New on Gwulo: 2024, week 09

Submitted by David on Sun, 03/03/2024 - 12:00

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website:


  • Last week's newsletter, Who were the family in these photos?, had some great responses: Gwulo's readers identified the family and the buildings in the photos, then to round it off we heard from a descendant of the family who has added extra information. You can read them all in the comments to the newsletter.
  • The RAS is now taking bookings for my talk on Thursday 14 March, where I'll show photos of Hong Kong's people taken in the 1880s-1950s, and tell their stories.
    It'll be held at the Visual Arts Centre on Kennedy Road, which is an excellent venue for viewing old photos - it has a large screen, the projector gives a sharp image, plus it has theatre-style seating so everyone can see the screen clearly. The RAS website has details of the talk and how to book.
  • The jurors lists for 1870, 1871, and 1872 are now online, thanks to volunteer wingcli2015's work to type them up. If you can spare 30 minutes to type up a page and help put another year's list online, please follow these instructions.
  • The next video interview from Bristol University's Hong Kong History Centre is online, Video #3: Dr Katon Lee.
    • Growing up with several family members who worked in the clothing and tailoring businesses led Katon to study the history of fashion in Hong Kong, in particular the western men's suit. He discusses the reasons local people wore them, and the success of Hong Kong tailoring with international customers - especially with American soldiers who were here during the Vietnam War.
  • If you have friends who live or grew up near Ping Shan, I wonder if they can recognise this young man - though he will be in his 70s now!
    mr chans son didi in garden by banana tree ping shan 1955
    mr chans son didi in garden by banana tree ping shan 1955, by Curly Watson


  • Readers are looking for:
  • The special offer on the five-volume set of Gwulo's books has proved popular - just over half the orders received in January and February (14 out of 25) have been for the set. As a reminder, if you order the 5-volume set you get 15% off the normal price, and free shipping worldwide






Tip - customise Gwulo's maps to show more of what you're interested in

A regular contributor recently asked me: "Why do your maps default to show all those dots and circles? I love using the maps, but why do I have to turn off the markers every time?"

To which I answered, "You don't!"

I told them that the next time they opened the maps and turned off the markers, simply bookmark the page. Then whenever they use that bookmark it will show them the map just the way they like it:

In fact you can make any adjustments to the map and bookmark it, then when you click the bookmark the map will be shown just as you left it. e.g. I know that same person does a lot of research related to early Central district, so they might want to bookmark the section of the 1845 map that shows Central.

It works on single Places, and maps of collections of Places too. And if you copy the URL from your web browser and send it in an e-mail or paste it into a comment on Gwulo, it's an easy way to show someone else a section of the map you are interested in.

e.g. last week I met a visitor at the Dorsett Hotel in Happy Valley and we were talking about how reclamation had pushed the coast so far away. I could send them a link to the 1845 map of the area around the Dorsett Hotel, showing how the view from the hotel used to be of Morrison Hill on the left, and a shallow tidal bay to the right.

Or if you're interested in pillboxes along the Gin Drinker's line you might start with our general map of pillboxes in Hong Kong. But I'd suggest you zoom in and use the 1952 map overlay. That shows the contours of the hills, and also shows the coastline roughly where it was during the war years, making it clearer why pillboxes were built where they were.

(If you're interested how it works, each time you make a change to the map I update the URL to record your changes. So the final link above has this text added to the URL: #12~22.3685~114.1876~Map_by_GovHK-1952_All~100

The sections highlighted in bold show the selected zoom level, map location, and overlay.)




St. Teresa's Hospital with Albert Villa in the background (1 17 s)
St. Teresa's Hospital with Albert Villa in the background (1 17 s), by leemym


hongkong PWD ca1955
hongkong PWD ca1955, by


hongkong view downtown ca1950
hongkong view downtown ca1950, by


hongkong stadium ca1950
hongkong stadium ca1950, by


Dusty old camphor wood chest
Dusty old camphor wood chest, by aagg


 Pre-War Staff Records and List of Officers due to Retirement & Long Leave HKRS642-2-1
Pre-War Staff Records and List of Officers due to Retirement & Long Leave HKRS642-2-1, by wongchungman


The ruins of the Bernacchi's Tea Planation store front
The ruins of the Bernacchi's Tea Planation store front, by tngan


Gilman Old Photos 3
Gilman Old Photos 3, by bridget527


Gilman Old Photos 1
Gilman Old Photos 1, by bridget527


Castle Peak CLP Plant under construction.
Castle Peak CLP Plant under construction., by gichmis


Castle Peak power station site
Castle Peak power station site, by IDJ


Rickshaws with large diameter wheels
Rickshaws with large diameter wheels, by IDJ


Hung hom dockyards headquarters house (positive print)
Hung hom dockyards headquarters house (positive print), by Klaus


Hung Hom Dockyards
Hung Hom Dockyards, by Herostratus


HMS Hermes in drydock hung Hom
HMS Hermes in drydock hung Hom, by Herostratus


HMS Powerful in No1 Dock
HMS Powerful in No1 Dock , by Herostratus


Fook Wah Ma-Jong & Ivory Manufactory
Fook Wah Ma-Jong & Ivory Manufactory, by Klaus


1950s Po Lin Trail Pai Lau
1950s Po Lin Trail Pai Lau, by moddsey


Aerial view of Kai Tak Airfield & Kowloon City
Aerial view of Kai Tak Airfield & Kowloon City, by Herostratus


plane on fire kai tak 1 1954
plane on fire kai tak 1 1954, by Curly Watson


Click to see all recently added photos.