Gwulo: 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'.

Delivering a one-ton load to the 25th floor - made possible by the RAF's 28 Squadron

In April 1972, Gordon Andreassend was sitting in his office in Murray Building when Hal Empson, the Cartographer strode in. “We’ve got a problem with the process camera” he said.

“Everything’s arrived, hasn’t it, what’s the problem?” was Gordon’s reply. 

It appeared there seemed no way to get the solid metal base of the camera, weighing about one ton, and 20 foot in length, into its allocated space on top of the building. It was too big for any lift, and too heavy to manhandle up the stairs to the 25th floor. 

Murray Building had been completed in 1970, and was the HQ and home to several offices of the Public Works Department (PWD). There was no

New on Gwulo: 2021, week 20

A look at what's new on the Gwulo website...





Pokfulam's Inverted Siphons

I've got another 'old Hong Kong waterworks' puzzle for this week's newsletter. Unlike the recent pouring pipe mystery, this one took much longer to solve. It all started around ten years ago, back in a time of tadpoles.



Looking for tadpoles, finding pillars

When our daughters were younger, an annual ritual each April / May was to go looking for tadpoles. We'd take a jam jar's worth home, enjoy watching them grow into baby toads, then take them back to their stream and let them go.

The path to the tadpoles passes these two old pillars, made from granite blocks and standing unused in the centre of the stream.

Pillars below the Pokfulam conduit
The pillars in 2014


What were they built for?

A little further uphill the path crosses the

New on Gwulo: 2021, week 18

A look at what's new on the Gwulo website...





1903 Map of Kowloon

1903 Kowloon City


The latest addition to Gwulo's collection of maps is one of Kowloon from 1903.

If we compare its view of Tsim Sha Tsui with a couple of other maps on Gwulo, it seems this is a poor addition to the site, looking rather smudged, and without much text to tell us what we're looking at:


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