Gwulo: Old Hong Kong


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

If it's your first visit, you might like to use the search box at the top of the page to find what you're looking for, check out the latest old photos, or just scroll down to browse through recent articles.

I hope you'll join in too, and share your questions and knowledge with us. Most pages let you leave a comment, it's easy to upload a photo, and the Forum is waiting for you to post a new message.

Finally, if you're interested in Hong Kong history, please stay in touch by signing up for Gwulo's free weekly newsletter.

Kind regards,


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

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 15

A summary of what's new and updated on Gwulo:

The Gwulo book is available again

It's been out of print for the last six weeks, so apologies to everyone who has had to wait for their order. I didn't expect the first 1,000 copies to go out so quickly, and so left it too late to re-order.

The good news is that the second print run was delivered today:

2nd print run of Gwulo books delivered

If you've already ordered, your order has just been mailed out this afternoon.

Or if you've been holding off till the books are available, please go ahead and order a copy of the Gwulo book.

Where have the first 1,000 have gone?

Web / Book stores

  • 75% have been sold via the Gwulo website
  • 25% have gone to local bookstores.

Hong Kong / International

Looking at the books sold via the Gwulo website, the split is

  • 60% to Hong Kong customers
  • 40% to overseas readers.

It's been a lovely surprise to see the first 1,000 head out so quickly, and I'm very pleased to see how much international interest there is in Hong Kong's history. I'll report back on the second 1,000 to let you know if there's any change in how and where they're bought.

Finally, a favour to ask - if you know anyone you think might enjoy the book, please could you send them the link to download the free sample chapters and suggest they take a look:



Looking for information about:

  • Betty Church. She was mentioned in a recent question, and when I listened to an interview about her I found she had led a remarkable life. Can anyone add any more memories & information to her page?
  • Norman Hellevick died on the sea journey taking former Stanley internees from Hong Kong to the UK after liberation. Bob thinks Norman died from diabetic shock. Can anyone confirm?


Memories of:

1960s Boys feeding chickens

Boys + chickens


Where: A pleasant rural scene - or is it? Those shoes and clothes look far too tidy for life in the countryside...

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 14

A summary of what's new and updated on Gwulo:



Looking for information about:


Memories of:

Club Lusitano's historic propeller

When Ian heard I was giving a talk at the Club Lusitano, he tipped me off that they had a valuable piece of Hong Kong's history I should look out for: "Ask to see the old propeller".

So last Wednesday evening I was led to the 26th floor, and shown this propeller on their restaurant's wall:

1924 Propeller at Club Lusitano


The Club's staff mentioned it was from the 1950s, but Ian's research shows it is much older, dating back to

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 12

Advance notice of temporary site closure: The Gwulo website will be offline from the evening of Wednesday 28th March til the following morning. Some important security updates will need to be made at that time.

A summary of what's new and updated on Gwulo:



Looking for information about:

  • Yolanda is looking for books about WW2 that describe "brave acts by Portuguese and Macanese people."
  • Alexander Findlay SMITH [1844-1926] was the man behind the Peak Tram. His previous employment on the Highland Railway in Scotland is often mentioned in connection with that. Does anyone know what work he did on the Highland Railway?

Memories of:


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