Friday, October 7, 2016

Sunset - Paul Chin Pei (1971) - Tai Wo Ping Road, Tai Wo Ping

The very first scene in Sunset is a sequence taken from a car as it drives around a sharp curve in a road. At the time I had no idea where it could be and the sequence is so short I really just forgot about it until I went back to redo the screen captures.

When I first looked at Sunset it was when I was still living in Tai Po back in 2011, but since moving to Kowloon in 2012 many places are now familiar including this one. The reason is because I walk down this very same stretch of road everyday as I take my son to school in Cheung Sha Wan. It's quite strange to see what it looked like all those years ago (in fact, before I was born...just).

Here is the sequence.


The flyover in the distance is the old Tai Wo Ping Interchange that joined Lung Cheung Road (coming down from the right) onto the westbound lane of Tai Po Road. The road the camera is on (according to an aerial photograph of the area) connected Lung Cheung Road onto the eastbound side of Tai Po Road by way of a rather sharp hairpin bend just beyond the view of the camera (though if you look closely you can see a small hint of the bend on the lower right of the last screencap).

I honestly had no idea that the road I had been walking on every day once served this purpose. The existence of the HKWW Salt water pumping station (built 1967, see below) at the end of the current road made me think it was just a service road for that building. These days that's all it is anyway (although it also often serves as an illegal parking zone for tired truckers) and we use it to walk down the side of the Chak On Estate to access a pedestrian bridge that takes us onto the other side of Tai Po Road.

Anyway, on the way to pick up my son from school yesterday I took a few moments to capture what it looks like now. On the right is the HKWW Salt Water pumping station (dated 1967) whose wall can be seen in the top screen grab on the right.


The crash barriers mark the end of the current road and where the old section was removed. On the left is a square concrete hole that is actually a common form of structure covering a turn in the gutter (it stops the water splashing out all over the road). Comparing it to the top screen grab you can see it was there back in 1971 and shows how much more of the slope was cut away when the flyover in front was built. The view beyond has changed drastically as well because the old H blocks of the Li Cheng Uk estate have been replaced by high rise versions.


The picture below shows the old wall I was just talking about, but also what happened to where the road once turned down. It was all chopped away to make space for the flyover.


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