Shoreline picnic | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Shoreline picnic

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Shoreline picnic

Another photo that is from a group taken while my family lived in Hong Kong. I am trying to pin-point the exact location. Any help is appreciated.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Monday, January 1, 1917

Comments

Hi Simon,

I am fairly confident that the photograph was taken looking Eastwards from somewhere between Lye Mun and Chai Wan bay looking towards Little Sai Wan / Siu Sai Wan. The conical hill (actually Junk Island) is on the left and was/is at the Eastern entrance into Junk Bay.  Of course, Junk Island is now part of the mainland. The peninsula on the right is the one forming the Eastern side of Little Sai Wan bay.  Note the 'small' pimple (most probably a large cairn) on the ridgeline top right.  This appears on several of the photographs in my, Andrew Suddaby 1957/8 folder and later.  The small bit of shoreline immediately beneath the man's jaw was called by me and my friends The Point, and in 1952 the R.A.F. base at Little Sai Wan was built on the old shorline centre right.   At first I thought that the actual spot where they were having the picnic was very close to where Pill Box no. 38 was on the spit of land (possibly at one time an island) in the mouth of Chai Wan bay but the alignment of places on the photograph leads me to think that it was more likely taken from somewhere just to the east or south east of Lye Mun fort - maybe near Pak Sha Wan (where there was a small bay and beach before the Eastern corridor road was built.  The remains of this small bay are still visibole from a slip road leading onto the Eastern Corridor.  Or possibly it might have been on the coastline to the East of the old Sai Wan fort

Best wishes,  Andrew

American Express Company Office
American Express Company Office, by uwm

Thanks for your input Andrew. I think I'm beginning to get it, but of course, using Google Earth today, when so much has changed, it's dificut for me to visualize. Still, I can see tne topography that you refer to and it makes sense. I have never been to Hong Kong and I know there's now new land where there was once only water, and islands are now joined to other land masses. 

I know my family lived over in Kowloon in the early days...Humphreys Ave...and before that my ggrandmother on Shelley Street on Hong Kong Island. I suppose the terrain must have been quite rural out by Pak Sha Wan and the surrounding area. I will look closely at the terrain as you have decribed. Many thanks for your help.

Brian

Hi Brian - apologies about the name mistake.

Yes, the shoreline has changed quite dramatically all along the North shore of the Island. Until 1957/8 when I was serving on the R.A.F. base of Little Sai Wan urban development ended at Shaukiwan - still not much more than a large fishing village although the trams' Eastern terminus was there as it still is..  If you look at my photographs from 1957/8 and compare them with current images and Google Earth and its street views, you will see that right from Shaukiwan to Siu Sai Wan was still very rural - apart from an area of temporary resettlement below the Tai Tam road (the one that basically leads right round the island) in Chai Wan.  Chai Wan was a small fishing village.  As I am pretty sure that your family picnicked somewhere where I suggested, I wonder whether they had military connections.  That stretch of coast was probably always designated for military purposes being at the main entrance into Hong Kong harbour.

Regards,  Andrew

Hi Andrew,

                  I looked at your photos and on particular the ones at Sai Wan. Comparing to the old photo, the headland on the right of the older picture appears to be quite close to where the people are. My family didn't have any military connections really, although one of my great grandfathers was a Royal Engineer and stantioned in HK. I would think he passed away before the time of this photo, but I can't be sure. I'm not positive who the photos are of, other than they are from a roll, and the shots on either side are family. This is how I have based the little info I have...and a rougn dating between 1910 and 1919