Monday, December 7, 2015

Five Golden Dragons - Bob Cummings (1967) - HYF Ferries

Sadly, by the time I eventually made my first visit to HK in 1995, the vehicular ferries were already on their way out and, in fact, the previously mentioned ferry pier on Jordan Road was demolished the following year. So, I never got to experience a cross harbour trip on one. It's a bit of a shame really. Of course there is still a vehicular service from Kwun Tong Pier for dangerous goods banned from the cross-harbour tunnels, but I don't think that particular service is open to the general public.

Anyway, courtesy of Five Golden Dragons we catch a glimpse of several types of ferry. It looks - from the earlier screen shots showing the small elevated ramp allowing cars to board and alight on the upper deck of the ferry - as though double-decked ferries (cars on two levels) were already in use by the late 60's. I'm not sure when they were introduced but an earlier screen shot of Jordan Road ferry in Soldier of Fortune - filmed twelve years earlier in 1955 - shows an older version of the pier that just allowed for a single deck of vehicles. So it looks as though the modifications allowing vehicles on both decks happened sometime within that time frame, but I could just be making false assumptions.

Here is the previously used shot showing the Ferry Point Estate. Look carefully at the ferry pier and you can see the white line of the upper deck ramp (in front of the building scaffolding) as well as what appears to be a double-decked ferry at tied up at the pier.

This isn't the ferry our character uses though. The one he gets into with his taxi is a single deck version - that is...a single deck for vehicles and an upper deck for passengers. The HYF stands for Hong Kong Yam Ma Tei Ferry Company. I guess this might mean the single vehicle deck ferry was of an older vintage.

As we cross the harbour we see another type of ferry, this time only a non-vehicular type passenger ferry. I can't make out the name exactly but it looks to me as though the ferry below is the Man Tai (民泰) which was a double decked passenger ferry in operation between 1956 and 1988. I've posted this link before but it is worth repeating because of the wealth of information regarding all the HYF ferries.

We can also end this post with a couple of screen grabs taken inside the ferry itself. Maybe it will trigger some nostalgia from someone out there who can share some memories.

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