Tuesday, March 3, 2015

That Man Bolt - Fred Williamson (1973) - Kowloon Peninsula from the air

A great aerial view of Kowloon can be seen in this sequence. This film has made great use of helicopters and the production crew has snapped some really interesting views. This one is no different to the others in that it's 1. a great view and 2. flipped! Here is the scene as you watch on film.

To those familiar with Hong Kong, the shape of Stonecutter Island in the top photo should really be the giveaway of the reversed nature of the film. Never mind. Here is the sequence reversed i.e the correct way round.

It makes much more sense now, and to make it even more sensible here is a rough stitch up to show the whole panorama.

Some things to note (although you may have to zoom in for a better view). The road intersection centre screen is where Hong Chong Road joins on to Princess Margaret Road. Out of sight below camera where Hong Chong Road disappears is actually where the Cross Harbour Tunnel starts.

The picture is almost demarcated by Chatham Road South as it heads towards Princess Margaret Road, splitting the land into the green side: Yau Ma Tei and King's Park, and the brown side: Ho Man Tin and Hung Hom. Anyway, here is an annotated version of the above picture to help.

It largely speaks for itself, but in case my markings are difficult to decipher here is the legend:

TST - Tsim Sha Tsui
KBC - the Kowloon Bowling Club on Austin Road
KCC - Kowloon Cricket Club.
Gun Hill - Gun Hill Club Barracks
Ferry Point - Ferry Point Estate.
C De R - Club De Recreio on Gascoigne Road
QE - Queen Elizabeth Hospital
POLYU - the site that now holds the Polytechnic University Campus.
HH Terminus - Hung Hom Train station


  1. Hi Phil,

    You have forgotten to mark the smoking chimney......... The location appeared to be the Lai Chi Kok one.


    1. Hi Thomas - was it a refinery or a power station. I'm not too familiar with what was there. Cheers, Phil

  2. Hi Phil,

    It wasn't a factory. Just like the ones in Kennedy Town before it and Kwai Chung after it, they are for trash incineration.


  3. And one with relevance to me (only place I was really a "member" of when growing up in HK) -- midway between KCC and CDeR is the USRC, or United Services Recreation Club. You can actually make out their swimming pool area, although I'm not sure if it's the current pools or an earlier one.

    They opened in 1911, just 51 years after the cession of Kowloon, and as of 1973 were still predominantly a club for current and ex-services folk. If the film had been shot in 1973 or later, there's every chance I'd have been right down there -- I was born in January 1973 and a frequent visitor to the USRC over the next two decades. ;-)

    As an aside, I also briefly worked there clearing tables and doing odd jobs around 1992 or so. At the time, the place was being run by a woman whose husband had been my maths teacher at KGV school in Ho Man Tin, and she was just starting to try and take it upmarket a bit.

    I visited (very) briefly a few years ago, and while elements of "my" USRC remain, it is now an absolute yuppie hellhole that retains almost none of its original charm. Just another place for Hong Kong's rich to see and be seen -- but probably only those whose fortune isn't sufficient to get into one of the better-known clubs.

    What a shame!

    1. I think some of that space has now been given over to the new(ish) PLA hospital on the Gun Club Hill Barracks site. I wonder of USRC gave up any land for the purpose of its redevelopment?

    2. Based on what map.gov.hk shows, no, I don't think USRC gave up any land. Some of what used to be open space in my day has been turned over to more tennis courts, but the basic layout of the club is unchanged from the 1980s.