Post office's Kowloon sorting office? [c.1946-c.1967] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Post office's Kowloon sorting office? [c.1946-c.1967]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1946-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Date Place demolished: 
c.1967-12-31 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)

I'm looking for any information about, and especially any clear photos of this building, for a project I'm working on. Please can anyone help?

It was a low building, in two long sections, each with a single, sloping roof. It was on the south side of Salisbury Road, opposite the YMCA. You can see it directly above the car and motorbikes in this 1949 photo:

HE Arrives Outside Peninsula Hotel
HE Arrives Outside Peninsula Hotel, by Gordon Randall

 

I believe the building was the post office's Kowloon Sorting Office, and possibly also the Army Post Office.

Here's a brief mention from page 24 of The Government and the People:

The Post Office has three main mail centres, the General Post Office in Hong Kong, the Kowloon Sorting Office in Salisbury Road and a modern air mail centre at Kai Tak, to which air mail from all offices is circulated.

Here's a better description of the building and its surroundings. It's a google translation of the original (see bottom of http://www.cpa-hk.net/postCHAN/2004-10/200410.htm), but the meaning is fairly clear:

Kowloon Central Post Office from the 1967 began to serve the public, due to Lishibali Road, Tsim Sha Tsui letter sorting sparse enough space applications ( ie Kowloon the Sorting Office) . The site was originally left behind by the British military postal department down at a time when the Tsim Sha Tsui ( ie KPO --- Kowloon Post Office / Tsim Sha Tsui) was built in 1928 Between, was not enough applications where a 1950 -year era, received British military postal department The office (APO --- Army Post Office) , although the venue is not connected, can only be reached within two minutes by foot. As for the utilization of the middle open space, the fire department is trained by the Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station.

On this 1963 map, the two long buildings are divided into two L-shaped sections, possibly showing a split between the civilian and military use.

1963 map of TST

I've guessed the years this building existed to be 1946-1968: I don't see it in any pre-WW2 photos, instead this was an open area with now buildings. The quote above suggests the sorting office moved to the new Kowloon Central Post Office when it opened in 1967. 

This building is shown at the end of the 1955 movie, Soldier of Fortune. You can watch it on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w38jwdbz9Y) - jump to 1:34:12 to see the scene.

Any corrections, extra details, and especially leads to any sharp photos welcome!

Photos that show this place

Comments

The building was still standing until at least April 1968.  I parked there every day before taking the Star Ferry to work until my office moved to Kowloon in April 1968.

 

To my recollection you are correct. It was definitely a mail sorting shed. I remember during the mid-1960s the windows were usually always open and you could see large rattan baskets inside , piled up with mail. 

KCR had their own  railway mail wagons arriving at the Tsim Sha Tsui rail terminus. The wagons' contents would be off-loaded onto large trolleys which were then towed around into the sorting centre.

During the height of the Cultural Revolution in 1967 post office workers and KCR staff had to deal with some pretty alarming discoveries when the mail and cargo trains from Mainland reached the station.

KCR Tsim Sha Tsui Station - Cultural Revolution - 1967
KCR Tsim Sha Tsui Station - Cultural Revolution - 1967,  Chinarail collection - ( photographer unknown)

Freight trains arriving from the Mainland had their wagons festooned with communist slogans. This also included some disturbing additions hanging  down the wagon sides. The slogan daubed on the end of the wagon reads 打倒英帝 (" Da Dao Yingdi" - equivalent to "Down with British Imperialism" ) 

In the early 1950s I knew it as The Post Office. As a child I remember the inside clearly, at least the memory is clear.  As you entered the counter ran across the room parallel with the back wall. There were working counters for customers to the L and R of the door.  I believe we collected parcels from there.  I used the YMCA Library across the road once a week after my swimming lessons in the Pool. I will ask my sister what she remembers, we ususally went together.

Thanks for the memories, and for that remarkable photo!

Stephen & Trifles, please can I double-check we're talking about the same building? The subject of this page was a plain building with two sloping roofs, believed to be the sorting office, and opposite the YMCA. Here's another view of it:

1950s TST KCR Train Queue
1950s TST KCR Train Queue, by Shamblesguru

 

But to confuse things, a short distance along Salisbury Road, opposite the old Marine Police HQ, was the post office itself, where you could go for counter service. Here's how it looked:

1971 TST Post Office
1971 TST Post Office, by eternal1966e

I think the Post Office building, stepheneroberts is describing,  is the building beyond the mail sorting office Gwulu was asking about. The Post Office proper was closer to the station and the Star Ferry

You can see this building clearer in these links:

https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/7isicm/destruction_of_kowloon_kcr_railway_station_1978/

https://gwulo.com/atom/12519