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Here you'll find over 50,000 pages about old Hong Kong to explore, including over 30,000 photos. The content is added by a friendly community of people who enjoy sharing what we know about Hong Kong's history, and you are very welcome to join us.

Kind regards, David

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New on Gwulo: 2023, week 24

Submitted by David on Sun, 06/18/2023 - 23:00

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website:


Birthday Buildings in 2023

Submitted by David on Sat, 06/10/2023 - 14:00

As the Cenotaph recently had its 100th birthday, it's a good time to see what other buildings reached a major milestone this year.

50-year-old buildings:

The best known building on this list is Jardine House, or 'Connaught Centre' to give it its original name.

Connaught Centre under construction
Connaught Centre under construction, by Klaus


Connaught Centre / Jardine House
Connaught Centre / Jardine House, by Paulo


75-year-old buildings:

New on Gwulo: 2023, week 22

Submitted by David on Sat, 06/03/2023 - 16:00

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website:


  • Martin notes that the Cenotaph has just had its 100th birthday. It was first unveiled on 24 May 1923:
    1923 Unveiling the Cenotaph


  • The unveiling of the Cenotaph is a clue I'd missed for last week's photo.
    1923 View over Central

    I dated it to 'some time in 1923', but it must have been taken around the time of the unveiling, as I can see the temporary grandstand that was set up for the ceremony.

    Temporary grandstand for the unveiling of the Cenotaph


  • Here's a happy photo with lots of connections to Gwulo:
    great granddaughters
    great granddaughters, by jill

    Susann (on the left) is the great-granddaughter of C.F.W. Petersen [c.1832-1896] (proprietor of the German Tavern) and Jill is the great-granddaughter of John Olson [1838-1918] (proprietor of the National Tavern) The two men must have known each other well, as Petersen was appointed as executor of Olson's will.
    Susann first "met" Jill here on the Gwulo website, and they have now been corresponding for ten years. They finally met in person a few days ago.

  • With Hong Kong temperatures climbing past 35C, it's time for a Popsy!
    Fruit seller on weekly visit to RAF Sek Kong 1955
    Dairy Farm seller on weekly visit to RAF Sek Kong 1955, by Curly Watson


  • Readers ask:
    • Are there any Japanese wartime tunnels above Mid Levels?
    • What was this large, temporary building in the the New Territories in 1955 used for?
    • Do you remember 'Curly' Watson? He writes: 

      I served in HK from April 1954 to September 1956.   I was an RAF Police Dog Handler and friends knew me as 'Curly Watson'.  It could be that anyone seeing that name might remember me but, as I'm almost 88, it's unlikely that there are many still around.

      My first posting was to RAF Kai Tak but, after some months, I was sent to RAF Sek Kong.   There, I did night patrols with my police dog Flash and also at the sub-site radar unit, RAF Ping Shan (this as about 10 miles down the road from Sek Kong and on the oposite side of Yeun Long).  Finally I was posted to RAF Mount Davis, which was a radar site on a hill at the far west end of the island, above Kennedy Town and overlooking Green Island.

  • Thank you to everyone who came along to my talk at the HK Maritime Museum last weekend. It's a great venue for this type of illustrated talk, as the high ceiling and large screen mean everyone gets a clear view of the photos. Many thanks to the Museum for hosting the event. 
    David giving a talk at the HK Maritime Museum


100 years ago: Hong Kong Island north and south

Submitted by David on Sat, 05/27/2023 - 18:00
1923 Hong Kong postcards

Here's another set of postcards I bought recently, this time from eBay. Like the set of four we investigated a few weeks ago, these are also Real Photo Postcards (RPPCs).

Let's see if there are any clues on the backs of the cards:

Postcard back

No notes from the owner, unfortunately. There is what looks like the manufacturer's code at top right where the stamp would go: "B10  3". Sometimes we can look up the manufacturer's code on the internet, and find out the range of dates when the paper was manufactured. Alas, I couldn't find any information for this one.

All three cards have this layout on the back, so they were very likely taken at around the same time, and by the same photographer. That's all I can tell from the backs though, so we'll turn them over again and see what clues the photos have for us.

1923 View over Central

The first thing that strikes me is the

New on Gwulo: 2023, week 20

Submitted by Admin on Sat, 05/20/2023 - 18:00

What's on

  • FULLY BOOKED Sun 28 May: Next Sunday I'll give a free talk at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum - In, On Under, and Around Hong Kong's Harbour. I'll show a selection of photos from my third book, projecting high resolution copies on the big screen so we can zoom in to see their details, and uncover their hidden stories. Click for details and registration. (Two thirds of the seats had already been reserved when I checked last week, so register soon if you're planning to join.)
  • Sun 4 Jun: Howard Elias will lead a guided tour of the Jewish Cemetery in Happy Valley, telling stories of the people who are buried there, and discussing the religious laws and customs regarding burial. I joined one of Howard's previous tours of the cemetery and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I can happily recommend it. The event is organised by the OMRS HK Branch - please contact their Hon. Secretary Martin Heyes for details and booking: martin.heyes@gmail.com

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website: