What year was this taken?

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 21:17

I just got a set of B&W negatives from eBay, and I roughly scanned this one,to see if anyone here can pinpoint what year it might have been taken? The negatives are 35mm in size, but the perforations do not fit the holder I have for my scanner, so I'm sending them out to be scanned. I'll put them up here when they come back.


Date picture taken


Hi Doug, This will be an interesting set to see. Thanks for sharing them.

This photo was taken in the early 1950s. The reclamation in Central off Connaught Road is about half-way finished.

Also note the photo above is reversed - it needs to be flipped horizontally.

Regards, David

The East Wing of Central Government Office was completed in 1954, Central Wing 1956, West Wing 1959. It seems Central Wing was not there, then it is 1954 -55 because construction work was not started on Central Wing.

In case Central Wing was there, it is 1957-58 because construction work was not started on West Wing

Looking at Alexamdra House, the parts that face Chater Road and De Voeux Rd are completed, but the part facing Princes Building isn't. So it can't be earlier than 1952, and the building was completed in either 1953 or 1954 (i'm confused as to which). ;-)

1.   Photo had been flipped horizontally;

2.   Tower of Goverment House is visible, definitely post WWII

3.   Dry dock of Naval Dockyard still exist, should be a good reference;

4.   Government Offices East Wing appeared to be there already;

5.   French Mission visible between East Wing and BOC;

6.   Albany Filter beds visible behind one of the guys;

7.   Marina House visible 

8.   Charter Bank Building isn't there yet;

9.   Old fountain at Zoological & Botanical Gardens stll exist;

10.   Barracks still exist at Garden Road.  Part of Murray House visible;

There are more, but I could not put names onto them.

Best Regards,


THanks T

3. I hadn't thought about the drydock, I'll look further

6. The Albany Filter beds? - are you looking at the area behind the man facing towards us? that's not the filterbeds, that's the flat area at the top of the botanical gardens where the Albany barracks used to stand. The new Albany building is across the road. and the filter beds are on the other side of Garden Road.

8. The Chartered Bank was completed in 1959, does anyone know when the previous one was demolished?. I've seen it in a postcard from the Coronation time, so it was still there in mid 1953. It was a couple of stories lower than the buildings on either side (if you know what I mean), so I may be that fussy blob next to the HSBC ;-)

9. I remember the old fountain from the 60's, so I don't think that helps.


The Bank of China is there (1950)

Phase 1 of Alexandra House is completed (maybe 1952), but not phase 2

the reclaimations are about 1/2 way through, as David said,
when did they start?, when were they completed? (I guess they were used as car parking for a couple of year before they worked on the Star Ferry Terminal, and that was completed in 1956.

the government pier is completed (east of the star Ferry terminal)

my gut feeling is 1953, I need to find some more "Coronation" pictures to be sure.

wouldn't it be nice if people would write the date on the back of photos ;-)


The 1955 Hong Kong Annual report says:

The reclamation, begun in 1951, of nine acres of land in a central position on the Victoria waterfront was completed in August.

So 1951-55 for the reclamation, placing the date of the photo somewhere in that range.

Regards, David

Thanks to everyone who has had a look at this photo-I wish I had gotten it scanned correctly. It is out with 19 other shots getting digitized right now. It will probably be close to two weeks before I get them back. The very best one of the bunch will be a great photo taken on the veranda of the Peak Cafe. perhaps one of these shots will narrow down the date conclusively.

I just missed a very nice HK street scene on eBay from the same seller, from the same group of negatives-I hope it eventually shows up here or on Flickr.

I flipped the image using Pixer, and used the "replace'key on Flickr to replace the reversed image, but I seem to have lost the image here-but if I click on that message I see the correct image. I'm sorry I messed it up- I thought the 'replace' function would not cause this problem

Much discussion of the Praya reclamation scheme here in the China Mail paper of 24th July 1950 - well worth a read for HK harbour history buffs. Reclamation was to start soon and it was estimated then the area between the Star Ferry island pier and the Victoria Recreation Club would be "terra firma" by the latter half of 1952. This would strongly suggest in the above photo the spring of 1952 as a strong contender for the date. Of course still open to debate for more precise dating...!

Source: The China Mail, page 10, 24th July 1950