Friday, September 12, 2014

Yellowthread Street (TV Series) - Bruce Payne (1990) - Various aerial pictures of Central, Hong Kong

No specific locations here but some nice aerial views taken from the opening section of Episode 6: Fan Tan Man. The quality isn't great (remember, these are screen grabs from a DVD that was made from a VHS copy that was done when the original series was shown in the UK back in 1990/91 (can't remember when it was exactly - I just wish ITV would release a proper restored DVD...)

The first two pictures give us a nice view across the Central harbourfront. The little bit of harbour water seen on the lower right on the bottom picture has now all been reclaimed and those piers you can see have completely gone.

The above picture shows the area around the (now named) Lippo Centre. We can see Hong Kong Park being created from the old Victoria Barracks and the tall building on the left is the Queensway Govt Offices. Just to the left of that is the shell of what was to become the Island Shangri-La (2 Pacific Place). Eagle-eyed readers may also spot the Hongkong Hilton just behind the B.O.C tower.

Again, another shot that is now be water-less courtesy of the reclamation that the IFC sits on top of. Of course we can see the old (and better located) Star Ferry piers and to the right of there is the last incarnation of Blake Pier. Actually, until I saw this I wasn't too sure where it was but now I can see it started right next to the GPO in front of Jardine House. I guess Man Yiu Street occupies some of that now.

The last few shots show the old helicopter landing pad that used to sit on the waterfront in front of Caine House (that's the low-rise building we can see at various distances on all three snaps, but is at the background on the lower picture) - it's better known as being the Central Police HQ. The are where the landing was is now partly occupied by the intersection of Lung Wui and Lung Wo roads. The site is largely empty still but slowly being redeveloped (into what?). The basin on the right in the top picture was originally part of HMS Tamar and now has the new Central Govt Offices on it.


  1. That helipad in the last two shots is where, at the time, Heliservices were based. In mid to late 1991, it was my main place of solitude right in the heart of town. (The other one was the roof of the China Ferry Terminal in TST; if you went down the end you could hop over the railings and sit on the tracks of the window cleaning rig with the whole harbour at your feet.)

    I was receiving some tutoring in maths from a company called Cambridge Tutors. My tutor was a young woman who was enrolled as a cadet with British Airways, and awaiting the start of her training. (One of the first -- if not *the* first -- female cadets they had, I believe she told me. They had only hired their first female captain in 1987, mind you.) I recall her as a very nice, patient lass who was far better versed in A-level pure maths than I, but as usual I digress.

    I used to arrive early for my tutoring, which was in the Hong Kong Arts Center if memory serves -- and I'd sit down there on the harbour's edge, watching the world go by, and the occasional helicopter take off or land.

    I seldom saw anybody there except the Heliservices staff, but I once saw the Governor's car arrive, royal crest and flags flying on the front and obviously important license plate number, not to mention the police motorcycle escort which I think also had a flag. Their arrival was followed shortly thereafter by a helicopter from the direction of Kai Tak. Out hop three people -- man, woman and teenage girl -- into the Governor's car they hop, and off they go.

    Who they were I've long wondered. Obviously somebody important, but my understanding was that the flags were on the car only in the Governor's presence. They certainly weren't he -- I'd have recognized Wilson, and he didn't have daughters, anyway. Fat Pang didn't arrive until the following summer, and I don't think had even been announced as the next Governor yet.

    One of life's imponderables, and apropos of completely nothing, but these are the memories you make pop into my head with your movie finds, so I figured I'd share. ;-)

    1. there looks to be a tiny little corner of it left, so get back while you can reminisce :-)
      I guess the guy you saw could've been the Colonial Secretary or some such.

    2. Oh, I'd love to. Been six months since I was last in HK, and I'm jonesing bad. Wish I could figure out some business excuse to get out there a few times a year!

  2. Hi Phil,

    The Blake Pier one also captured the dock (with a conveyor system) of GPO, which is now defunc and blocked. Its Kowloon side counterpart is still there, under the fly over. Obviously also out of use these days.

    Thanks & Best Regards,

    1. thanks T, I've seen pictures of the older version that linked to the old GPO, but never one of the later version you mention above.