Gharry timetable | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Gharry timetable

 Gharry timetable

R.A.F. Little Sai Wan was very isolated.  The only means of getting into 'town'  was to use the gharries (usually 3 ton Bedford lorries).   The timetable was basically planned to get Watch keepers to and from work, but there would usually be some spare seats. Tickets for a return journey cost just a few cents.  Seating was on benches along the sides of the truck with more in a row down the centre.  The canvas cover was always in place, so the journey was rather claustrophobic.  Anyone with a weak stomach found that the twisting road up to the Shek O road and round to Shaukiwan and the high speed of the drivers made for rather an uncomfortable ride.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Thursday, January 1, 1959


That's an interesting bit of ephemera to have lasted all these years. I wonder how did Robinson Road and Broadwood Road end up on the route? Were there RAF facilities there too?

That's a puzzle.  There were no R.A.F. facilities that I've ever heard of on the Mid Levels.  Perhaps some of the married personnel at Little Sai Wan lived near Robinson or Broadwood roads - but I doubt that as flats up there would be expensive even in the 1950s and most lived in the North Point area.  However, some of the married officers did, and maybe the gharries went that way just in case an officer needed to 'rough it' with the erks.  I certainly remember one dark and rain-lashed evening in September being taken somewhere up there by specially laid on Land Rover to get my medical clearance from one of the medical officers when I received last minute instructions to get over to Kai Tak for a last minute seat on a flight back to the U.K..  Clearance was given and the driver then took me to the Star Ferry in Central, where I was dumped in pouring rain with kit bag, large suitcase, small pack and large pack.  A helpful Chinese guy offered to help me and he lugged my kitbag and case onto the ferry - I didn't realise that he had headed for the bottom deck while I went to the top deck.  I thought that I'd lost the lot but he was honest and was rewarded at the other side with a handsome tip.  Then, I had to pay for a taxi to take me out to Kai Tak, where I met up with the others who had been taken nice and dry all the way by R.A.F. transport earlier in the day.  On my unexpected departure from Little Sai Wan I had to collect my still soaking washing from the amah.  Next morning we were taken to the Peninsula hotel, which at that time acted as the air terminal, and because my case contained a huge amount of still soaking wet clothes my allowance went way above the allowed  weight. When I suggested to the check in girl that it would soon dry out on the plane she looked a bit puzzled but waved me through, glad to see the back of such a soaking wet person.  I sat in my seat, still soaked, all the way to Karachi where I eventually got dried out.

It's also possible that the gharries took a route that way up to the outpost at Battys on the Peak.