Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Welcome

Welcome to Gwulo.com, 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,

David

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

New on Gwulo: 2019, week 18

A look at what's been added / updated at Gwulo.com. Please click on the photos or the blue links for more information - and please leave a comment if you can add any new details.

 

Dates for your diary

Last week, finishes on 5th May - HK - Steps through time is an exhibition of old Hong Kong photos that I've curated. The exhibition is open to all and free of charge. It is on display in the lobby of The Pottinger Hotel, 74 Queen's Road Central (the entrance is on Stanley Street, next to the junction with Pottinger Street).

8th May - HK - Gwulo lunchtime meetup, all welcome. Click for details.

18th May - London - Barbara Anslow. If you couldn't get a seat at Barbara's sold-out talk to the Hong Kong Society, there's another chance to hear her speak on the 18th of May. Click for details.

1st June - HK - New Gwulo talk. I'll present the new Talk #5 for the first time at the Visual Arts Centre on Kennedy Road. It's on a Saturday morning for a change. Click for details.

 

General

 


 

Places

Gwulo in the UK

Here are a few of the finds from my recent trip to the UK.

The National Archives

I spent a couple of days there, looking through old documents, maps, and photos from Hong Kong. I didn't have any specific documents to see on this visit, so I took pot luck with some general searches. I'll show some extracts below, but if you want me to look in them for anything specific, please leave a comment below.

Photos

I only saw a few photos on this visit, including this 1958 aerial view of Kai Tak, ref: AIR 28/1374. The reclamation for the new runway into the harbour is visible in the bottom left corner. It's a detailed photo, and worth clicking through to use the zoom for a closer look.

Aerial view of Kai Tak

 

Maps

I had better luck with maps, especially a collection of

New on Gwulo: 2019, week 14

A look at what's been added / updated at Gwulo.com. Please click on the photos or the blue links for more information - and please leave a comment if you can add any new details.

Dates for your diary

Now til 5th May - HK - Steps through time is an exhibition of old Hong Kong photos that I've curated. The exhibition is open to all and free of charge. It is on display in the lobby of The Pottinger Hotel, 74 Queen's Road Central (the entrance is on Stanley Street, next to the junction with Pottinger Street).

18th May - London - Barbara Anslow. If you couldn't get a seat at Barbara's sold-out talk to the Hong Kong Society, there's another chance to hear her speak on the 18th of May. Click for details.

UPDATE - The "New Gwulo talk." that I'd listed for 19th of June might need to be rescheduled. I'll post an update once the date & location are confirmed.

 


 

General

 


 

Places

Views along the tram line in the 1900s

Join us for a ride on one of Hong Kong's new trams. Here's how The China Mail reported the first trial of the trams on July 2nd, 1904:

"To the clanging of the alarm-bell, and the whirling round of wheels, the first tram to run on the Hongkong tramway line left the shed last Saturday. [...] The cars used were the combination and the ordinary open car. In their new coats of paint, the colour of which is mainly yellow, relieved here and there with darker hues, the cars looked very well, [...] The motor men and ticket collectors are nattily dressed in white with narrow black facings, and attend daily at the sheds for instruction and trials."

I don't have any photos of the nattily dressed staff, but here's what those first trams looked like:

Third class tram
Third class tram, by UKNA

 

First class tram
First class tram, by UKNA

 

I'm not sure how long these all-first-class and all-third-class designs continued in use. Later reports describe a different design, where each tram had a mix of first- and third-class seating (maybe this is the "combination car" described in the newspaper report above?). However we do know that throughout the 1900s, all the trams were

New on Gwulo: 2019, week 11

A look at what's been added / updated at Gwulo.com. Please click on the photos or the blue links for more information - and please leave a comment if you can add any new details.

UK readers, please join me in London on 30th March

I'll present Gwulo talk #4, and all are welcome to attend. Please click here for details and how to book.

 


 

General

 


 

Places

Pages

Subscribe to Gwulo: Old Hong Kong RSS