1905: TST takes off

Submitted by David on Fri, 01/28/2011 - 16:25

I've read before about the rapid growth of Tsim Sha Tsui (TST)  at the start of the 20th Century, and that certainly shows up in the Jurors Lists.

Here's how the number of jurors with a Kowloon address grows from 1896 to 1905:

1896 29 788
1900 51 999
1905 87 967

While I've got the spreadsheets open, let's check a few more hunches. It seemed the latest (1905) list is a lot more accurate. To see if that's true, here's a breakdown of the Kowloon jurors by whether their address just shows "Kowloon", or also gives a building and / or street name:

1896 21 8
1900 24 27
1904 31 35
1905 8 79

There's more of an improvement than I expected in the middle years, but 1905 is when there's the big jump in quality. Whoever was responsible for the 1905 list took a lot more care about collecting a full address.

Can we also track how building progressed across the peninsula?

Here are addresses broken down by street:

Ashley Road                 2 8
Austin Avenue                   1
Cameron Road                   1
Carnarvon Road         1 1     2 2
Chater Street /
Peking Road
Des Voeux Road /
Chatham Road
  4 2       1 1 1 8
East Avenue /
Sainam Avenue
              1 1 2
East Road /
Hanoi Road
East Terrace /
Wuchow Terrace
                3 3
Elgin Road /
Haiphong Road
1 1   4 2 1 1 3 7 10
Garden Road /
Hankow Road
        1       1 6
Granville Road       1 4 2 4 3 3 5
Kimberley Road 3 4 9 10 10 9 7 3 5 11
Macdonnell Road /
Canton Road
2 2 5 4 2 1     1 1
Middle Road 2 1 2 2 3 4 3 3 5 8
Robinson Road /
Nathan Road
    1 1 1 2 3 1 1 3
Salisbury Avenue             1     1
Other 21 21 24 24 27 19 35 37 34 15
Total 29 33 43 46 51 39 55 52 66 87

We can see which are the early roads to be lived in - There's Middle Road, near the old shoreline, and Canton Road near the wharves. Kimberley Road was also an early and popular choice, as it runs along a ridge giving residents a good view across to the island, and the chance of a breeze.  And there's Haiphong Road, whose main source of Jurors is the Kowloon Hotel.

The smaller, "filling-in" roads start appearing through the decade, but really take off in 1904-5.

So, no great revelations, but another way at looking at the development of Kowloon.

Regards, David


  1. In the last table, several street names have changed since 1905. Where that's happened, I show the older, 1905 name first in italics. That's the name you'll see in the jurors lists. The second name shows what the streetname was changed to in 1909. There are couple of cases (Sainam Avenue and Wuchow Terrace) where the name must have been changed again since. Does anyone know their present-day names?
  2. For that last table, where an address only gave a building name I've included it in the count for the nearest street. If I can't identify the building's location (ie Bay View, Eranee Bungalow, Holyrood, Holywood, Gas works, Roseneak, Roseneath, Seymour Villas), I've included it in the 'other' count. The Gas Works is also included in the 'other' line, as it was up on Jordan Road, out of our area of interest.


According to a Chinese web page containing the names of Kowloon and NT streets whose names have changed over the years (http://www.hk-place.com/viewtext.php?id=358), East Avenue and Sainam Avenue became (probably combined to become) Hart Avenue, and Wuchow Terrace became Gordon Terrace, both changes (plus the the other 7 listed above) occurring on 19 March 1909.  Gordon Terrace, however, no longer exists today.

It's a large table and the webmaster has listed the old and new names in both Chinese and English.

As an aside, the equivalent table for HK island is on http://www.hk-place.com/view.php?id=309.

The quoted sources are the Hong Kong Government Gazette, various street maps and 2 books published in Chinese.

Bunce, thanks for the extra information.

Just to clarify the dates, the first round of changes that happened on 19 March, 1909 are as follows (see item 184 in the HK Gov't Gazette for 19 March 1909):

Old Name New Name
Chater Street Peking Road
Des Voeux Road Chatham Road
Garden Road Hankow Road
Robinson Road Nathan Road
Macdonnell Road Canton Road
Elgin Road Haiphong Road
East Road Hanoi Road
East Avenue Sainam Avenue
East Terrace Wuchow Terrace

Then there must have been later rounds of name changes that made the changes you list above: Sainam Avenue to today's Hart Avenue, and Wuchow Terrace to Gordon Terrace.

I found this mention of Gordon Terrace from 1913, which gives a person's address as "3, Gordon Terrace, Hanoi Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong". So perhaps 'Gordon Terrace' was the name of a building, rather than the name of a road?

Regards, David

Just wondering about this entry in the 1925 jurors list:

Hodge Lewis Edwin Sotheron Auctioneer L. E. S. Lodge     24 Garden Road Kowloon

Garden Road was renamed in 1909, so why is the old name still there? 

David, might the Ladies Directories be a more accurate record of residences than the Jurors Lists - at least for married men? I notice in the 1906 Jurors List that my grandfather, C.E. Warren, gives his business address in Des Voeux Road  rather than his Kowloon address at the newly built Observatory Villas, given for Mrs C. E. Warren. That statistic would of course leave out all the unmarried working men, but I thought it worth mentioning. I see that Hoito mentions that the Ladies Directories can be downloaded and scanned for free for anyone who has the right to use the HKU library.

My grandfather Tobias Hunter and his brother George Hunter lived at 4 East Terrace in 1905. I had thought it was Hong Kong but now think it must have been Kowloon. They moved later to Humphreys Avenue, Kowloon, so not far away. My theory is it must have been the name of a set of garden apartments that seem to have been the norm in that area. It was probably located on East Road ( Hanoi Rd abt 1909 )

There is one other possibility though, and that is, maybe there was a same named building on East Street, off Hollywood Road, near Lascar in Hong Kong. That would also have been very close to their original 11 Shelley Street address. More mysteries!