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'.

Chinese seamen in Second World War Britain: Do their families live in Hong Kong today?

Yvonne Foley introduces a little-known piece of UK-Chinese history, in the hope of hearing from the families who were involved.

At the beginning of the Second World War there were 20,000 Chinese mariners in the port of Liverpool, England. Many were there to replace the British merchant seamen who had gone to join the Royal Navy. A significant proportion of these men were from Hong Kong, Singapore, Ningbo and Shanghai and became trapped in the UK when in late 1941 and early 1942 the Japanese took each of these places.

Paid around a third of British seamen’s pay and not getting the danger money given to the British, the Chinese withdrew their labour. The strike lasted from February 1942 to May of the same year. By the end of it they had almost achieved equality of pay but had established a reputation as troublemakers with the ship owners and the Government – especially the men from Shanghai.

At the end of hostilities the Government and the ship owners determined to get rid of the Chinese. By the middle of 1946 nearly all had gone. This despite the fact that many had married or were in relationships with British women and now had families living in Liverpool.


A mixed marriage in Liverpool in WW2


It was difficult to remove the Hong Kong men, as they were nominally British. But the Shanghai ‘troublemakers’ were different: they had no

"1926 - Nullah swept away"

With typhoons and hurricanes in the news recently, here's a photo of one that made the news just over 90 years ago.

"1926 - Nullah swept away"


When: The title gives us the date, 1926. We can do better than that, as the photo must have been taken shortly after the

History Notes, issue 1

Issue 1 of History Notes was compiled by the late Phillip Bruce, and published as a printed booklet in the late 1980s. It covers topics ranging from prostitutes to poems, pirates to policemen:

Many thanks to Mr Bruce's family for letting me re-publish the booklet here on Gwulo, to give it a second lease of life and introduce it to a new audience.

Book type: 

Chinese-style baby carriers (孭带) in Hong Kong

I've looked at this photo many times over the last few months, as it's one that's going into the Gwulo book. It got me thinking about how the cloth baby carrier has gone in and out of fashion.

Baby carrier on back


The photo above was taken in 1954. I also found one in my collection that looks older, I guess taken sometime where in the

Early 1900s view northeast from the Peak, looking over the Naval Yard Extension

Here's the photo I mentioned last week:

c.1904 View looking northeast from the Peak


It's a large print, so there's lots of detail to see. For an example, look at the red square above, then look at that section enlarged below


Subscribe to Gwulo: Old Hong Kong RSS