Gwulo's 2006 Top Ten
While many of Gwulo's subscribers are stuck at home, I'm going to try sending out an extra mid-week newsletter as bonus reading material. I'll go back through the years the website has been running, and introduce the ten most popular pages from each year.
Our oldest pages are from 2005, all four of them! They first appeared under my pen name MrB, published on the Batgung.com website that I ran in cooperation with Mr Tall. After a slow start, I started writing about Hong Kong's history on a more regular basis in 2006. Here are the ten most popular pages from that year, based on how many times each page has been viewed.
#10 - Tunnels under Mount Parish (17,965 views)
The old tunnels dug as air-raid shelters in WW2 first got me hooked on investigating Hong Kong's history. After noticing blocked up entrances in Hong Kong's hillsides, I found maps and reports about the tunnels at the government's CEDD library that helped explain their background.
Here's one of the entrances to the Mount Parish tunnels you may have seen. It's on Queen's Road East near to Wah Yan College.
The entrances up above Kennedy Road are bricked up, but I was able to poke my camera through a gap, and remember being excited to see what they looked like inside.
Read more about the Tunnels under Mount Parish.
#9 - A.R.P. Tunnels in Central (20,464 views)
The Air Raid Precaution (A.R.P.) tunnels in Central have mostly disappeared from sight and memory. In this article I followed the route of the tunnels in the area, looking for signs of their presence. The old tunnel entrances on either side of the Duddell Street steps are still visible, though at the time the one on the left was almost all covered up:
Again, a closer look showed the tunnel leading back into the hillside.
There was clearer evidence of the tunnels to be seen further up the hill.
Read more about the A.R.P. Tunnels in Central.
#8 - Hong Kong history on the MTR (23,944 views)
Taking a break from air raid shelters, I talked about the history behind some of the station names along the MTR line. There weren't any major discoveries, but the comments are a good example of how contributors help correct and expand on each article. You'll see contributors moddsey and tngan mentioned in those comments from 2006, and I'm happy to say they are still contributing to Gwulo.com over 14 years later.
Read more about Hong Kong history on the MTR.
#7 - Air-raid shelters under Kowloon Park (25,652 views)
This page only has a few paragraphs and a couple of photos, but it was the first of the ARP tunnels that I paid attention to. Gwulo started here!
Read more about the Air-raid shelters under Kowloon Park.
#6 - Mount Parish history (41,117 views)
This was a return visit to Mount Parish, to find out more about the area. The article combines modern photos taken on a walk around the area with older postcard views and maps to show how the area used to be. That's still a favourite recipe of mine today.
Read more about Mount Parish history.
#5 - A guided walk around Mount Davis (49,143 views)
We lived in Kennedy Town and Shek Tong Tsui for over 20 years, and this was one of our regular morning walks. The MTR hadn't reached Kennedy Town back in 2006, so the roads were quieter then. It's still a good walk though even today, with plenty to see along the route.
Read more about A guided walk around Mount Davis.
#4 - Life in Hong Kong's ARP tunnels (55,110 views)
After finding out where and how the Air Raid Precaution tunnels were built, I started wondering what it was like for the people who sheltered inside them during the fighting in December 1941. The initial article is just a short one, with a few notes and then requests for information. Then there are several interesting additions in the comments that follow. (New information information is still very welcome, so please go ahead and leave a comment on any page that you can more detail to.)
Read more about Life in Hong Kong's ARP tunnels.
#3 - Victoria City, Hong Kong (58,126 views)
On the walk around Mount Davis, we saw one of the granite stones that marked out the boundary of the City of Victoria.
This article followed the route of the old boundary, looking for the other stones. There were still seven of them in 2006, but since then one has been destroyed by an over-enthusiastic slope-maintenance team.
Read more about Victoria City, Hong Kong.
#2 - Royden House Junior and Senior School (190,447 views)
Look how many times this page has been viewed. It wasn't written by me, so maybe that's the secret!
The school first opened in the 1950s, and these pages gather memories from alumni who studied there from the 1960s til the 1990s.
Read more about Royden House Junior and Senior School.
#1 - Photos of old Hong Kong (261,329 views)
The most popular page from 2006 lists some of the best collections of old Hong Kong photos that are out there on the internet. I hadn't started buying old photos of Hong Kong back then - that wouldn't begin until 2009.
If you like seeing how Hong Kong used to look, you'll easily spend an hour or two browsing through these collections.
Read more about Photos of old Hong Kong.
If you'd like to see more of the top pages from 2006, here's the full list.
Next week we'll take a look at the top ten pages from 2007, and if readers enjoy this format I'll keep on posting the years' top tens until we reach the current day.