Barbara Anslow remembers old Hong Kong. Part 1: 1927-29

Submitted by David on Thu, 03/31/2016 - 14:15

In February I visited Barbara Anslow for a chat about her memories of moving to Hong Kong in 1927, aged eight years old. Below the recording I've added photos and additional notes.

(E-mail subscribers, if you can't see the player, please view the web version of this page.)

Additional notes:

  • 00:27: Barbara as a young girl:
    Barbara aged 9


  • 00:37: Rosyth Dockyard, Scotland - Map, and Crombie village - Map
  • 01:27: Chatham Dockyard - Map
  • 02:13: Tilbury Docks - Map
  • 02:15: The P&O ship, RMS Rawalpindi:
    RMS Rawalpindi


  • 04:41: c.1928 reclaiming off Wanchai using rocks and soil from Morrison Hill:
    c.1928 Praya East Reclamation


  • 05:18: The Central British School was on Nathan Road at this time. (Later Barbara also calls it "KGV", but that name was only used from the late 1940s onwards.) The old Nathan Road building still exists today, and is now the home of the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO). Here's a photo of staff and prefects at the school in 1933:
    CBS Prefects 1933 Mr Nightingale


  • 05:20: A Kowloon Junior School pupil heading to school by rickshaw in the 1930s:
    1930s KJS Pupil on Rickshaw


  • 06:09: This photo shows the Victoria Junior School in 1969, a later name for the old Garrison School:
    Victoria Junior School 1969


  • 07:08: Here's the view of the nullah below 98, Kennedy Road, with laundry drying on the railings and the Naval Hospital on the hill in the background:
    Stone Nullah Lane, Royal Naval Hospital


  • 09:30: Looking out over the Bowen Road Military Hospital to the Naval Dockyard:
    1907 View over BMH & Naval Yards to Harbour


  • 09:40: The Victoria Recreation Club with its swimming baths:
    Victoria Recreation Club - 1908 Clubhouse


    VRC pool 1950 regular galas held.Cross harbour races ended at the club houseIMG_20150112_0007.jpg


  • 09:57: The chimney of the dockyard's generating station shortly after completion:
    c.1906 Hong Kong's landmark building?


  • 11:15: Launch OC409 at Stonecutters Island for swimming:
    1930s OC409 at Stonecutters Island


  • 11:55: Notes on playing "chucks":
  • 13:39: The King Edward Hotel missing its roof after the big fire:
    c.1930 Royal Building


  • 14:40: Barbara's novel is called "The Young Colonials". Unfortunately it is out of print but occasionally second-hand copies can be bought:
  • 15:30: Sheerness Dockyard - Map
  • 15:40: HMS Ganges - Map

Thanks to Barbara for sharing her stories with us, and for everyone who has shared the photos I've used above to illustrate this talk.

Thanks also to Annemarie Evans who lent me a recorder for this trip and gave me helpful tips on how to get a clearer recording.

If you know someone with interesting stories to tell about old Hong Kong, why not have a chat with them and record & share the conversation? You don't need any special equipment or a big budget:

  • most modern phones will record a conversation well enough to share
  • if you need to make any adjustments to the sound the Audacity software is free to use
  • to share it you can post it to Youtube, also free of charge
  • then just leave a link to your video in the comments below.

Also on this week: