Wanchai Govt School, Queen's Road East [1872-1959]

Submitted by Edmond on Mon, 10/28/2013 - 12:43
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished

Dear David,

I find the old Hong Kong photos in Gwulo amazing.  I am looking for old photo(s) showing the old Wanchai School building (which was demolished in 1959) located at 269 Queen's Road East.   The old building was a single storey, built of red bricks and black pitched tiled roof.  It was surrounded by short white walls along QRE and Kennedy Street.   Outside the main iron gate, there was a big beautiful bayan tree.

The old Wanchai School was situated right opposite the former Royal Navy Hospital (later became Ruttonjee Sanitorium).  I hope someone from the Royal Navy Hospital might have captured photos of this school from top of the hospital hill.  The school was also adjacent to the English Methodist Church at the corner of Kenndy Road.

I'll be grateful for any further information supplied by others.  Thank you


Photos that show this Place


According to HKSAR Public Records Office archives, Wanchai School was built in 1872.  It was expanded to twice of its original size in 1908, of which the proposed expansion plan was approved by the Director of Public Works in 1907.  Wanchai School was located to the south of the Royal Navy Hospital (then the Seamen's Hospital) at Gap Road, which was later renamed Queen's Road East.

Survey sheet of Wanchai in 1889

Hi there,

I began to wonder if the land lot had been splitted up.  In a previous thread the Methodist International Church was mentioned but with minimal information.  This church is also sitting on part of the mentioned location, but on the Kennedy Road corner, not the Kennedy Street corner.

Best Regards,


Mr T,

You are right to point out that Methodist International Church (MIC) is at the j/o QRE and Kennedy Road.   Old Wanchai School (demolished in 1959) was at the j/o of QRE and Kennedy Street i.e. to the west of MIC.



I submit two images: (1) obtainable from Hong Kong Public Library gallery showing the English Methodist Church in 1937/38;  (2) survey sheet of the old Wanchai School in 1958 from an open file stored at HKSAR Public Records Office heading "Reconstruction of Wanchai School".

old Wanchai School at QRE 1937 (next to English Methodist Church)

survey sheet showing old Wanchai School in 1958

Hi Edmond,

Thanks for the good information about this school - I have to admit I didn't know there had been a school here! I don't remember having seen a photo of the school here, but now we know what we're looking for one will pop up at some point.

Have you tried contacting the Methodist Church to see if they have any old photos of the area? And don't St James Settlement run some local history tours connected with the Blue Building? Maybe they'd have something.

Regards, David

Hi there,

As far as I could recall, after another rebuild the location become another school.  It appeared to be a Government Primary school if I remember correctly as one of my aunts was a teacher there until it somehow folded in mid 1980s.  According to a local Wiki entry, it used to be called Lui Kei Primary School.  In 1962 through 1963 the site was the temporary site for Hennessy Government Primary School during its rebuild.

Nowadays the premises is called Lui Kei Education Service Centre, under the Education Bureau.

Best Regards,



Thank you for your advice.  I have searched the "Royal Naval Hospital in Wanchai", and did find a good photo which shows the old Wanchai School in its early days (in 1873?).   It contained two rectangular pitched-roof structures (one big and one small) connected by a covered corridor.  I believe the big one was used as classroom(s), and the small one was used as the staff room or servant's quarters.

old Wanchai School to the south of Seamen's Hospital


Thank you for your prompt response.  I have contacted the administrator of the Methodist International Church, but she told me that many old photos of the Church were untraceable due to the re-building of the Church.   I had hoped that some of these old photos might have shown the vicinity of the old Wanchai School, but my work is in vain.

Mr T

Thank you for your information. 

I would like to add further information as follows.   The old Wanchai School ceased to be a primary school in January 1958, and all the teachers and students were transferred to the nearby Morrsion Hill Primary School for continuation of their education.   However, with the approval of the Education Department, the School was not demolished until 31.8.1959, and it had been used as a branch school of King's College during this period as KC was under an expansion programme the work of which was completed in August 1959.   The old Wanchai School was demolished to make way for a standard 24-classrooms primary school to meet the need of the young children in Wanchai. 

As you said, when the young population decreased in mid-1980s, the School was folded, and the building is being used as the Education Services Centre.

new and old photos ---- 269 Queen's Road East


Hi David,

I found another photo from Public Library gallery showing the old Wanchai School in 1895.   This photo was taken 23 years after the school was built in 1872, and I notice that many residential buildings had been erected around the Stone Nullah Lane (Street) area.

Warm regards


Viewing Wanchai District from Bowen Road 1895

On 12 June 1966, the water surge inside the underground pipe below the Stone Nullah Lane (Street) caused burst of the pipe, breaking the road surface and causing much damage to the nearby shops and parked vehicles.   A record high rainfall of 382.8 mm was recorded on that day.

Burst of underground pipe in Stone Nullah Lane 1966


The single storey built of red bricks and black tiled pitch roof main school structure was in the centre.  There was a pavilion measuring 25 feet x 50 feet at the NW corner, and was used as covered playground.  A basket ball court was found to its south.  To the basket ball court's south end was the annex.  The boys' latrine was on the west end.  To the latrine's east were two servants' staff quarters.  The staff room and lavatory were at the far east side of the annex.



WGS sketch vs map in 1958

It was proposed to expand the School by erecting an identical structure at the rear in 1907.  It would double the size of the School.  Extension Plan was approved by DPW on 14 Oct 1907.

However, the revised outcome was a single (united) structure consisting of 8 rooms, with movable partitions.  Work was completed in 1908.  Staff room and lavatory, and two servant's quarters were later added to the annex.

WGS Proposed Extension Plan 1907

The sketch shows the basket ball court and the pavilion (covered playground) in Wanchai Govt School as in 1953.   The group photo was taken to bid farewell to the Headmaster, Mr Chan, who was promoted to Education Inspector in summer of 1953

Basket ball court inside Wanchai Govt School

Richard's posting, namely "Remains of the Royal Naval Hospital" prompted me to look for some air photos around the area near Queen's Road East.  I found an air-photo taken in the year of 1949 which clearly shows the old Wanchai Govt School.  Adjacent to its east was the old English Methodist Church.  Some cars were parked outside the Church on the pavement.

Air photo of Wanchai Govt School 1949

I refer to my previous posted photo of QRE in 1937 which shows the old English Methodist Church and the upper part of a pitched roof structure (which I thought was part of the Wanchai Government School).  In fact, the pitched roof structure was part of a 3-storey building to the south west of the Wanchai Govt School as shown edged green on plan.



English Methodist Church at QRE in 1937

Hi Richard,

Thank you very much for posting your Wanchai School drawing, which 100% shows the original building, pavilion, and surrounding walls.   I was a small boy when I was studying at that School, but I can still recall the features of the main school building, and its playground etc...... When it rained, drops of water were running through the tiles down the classroom.  We used buckets placed on floor to collect the water drops.   Teachers going into, or leaving the classroom had to carry umbrella with them in rainy days.

You must spend quite sometime for the drawing.  I am sure other Wanchai School old classmates will appreciate your drawing too.   I hope you don't mind if I post your drawing to them.

kind regards


Dear David,

Thank you very much for your help to allow this video to be viewed in your website, youtube and facebook.  I hope that other viewers would like it.

best regards