Gwulo: Old Hong Kong


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

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 47

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



Looking for information about:


Memories of:

1940-41: Hong Kong's "Phoney War"

Barbara Anslow has previously shared extracts from her diaries in the article "Memories of life in Hong Kong, 1938-39". The end of 1939 was roughly half-way through the period known in Britain as the "Phoney War": Britain had declared war against Germany that September, but in the months that followed, nothing much seemed to happen.

In this article, Barbara tells us of her experiences in Hong Kong in 1940 and 1941, again drawing on her diaries from those years. She soon reports the end of Britain's Phoney War:

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 45

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



Memories of:

  • Konrad Hans Traugott GOLL [1947- ], lived & worked in HK 1976-2000.
  • William TODD [1916-????], policeman interned in Stanley, awarded Colonial Police Medal.
  • Leonard STARBUCK [1911-1953], worked for the Observatory, and probably one of the first prisoners captured by the Japanese in 1941
  • Albert JILLOTT [1901-????], prison officer
  • Charles Henry HART [1808-1867], one of the bidders in the first land auction in 1841
  • Ron FREER [1915- ], fought in Hong Kong in 1941, and now the oldest veteran in this year's march at the Cenotaph in London
  • Frederick Stanley Lowing, who died while a prisoner of the Japanese




Birthday Buildings in 2018

It's time for our annual roundup of buildings that celebrate a major birthday this year.


50-year-old buildings:

The "Sincere Insurance Building" name caught my eye, as I worked in an office there in the 1990s. One end of the building faces Queensway, making it a prime site for large advertisements - see the red advert in the photo below.

Queensway 1980
Queensway 1980, by Leroy W. Demery, Jr.


The buildings on the right in the photo above were originally part of Victoria Barracks, and had belonged to the British Army. In 1968, the Army had recently given up a strip of land at the western edge of the Victoria Barracks area. That land was home to the Murray Barracks, and ran between Garden Road to the west, and the Albany Nullah to the east.

The new Murray Building was built on part of that land, with the new Cotton Tree Drive running uphill nearby. The Albany Nullah seems to have vanished, but it still exists - it was covered over, and Cotton Tree Drive was built on top of it. Here's a view up Cotton Tree Drive in the 1970s, with Murray Building on the right.

Cotton Tree Drive.JPG
Cotton Tree Drive.JPG, by Quicksilver


We have to leave Hong Kong Island, and head to the New Territories for the most memorable of the new buildings from 1968

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 43

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



Looking for information about:

  • Charles Henry HART [1808-1867], one of the successful bidders for marine lots during the first auction of Hong Kong land in 1841
  • Albert JILLOTT [????-????], a prison officer in Hong Kong for over 30 years
  • Stanley Camp internee William TODD [1916-????]
  • Looking for photos of Terry (Taff) Evans who was a corporal in the British Army in Hong Kong in 1959-61
  • Looking for Alison Ayres, who taught horse-riding in Hong Kong in the 1980s


Gwulo happy hour meetup next Tuesday, 6th November - all welcome

Click for details.


Memories of:


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