Old tenement house remains on Cochrane Street [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Old tenement house remains on Cochrane Street [????- ]

Current condition: 
PAK_0090.jpg, by kattylaw

These old house remains can be found on Cochrane Street right next to the escalator. The area is fenced off on Cochrane Street side but one can find a small alleyway beside No.108-110 Wellington Street to get close to the site. According to our map search and study of the building materials, they appear to be remains of 19th-century tenement houses built side-by-side and back-to-back, between Cochrane Street and Gutzlaff Street. The parts which are revealed could be the kitchens (cookhouses) of the Gutzlaff Street houses. Tim Ko, a local historican, estimated that these houses could date back to the mid 19th century - possibly the oldest surviving residential houses in the area. They were built with grey bricks with granite foundations. There could be enclosed space within the structure which will need an archaeological investigation.

Can members provide more information about these houses? We are hoping to date these houses more accurately and to know more about them. Cochrane Street and Gutzlaff Street are some of the oldest streets in the City of Victoria and the area was developed early in the coloinal period.

Identification of these houses are important to establish their significance and potential for preservation.

Photos that show this place


PAK_0149.jpg, by kattylaw


PAK_0111.jpg, by kattylaw


PAK_0107.jpg, by kattylaw


PAK_0092.jpg, by kattylaw


A couple of other ideas to find out about the site - have you got the history of the Lot of land that they're on? It looks to be Inland Lot 104. The low number shows it is a very old site.

Was there any study made of the area as part of the project to build the esacalator? Modern projects of this size have an Environmental Impact Assessment document that often includes interesting historical information about the area.

I'll be interested to hear what else you learn about the site.

Regards, David

Yes David, the site is located within Inland Lot 104 which is a very old lot (commencement of lease term: 22 January 1844 for 999 years). It covers parts of Nos. 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33 Cochrane Street and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 Gutzlaff Street and contains remains of houses that once stood there.

Some early history of the area:

This area was known as the Middle Bazaar in the early 1840s. According to Carl Smith who wrote about the Chinese Settlement of British Hong Kong in his book A Sense of History: Studies in the Social and Urban History of Hong Kong (1995), the Middle Bazaar of Chung Wan was an area now embraced by Peel, Graham, Gutzlaff and Gage Streets. It was also sometimes referred to as the Upper Bazaar. This was where the Chinese lived and traded.

Governor Henry Pottinger was not pleased with the location of the Middle Bazaar as it formed a barrier between the two parts of the town in which Europeans were located, and it has become the haunt of a bad element. In December 1843, Pottinger wrote that "that part of town known as the Upper Bazaar I propose to remove altogether, at present it is inhabited by Chinese of the lowest description, which are a nuisance to the neighbourhood." The area was to be divided into lots which would be suitable either for the shops and dwellings of Europeans or "respectable Chinese". These lots were sold at public auction on 22 January 1844 (this should include Inland Lot 104).

Tai Ping Shan was the site chosen for the relocation of the Chinese inhabitants, who were given notice that they must vacate within six months. By September, 1844, all the old structures in the Middle Bazaar had been removed and the lots were prepared for occupation for their new owners. 

By the 1860s, some Chinese had become quite wealthy (some were actually successful merchants while in Canton before coming to HK), many of them were associated with Nam Pak Hong trading which was thriving as early as 1860s.   There were others who got rich through land speculation.  The transformation of the area around Cochrane Street from a European residential/commercial area into a Chinese area might start from this period.  In the book City of Victoria, Dr Joseph Ting wrote that Chinese bought many lots in the area in the 1870s. But Tim Ko thought the transformation might have been started earlier, perhaps in the 1860s.  So the area was inhibited by Chinese in the early 1840s, then in 1844 the residents were forced to leave, Europeans bought the lots and built their own houses, and in the 1860s and 1870s the Chinese gradually returned, and since then became a Chinese district again.  

An old photo of Cochrane Street from late 1860s shows the street lined with tenement houses of three to four storeys high, mostly with shops on the ground level. 


Here's a map of the area in 1897, showing the layout of the buildings at that time:

1897 map of Cochrane Street


Thanks David. The site covers parts of a group of buildings in No. 21-33 Cochrane Street and No. 2-10 Gutzlaff Street. They are likely to be buildings constructed before the 1903 Public Health and Buildings Ordinance, which specified the requirement for scavenging lanes to be maintained between the back of tenement houses.

From the 1897 map, we can see those tenement houses are built back to back, a feature that we won't find today.

Let's dig out more information about when exactly this group of buildings were built.

Hi there,

Today's (Sunday) Ming Pao has two articles about it.   For English readers, Google Translate is translating into Pidgin at best.  I will try to do a precis of it later if I could.  Have to go out in a moment.


Hi there,

Sorry, unable to do the precis for now.  But the post could be sum up to one sentence: "The AMO is not going to grade the site".

More later.


While the AMO said that it would not grade the site, we must insist that they release the investigation report and consult the public about the significance of the site and the need for preservation. Members of the public are discovering more and more information about the site (see Ming Pao article http://news.mingpao.com/pns/dailynews/web_tc/article/20160306/s00005/145...) and the AMO is telling the press that it is still conducting the investigation.

We will not take no for an answer.

Patrick Hase's talk includes a section that talks about the development of the Middle Bazaar. It starts at 3:05 in the video at: http://gwulo.com/atom/19504

The Antiquities and Monuments Office has released its assessment of the site on 10 March 2016 after I filed a request under the code of access to information. It provides more information about the site which supports its significance.


Code on Access to Information Application No. 8/2016

Historic Building Appraisal
Old House Remains
in the rears of Cochrane Street and Gutzlaff Street, Central, H.K.


Historical Interest

Hong Kong street names were by and large taken from British politicians, military figures and local civil servants. Cochrane Street (閣麟街) was named after Sir Thomas John Cochrane (1789-1872), who became commander of the British naval forces in the Far East in 1843 and flew his flag in HMS Agincourt based in Hong Kong. He left the city in 1847 but left his mark in the name of the street. Gutzlaff Street (吉士笠街) bears the name of Karl Friedrich August Gutzlaff (1803-1851), a missionary and sinologist who took on other secular posts as interpreter, magistrate, assistant secretary of Chinese affairs, and chief secretary to the Superintendent of Trade and the then Hong Kong Governor. Cochrane Street and Gutzlaff Street are parallel to each other. Lying in the middle of the earliest developed part of the Central District, they had been laid out by 1846 which can be seen from a historical picture of that year.

Trade and commerce brought wealth and prosperity to the City of Victoria, which in turn attracted a huge inflow of capital and people, so that by 1847 the city population had risen to 23,900, up from only a few thousand before the British takeover in 1841. The area embraced by nowadays’ Cochrane, Gutzlaff, Graham and Peel Streets was a Chinese settlement referred to in colonial records as Middle Bazaar. Life was made more vibrant by the wide range of goods for sale and the amount of hawker activity which occurred at pavement level. Such was the situation when, in 1900, the famous comprador Robert Ho Tung (何東) bought the house fronting on to No. 33 Cochrane Street partly as a speculation. And, in 1916 his younger brother Ho Kom Tong (何甘棠) bought the houses

fronting on to Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 Gutzlaff Street and owned them for a while. According to the land records, Ho Kom Tong sold some of the buildings, e.g. Nos. 8 and 10 Gutzlaff Street in December 1916, shortly after their acquisition.

In between Cochrane and Gutzlaff Streets and running from No. 110 Wellington Street (威靈頓街), there is an alley previously called Yim Fong Lane (艷芳里), earlier known in the nineteenth century as 染房里, meaning “dyer alley” that reflects the early presence of that industry in this area. Also from this point, walking into the alleyway, where we can see a rear yard with sections of  brick walls and granite foundations. They are remains of old tenement houses (commonly called “Tong Lau” 唐樓 in Hong Kong) which can possibly be dated from the pre-1903 era.

The exact date of construction of the old tenement houses is unknown, but there might be evidence to show that they had existed in the 1880s, and remained there until the 1960s and 70s. In three consecutive years from 1882, the Registrar General proclaimed in the Government Gazette that various floors of the houses at Nos. 2, 6 and 8 Gutzlaff Street were Unlicensed Brothels. In June 1895, when the plague of Hong Kong spread far and wide, the policemen in charge of the Special Sanitary Service identified basement dwellings at Nos. 25, 29 and 31 Cochrane Street. In the Medical Officer of Health’s report during the half-year ending 30 June 1901, there was a case of infection of bubonic fever occurring at No. 2 Gutzlaff Street. The back-to-back layout, which is a character defining element of nineteenth century tenement houses up to 1903, is evidently shown in historical maps and block plans of houses in various years. However, there is still no concrete information to indicate that the buildings on the addresses mentioned above were the buildings of the remains now found on site.

The old tenements at Nos. 25, 27, 29 and 31 Cochrane Street and Nos. 2, 4 and 6 Gutzlaff Street were in poor and dilapidated conditions in the 1960s and early 1970s. The brick piers supporting the rear walls were bulged and the brickwork of some party walls was fractured. In addition, much of the structural timbers were in decayed condition. But they still provided tenement homes for people and within the space subdivision into cubicles for subletting were common, until they were declared by the Building Authority to be in a dangerous condition, and have since been demolished and mostly redeveloped. When the Central-Mid Levels Escalator was built in the 1990s, the front parts of the house lots at Cochrane Street were earmarked to make way for this novelty. Now, this part of Cochrane Street is much wider, the ground underneath the Escalator was laid, by taking the space that has been the parcels of the ground of the old tenement houses.

Architectural Merit

The old house remains on the site include sections of walls built of bricks (often with granite foundations) which were common back walls of two rows of connected tenement houses at Cochrane Street and Gutzlaff Street, and the back- to-side walls of the old houses at Nos. 21 and 23 Cochrane Street and Nos. 1 and 2 Yim Fong Lane. On research and site inspection it is confirmed that they are the remains of tenement houses which can be traced back to pre-1903 as the Public Health and Buildings Ordinance (No. 1 of 1903) was introduced in 1903 providing remedial measures to avoid the outbreak of plague and other diseases that had flourished in the nineteenth century and requiring, among other things, every new domestic building erected on land that was leased before 1903 to be provided with “open space” equivalent to no less than one-third of the roofed- over area of the building. It also required the provision of a “scavenging lane” of at least 6 feet wide (about 1.8 m) at the rear. With these rules, the style of tenement houses changed considerably for the better, and buildings with improved access and ventilation began to replace the previous cluttered tenements. This means that the rows of tenements facing parallel streets could no longer be built back to back, and the new service back lane helped improve sanitary conditions by having the space to allow in lighting and ventilation, and for waste disposal.

The old houses at Cochrane and Gutzlaff Streets and two adjoining houses at Yim Fong Lane had been built before the stringent requirements on open space and scavenging lanes were imposed in 1903. They were built back- to-back or back-to-side, sharing common back walls that exist partially to shed light on the city’s building history when there was no provision of open space or a sanitary lane behind buildings. The areas bound by the brick walls were the cookhouses (kitchens and service areas) at the rears of the tenements at Nos. 2, 4 and 6 Gutzlaff Street. Also identified on the site are the back-to-side walls of the old houses at Nos. 21 and 23 Cochrane Street and Nos. 1 and 2 Yim Fong Lane.

Rarity, Built Heritage Value & Authenticity

The tenement houses of the pre-plague times, back-to-back and back- to-side in style illustrated the spatial arrangements of the contemporary dwellings of ordinary Chinese people. While the remains of the buildings cannot reflect the livelihood of that time, they can possibly serve to illustrate that particular style of residential buildings of common people.

Most of the living areas or the domestic parts of the old tenement houses had been demolished and replaced by modern apartment blocks, only leaving behind portions of the old common back walls and party walls. Due to redevelopment that had taken place, it is no longer possible for us to see the whole depth of the tenement houses from street front to the rear cookhouse area and the entire buildings.

Social Value & Local Interest

The old house remains are reminiscent of the city’s past before the Public Health and Buildings Ordinance was passed in 1903 to set new standards for the design of domestic buildings.

Group Value

The old house remains are a reminder of a former age and style. They are in proximity to Wing Woo Grocery Shop (永和雜貨舖) which has been earmarked by the Urban Renewal Authority for preservation, and other historic sites like Central Police Station Compound (declared monument).



Congratulations on getting this into the Public Domain.

We are asking the AMO for a full report - the appraisal previously posted is not complete and there are gaps in its statements. Nevertheless the significance of the house remains can be established - they are the only surviving remains in Hong Kong of a cluster of back-to-back and back-to-side tenenment houses dated to the second half of the 19th century. They reflect the livelihood of the city during the pre-plague era (pre 1903 Public Health and Buildings Ordinance) - when the common chinese people lived in tightly-built tong laus. This is the only example we can find in Hong Kong and therefore should be preserved in-situ!

I completely agree, and applaud your efforts. It's amazing that there are still remnants of that era left in such a highly built up part of the city.  I very much hope they can be preserved. It is exactly this type of heritage (if preserved sympathetically) that needs to be showcased in Hong Kong.  Please keep it up! 

Hi David, have you come across maps showing the layout of buildings that are earlier than the 1897 one you posted?

Many thanks

That's the earliest I remember that shows the building layouts - others just show the shape of the lots.

Regards, David

Important ownership information about this site links to Douglas Lapraik, James Bridges Endicott, Ng Akew (legendary Hung Mo Kew), Ho Tung and Ho Kom Tong

According to land transaction records, Inland Lot 104, the plot where the old house remains stand today, was first auctioned in 1844, and after a few transactions the lot was purchased by a Scotsman Douglas Lapraik (1818-1869) in 1847 (IL104 Section A) and 1848 (IL104 Remaining Portion) respectively. Douglas came to Hong Kong in 1843 and founded a fine clock and watch business. The very successful establishment allowed him to buy lands at the harbour front and build dockyards. He founded a steamship company later on and took part in the building of the Whampoa Dock Company, with his steamboats sailing all over the Chinese coastal area. Douglas was also a shrewd investor. He owned many properties in Central and built a castle in his name in Pokfulam for residence, which is made the University Hall of the University of Hong Kong today. In 1862 Douglas donated generously for a tall clock tower at the junction of Pedder Street and Queen’s Road and the landmark stood on the site for over 50 years. Douglas Street in Central is named after this great businessman. 

In July 1847, Douglas sold Inland Lot 104 section A, i.e. Nos. 2-10 Gutzlaff Street, to American captain James B. Endicott (1815-1870). What makes the whole story interesting is that Endicott gave Ng Akew, a Chinese woman, this plot of land in 1852 in the form of a trust.  

Ng Akew, also known as Red-haired Kew (Hung Mo Kew), was a Tanka boat woman. She lived under Endicott’s protection between 1842-52 and gave birth to five children. In those days, Chinese women having a non-marital relationship with the westerners and hence under their protection were called the ‘protected women’. Ng was fearless and savvy. In the early years, she transported and traded in opium and once went to negotiate with the pirates for seizing her goods.  Akew made a huge profits out of property investment and became the leader of a group of protected women. Her story is recorded in  Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women: V. 1: The Qing Period, 1644-1911  and a recent publication by the University of Hong Kong, The Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography.

A cosmopolitan neighbourhood

According to local historian Rev. Carl Smith (1918-2008), the nineteenth-century Cochrane Street, Gutzlaff Street, Graham Street and Peel Street constituted a hybrid area of many ethnicities and classes. Inhabiting the area were Chinese, Indian, Parsee, Portuguese and Macanese, a few Europeans, prostitutes and protected women.     Contrary to the homogeneity of the Chinese Taipingshan area on the west and the European commercial district on the east, this ‘in between’ area was the haven for these protected women and their protectors.  

Ng Akew settled in Hong Kong in 1852 and lived in the tenements in Nos. 2-10 Gutzlaff Street. Her legend and power inscribed her name into the space and the popular name Hung Mo Kew Street (‘Red-haired Kew Street’) was coined for Gutzlaff Street.  Since Inland Lot 104A was held under a trust set up by Endicott with Douglas Lapraik as the trustee, Akew was able to live there with her daughter even after she went bankrupt in 1878. The ownership of the lot was only returned to the Endicott family in 1914, probably after Ng Akew passed away. 

While Ng Akew lived in the area, Central was swept by a terrific fire which broke out on Christmas night in 1878, changing the cityscape in one go. According to subsequent news reports, the fire alarm went off at 11pm but the festivity of the day numbed the cautiousness of people and delayed the rescue. More than three hundred houses were reduced to debris, covering an area from Queen’s Road Central up to Hollywood Road, from Pottinger Street in the east to Staveley Street in the west. These included all the houses on Cochrane Street and Gutzlaff Street.   

Back-to-back tenement houses

The devastated area was rebuilt in 1879. Inland Lot 104 was rebuilt into a group of ten back-to-back tenement houses (Nos. 2-10 Gutzlaff Street and Nos. 25-33 Cochrane Street) sharing common back walls. Such back-to-back design which maximised the liveable space was a popular built form in the 19th century. The packed, poorly-ventilated and filthy environment contributed to the spread of diseases. In 1894, the epidemic outbreak of bubonic plague in Hong Kong claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people within a few years. Remedial measures to regulate building standards were put forward in the 1903 Public Health and Buildings Ordinance which required new buildings to have a scavenging lane, or service back lane of at least 1.8 meters in width. With this new regulation, back-to-back tenement houses were no longer allowed and thus gradually faded out from the urban landscape. 

Yet the ten back-to-back tenement houses built between 1879-80 continued to stand on Inland Lot 104 and were subsequently purchased by wealthy businessmen Ho Tung and Ho Kom Tong. These buildings had survived the Second World War and the post-war influx of refugees from China and provided shelter for the ordinary people from all walks of life. These ten buildings were eventually demolished in the  1960s and 70s, but parts of their blue-brick and granite common back walls, the side walls of three cookhouses at the rear of the Gutzlaff Street’s tenements and the basements of the Cochrane Street’s tenements, remained. The remains serve to recount the evolution of the city from the 19th century to the 20th century.

For a first hand witness report of the aftermath of the fire in 1878, read Isabella Bird's letter to her sister Henrietta, contained in the book 'Letters to Henrietta' published in 2002. The Helena May have a copy of this book.


We have set up a Facebook Page "Searching for Ong Mo Kew" in order to collect more information about Ng Akew, the legendary chinese woman who gave Gutzlaff Street its nickname Hung Mo Kew Street.


We welcome friends of Gwulo.com to contribute your findings here in this forum or in our fb page. You can see the information we have collected on this fb page.

Rev Carl Smith wrote a chapter about Ng Akew in his book A Sense of History and also in two other books Women & Chinese Patriarchy (edited by Maria Jaschok & Suzanne Miers) and Merchants' Daughters (edited by Helen F. Siu).

We woud like to know more about the life of Ng Akew in Hong Kong. She owned (under a trust by Endicott) and lived in No. 2-10 Gutzlaff Street, where the remains of the old tenement houses are found today.

The facebook page is too hard to navigate.  Patricia Lim's book has the great story of how her opium was stolen by pirates, and she found a way to bring the British Navy into the bay where the pirates were hiding with the other fishing boats.

Great story ... https://books.google.com/books?id=iaZMzPuLAggC&lpg=PA169&ots=TVnssdFzGN&...


Hong Kong conservationists unearth lost history of ‘protected woman’ in their fight to preserve Cochrane Street ruins


Activists hope the story of Ng Akew will help save the 19th century tenement housing remains from plans to redevelop the site as public open space

Harminder Singh 
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 May, 2016, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 May, 2016, 12:01pm

The ruins of a tenement house in Central at the centre of a heritage row has been revealed as the home of the leader of Hong Kong’s “protected women”.

The city’s “protected women” were in relationships with foreign men who usually provided them with financial support. They were therefore considered to be under the “protection” of these men and issued certificates of proof of their status.

Research conducted by the Central and Western Concern Group has found that one of a row of tenement houses sandwiched between Cochrane Street and Gutzlaff Street belonged to Ng Akew, a Chinese Tanka woman who was considered the leader and spokeswoman for “protected women” in the mid-1800s.

The details have been uncovered as part of a campaign by the group to have the heritage value of the stone ruins, visible from the Mid-Levels escalator just before Wellington Street, recognised by the Antiquities Advisory Board.

In March, the Antiquities and Monuments Office made a presentation to the board about the ruins, ultimately concluding that the site did not have heritage value so the site did not receive a historical grading.

A grading of one would give the government site, currently slated for redevelopment as public open space, some protection from demolition.



Local concern groups have conducted their own research of the site in a bid to protect it, and believe the site has a rich history which would justify a historical grading.

Concern group convenor Katty Law Ngar-ning said they wanted the Antiquities and Monuments Office to reappraise the area.

“We found much more information about this site than the actual appraisal. [The board] were given a very crude presentation [by the Antiquities and Monuments Office],” Law said.

The group believes there were “irregularities” in the assessment by the office, including “insufficient, untruthful and distorted information”.

Law believes the ruins date back to 1879, following the Great Fire of Hong Kong in 1878. Today, only portions of the old common back and dividing walls remain of what were 10 tenement houses.

“The most interesting feature is that they are back-to-back tenement houses, which only existed during a certain time period in Hong Kong – before the bubonic plague,” Law said.

Following the bubonic plague in 1894, the colonial government enacted the 1903 Public Health and Buildings Ordinance, prohibiting the construction of such back-to-back housing and requiring a catchment lane behind houses.

Each tenement house was about 900 sq ft. They were then subdivided in to smaller units – not unlike subdivided flats today.

“But more interesting is that we found out the ownership of the site, [belonging] to some very important people from the past,” Law said.

Hong Kong conservationists unearth lost history of ‘protected woman’ in their fight to preserve Cochrane Street ruins


Activists hope the story of Ng Akew will help save the 19th century tenement housing remains from plans to redevelop the site as public open space

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 May, 2016, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 May, 2016, 12:01pm


According to land transaction records, the site was first auctioned in 1844. After a few ownership changes, the lot facing Gutzlaff Street was sold to Douglas Lapraik in 1847, a Scottish owner of a steamship company and the owner of Douglas Castle – today’s University Hall in Pok Fu Lam. Douglas Street in Central is named after the colonial businessman. He bought the remaining half of the lot – facing Cochrane Street – the following year.

In 1847, Lapraik sold the Gutzlaff Street lot to American captain James B. Endicott who then gave the plot of land to Ng in 1852 in the form of a trust and overseen by Lapraik and another merchant, William Scott.

Akew, who had been bought by Endicott in 1842, was given this land just prior to Endicott’s marriage to a Western woman, as a form of financial security for her and two of five children she had with Endicott, who remained with her. The other three children went with Endicott back to the United States.

Ng invested in property – a rarity for Chinese women at the time – and became the leader of a group of protected women, also living within the area, according to historian Tim Ko Tim-keung.

Ng was also known as Hung Mo Kew, which is also the nickname of Gutzlaff Street.

Historians believe Ng continued to live there until her death. The trust was dissolved in 1914 and the lot was returned to the Endicott family and later sold to the Hotung family – an influential Hong Kong business and philanthropic family.

“By tracing the history of this site, we actually learned a lot about the area,” Law said.

However, modern residents of Hong Kong associate the street with “Western prostitutes”, according to Law, since the area was known to be frequented by such women in the late 19th century, and hung mo, or “red hair”, was a nickname given to Europeans at the time.

“The meaning has changed, without us understanding why. The origin of this street has been lost,” Law said.

Former Civic Party legislator Tanya Chan joined the effort in trying to preserve the remains after learning about the history of the site, particularly the story of Ng. She believes Ng’s story will help gain public interest.

“All the very technical and academic reasons have been explained to the public, We need to use some other way to arouse their interest and attention,” she said.

Along with other activists, Chan will take part in an amateur performance on Cochrane Street on Sunday, playing the part of Ng, as another way to bring attention to the site.

Chan and Law presented their recent findings to the Central and Western District Council on Thursday, and hope the council will join them in protecting the site.

“It’s important to preserve the relics because it is through these physical remains that we can visualise and understand history,” Law said.

It’s important to preserve the relics because it is through these physical remains that we can visualise and understand history

A spokeswoman for the Antiquities and Monuments Office said that because the Central and Western Concern Group had provided information that “might possibly be new information”, the Antiquities Advisory Board asked the office to “study the [new] information”, which will be reported to [the] Antiquities Advisory Board when the research is completed”.

The site is currently slated for redevelopment by the Urban Renewal Authority as public open space, but it has not yet been given to the authority.

A spokeswoman for the authority said that because the ruins were not given a grading by the Antiquities Advisory Board, “the URA will salvage as many of the stones and bricks that are in good condition as possible and incorporate them into the future public open space of the project”.

Excellent.  The Board told the Government to look at the new info.  Well done Katty.

Rev Carl Smith was interviewed by RTHK in 1999 on Hong Kong's protected women:


i'm not having any joy with this link. When I tap 'play' I'm offered the mobile app. When I tap 'log in' the next window requires the number of a HKU Library card, which I don't have. Have I missed something? Grateful for guidance. I'd really like to listen to this interview.




No problem listening to the recording - just click 'play' 

Sorry for not being able to help - can anyone help Jill? 

Use a desktop.

Hmm ... I wondered if that might be the problem. Has anyone had any success with a Mac? The message that I'm getting is You are allowed to play one AV content at a time. Please close other viewer before opening this content

 But as far as I can see I don't have another 'viewer' open. Is there something that might be open without my being aware of it?

The Legend of Hung Mo Kew - street threatre and heritage guided tour (in english and cantonese)

The discovery of remains of historic tenement houses in Cochrane and Gutzlaff Streets, Central, has led to our research on Ng Akew, a Tanka (boat) woman who came to Hong Kong in the 1850s. She fought pirates, had five children with an American sea captain and became the leader of the "protected women". Akew lived in one of the tenement houses on Gutzlaff Street and she became so famous that Gutzlaff Street was later known as Hung Mo Kew Street (Hung Mo Kew means red-haired Kew and was Ng's nickname). 

This Sunday (26 June 2016), the story will be brought alive by a street performance - "The Legend of Hung Mo Kew" on Cochrane Street. It will be our first english performance with Tanya Chan, former legislator, playing Akew, Annemarie Evans (radio host) and George Wan as narrators. There will be an english show followed by a Cantonese version.

After the show, we will take you on a guided heritage tour to see the remains of old tenement houses related to Akew.

Join us at 4pm in the Cochrane Street sitting-out area under the escalator (near Wellington Street). The historic tenement house remains will be our beatiful backdrop.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/150988095312250/


Hi Jill,

The Library site requires Adobe Flash Player plug-in.  If your MacOS Browser does not have Flash Enabled you would be unable to play the clip.