first two are now online:
    • Video #1: Dr Vivian Kong - this starts with an introduction to the series from Professor Ray Yep, who is the interviewer in these videos. Ray introduces Vivian, and we hear about her journey from Tuen Mun to Bristol, then get in to the meat of her research, looking at Hong Kong in the early 20th century, why local people came to value 'Britishness', and some of the barriers put in place by the British authorities.
    • Video #2 Dr. Kwong Chi Man - here we meet our local champion of Hong Kong's military history. Chi Man talks about how he got interested in the topic, then about his recent book looking at Hong Kongers in the British armed forces - which opens the door to a social history of these people's experiences, and a new view of how people in apparently the same situation could have such different interactions with the British. The video ends with a brief tour of Chi Man's excellent website, The Battle of Hong Kong 1941: A Spatial History Project, which uses digital maps to present the battle in new ways.
  • Back in Hong Kong, on Friday evening I was happy to see Patricia O'Sullivan who had just arrived from the airport. During this visit Patricia is giving a series of four talks - details on her website. I've already signed up for her free talk on 2 March at the Maritime Museum, Fire-fighting on Land and Sea.
  • I'm sure Patricia will have her books for sale at the talks, so it's a good chance to highlight Zolima's recent review of her second book: Hong Kong reads: Women, Crime and a Window Into Hong kong History.
  • Zolima regularly publish articles about Hong Kong's history, and a recent one from Annemarie Evans about collectors caught my eye. Many collectors become experts on the history of the items they collect, and we're lucky to have had several collectors share their knowledge here on Gwulo. In her article, Hong Kong Collectors: It Started With A (VW) Bug, Annemarie meets Andrew Ng to learn about his collection of anything and everything related to Hong Kong's motoring history.
  • Finally, on Annemarie's weekly Hong Kong Heritage radio show, I enjoyed the recent episode where she met Vaudine England to hear about why archiving information - whether at the family or business level - is so important to preserving history.




New on Gwulo: 2024, week 04

Submitted by David on Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:00

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website:



Updates on the new Gwulo book

Some good news with Volume 5 is that airmail services are working well again. The last few overseas orders have gone to customers in Australia, UK, and the US, and all have arrived in under two weeks. The last few years have seen all sorts of headaches with overseas mail, so it is great to see shipping times get back to their pre-Covid standards.

Thank you to two of those overseas readers for their reviews. Patricia O'Sullivan has posted her review of Volume 5 to her website, and also lets us know her favourite photo in the book. For the record, my favourite is this one at the bottom of page 21:

1920s Wandering Shoemaker


Thanks also to new reader jenchou, who dived in with a purchase of the full set of five books:

The existence of the 5 volumes of Old Hong Kong Photos and The Tales They Tell came to my attention on Facebook via the Hong Kong - The Past page. I jumped on the website and ordered the books less than a week ago and they were delivered this morning!! So speedy and the books arrived in impeccable condition.

Each book and the photos are most beautifully produced to the highest quality. They worth every single penny!  In the fast changing world and the Hong Kong I knew disappearing fast, to have a glimpse into the old Hong Kong before I was even born keeps Hong Kong alive in my heart.

Closer to home, Hong Kong readers can now find Volume 5 at these additional bookstores:

  • Art & Culture Outreach Books, in Causeway Bay
  • SUP Retail (Hong Kong) Limited, better known by the names of its bookstores: Joint Publishing / Chung Hwa Book Co. / The Commercial Press. They also run an online bookstore, My Book One


And finally, thanks to Jill Fell who has reported the first mistake in Volume 5. If you've noticed any other mistakes, please could you add a comment for each mistake with details? Then I can be sure to get them all corrected when it is time for a reprint.



1958 Jan Jan's Map of Hong Kong

Submitted by David on Mon, 01/08/2024 - 21:29
NB: This is a hand-drawn commercial map and, as described below, its layout isn't always accurate. It is still a good source to see what was in Hong Kong in 1958, but don't rely on it to pinpoint the location of a building, street, etc. - please use one of the government maps for that instead.
Jan Jan's Map of Hong Kong, 1958

I've just finished adding this 1958 copy of Jan Jan's Map of Hong Kong to the maps on Gwulo. You can see it as an overlay by selecting the new '1958 HK' layer on any of Gwulo's maps, or go straight to it by clicking one of the links below: