Monday, July 6, 2015

Kung Fu Killers - Grant Page (1974) - Victoria Peak Garden, The Peak

A final showdown with Carter Wong before moving onto our next film. This time the two go head to head on top of one of the conical hills that sit in Victoria Peak Garden. The larger of the two hills currently contains a radio mast and sits right in front of the gardens pavilion. This second hill is slightly to the north and sits just next to a development known as "Overthorpe".

To reach it these days you need to take a right hand fork in Mt Austin Road just before you get to Mountain Lodge gate House but Streetview tells me there is a small sign saying "No Admission, Private Area", so I can only assume it is related to the nearby reservoir or radio station on the peak.

Carter Wong with the radio station behind him

The 1970's Wanchai reclamation in the background

The following pictures show you the hill in relation to what were (I believe) Mount Austin Mansions (centre right) and the precursor to today's Peak Gardens (centre left). The small footpath to the top of the hill and its circular base are still marked on the Govt's geoinfo map, so I am assuming it is still there behind all the foliage (you can't see them via GoogleEarth).


But why the circle at the top? I can only assume that at some point in the past before it was made off limits it perhaps housed a small pavilion. This next picture shows the view to the south with the unmistakable garden pavilion in the background (and the slope of the other aforementioned hill on the left). For those that didn't realise, the pavilion and raised terrace marks the position where the original Governor's Mansion used to stand.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Phil,

    Guess the screen capture might match one of these :

    http://gwulo.com/node/5069/photos

    T

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    1. It looks as though the private road I spoke about was the original access path for the Eyrie: http://gwulo.com/atom/18081

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    2. none of those pictures really match any of these captures Thomas. I think the prominence of this hill has diminished as the tree growth has increased and it seems to just merge into the rest of the hillside. You can vaguely make out its shape when you look up from Peak Gardens area, but that's about it.

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  2. I'm with T here, and arrived at the conclusion independently. I tried and tried to figure out what the circle at the hilltop could be, and eventually stumbled on the same page T found by myself.

    If you look at this map:

    http://gwulo.com/node/9285

    Then the hilltop circle sits just slightly south of where you see the words "Bahar Lodge" on the overlay. The Eyrie (as shown in T's link) is just northwest of the hilltop circle, and directly north of it is Signal Station.

    Now look at the second image from T's link, shot in 1880, and there's really only one place the hilltop circle can be:

    http://gwulo.com/atom/13100

    Follow the line down from where it says "The Haystack" and where it meets the mountaintops, follow just right to the next small, unmarked peak. That, I'm pretty certain, is where the hilltop circle will one day be. (It's not there yet, because it's not marked on the much later 1909 map.)

    The same little peak sits between the "6, 7" and "8, 9" labels on this 1890 image:

    http://gwulo.com/atom/13091

    And near the top right corner of the frame in this ~1895 shot:

    http://gwulo.com/atom/12351

    And I'm thinking this is it too, in the 1920s:

    http://gwulo.com/atom/14597

    There's still no sign of anything marked there as of a 1950 map, just an empty space between Signal Station, the covered reservoir, Raven Court (according to its Gwulo entry, that should be Ravencourt or sometimes Ravens Court), and finally, the dog-leg in Peak Road.

    So whatever it was for, that circle would appear to postdate the 1950s. The peak itself is certainly visible in some of the photos at T's link, but the feature hasn't been constructed yet. What we need is a newer map of the area, probably 1960s-70s if I had to guess.

    http://gwulo.com/atom/17344

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    1. yes, you can definitely make out the hill top in several pictures, but I was just saying that none of them match the view of the screencaps.

      I wonder if they were considering putting another belvedere up there at some point - the circular path seems to have had some purpose even if it was never realised...

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