HKU from the air, taken by Kenneth, Jan 1933 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

HKU from the air, taken by Kenneth, Jan 1933

HKU from the air, taken by Kenneth, Jan 1933

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Ride. The original is in an album covering old HK, prewar Cheung Chau and HK, the HKVDC at Fanling, and others, held in the Elizabeth Ride Collection at HKHP:

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Sunday, January 1, 1933


Thank you for sharing this very nice aerial photo of HKU. One observation I have is that Fung Ping Shan building is now located on Bonham Road opposite to Hing Hon Road. But the aerial photo seems to show that its level was even higher than the HKU Main Building. Maybe this is due to parallax and the white curved strip below Fung Ping Shan was Bonham Road? Also is there another aerial photo covering Hing Hon Road? That would be very interesting. CM

Hi CM,

I think it's just the unusual angle that makes Fung Ping Shan look higher, and agree that the curve in front of it must be Bonham Road. I'll ask if there are any other photos.

I've added a couple more "Places shown", visible below and left from Fung Ping Shan:

  • 2, Hing Hon Road
  • St John's Hall

Elizabeth writes about the 'Kenneth' in the title:

Unfortunately I cannot give you the surname of 'Kenneth', but he was a member of the Hong Kong Flying Club which was based at Kai Tak in the thirties.  I used to have the list (short), but like many other things I cannot put my hand on it at the moment.  Perhaps one of your readers could help.

Regards, David

The Church Mission House is bottom left of the photo, almost hidden by the new buildigns on the northside of Bonham Road 

Above that, a corner of the Fairlea buuilding can also be seen. 


My research indicates that the surname of the "Kenneth" mentioned here was probably "Beard." He was a pilot who came to HK in 1927 with the Fleet Air Arm, on his way to Shanghai to protect British interests in the city with "Sha-force" - part of the Shanghai Defence Force.

As things turned out, Sha-force stayed at Kai Tak with not much to do - mainly dawn anti-piracy patrols over Bias & Mirs Bays.

Whilst stationed there he met a lady named Peggy Beard who used to serve tea & wads to the servicemen & romance blossomed. He used to fly his seaplane over her family home in Shek O, dropping the mail & newspapers, & they were married in St. John's Cathedral on 18 Dec 1928.

Peggy's father was the famous architect Lennox Godfrey Bird, but that is the subject of a separate article.