Little Sai Wan Hong Kong.jpg | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Little Sai Wan Hong Kong.jpg

Little Sai Wan Hong Kong.jpg
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, April 15, 1970


Hi Frapper,

This photograph is very unlikley to have been taken in 1970 as the R.A.F. moved out of Little Sai Wan in 1962.  I suggest that it is much more likely to date from the late 1950s.  I'm intrigued to know why you have put a red line around the lamp posts?  Andrew S 

Hello Andrew, you might be right about the date of the photo and I don't know why the red circles.  Little Sai Wan continued on into the 70's and 80's as Australian Air Force and Australian Navy took over most of the billets.  I was in the Navy and was doing the 9 months of training required to get a posting to Hong Kong (probably Tai Mo Shan in my case).  I was trained in Radar.  As it turned out, my posting got cancelled.  It was probably a good thing as I was married by this time.  I spent a lot of time in Wanchai over 70's and 80's on visits there by Australian Warships (wasn't married then)  The photo does not belong to me, I downloaded it from the Internet

Hi Frapper,

When the R.A.F. left Little Sai Wan in early 1962, it was the British G.C.H.Q body that took over, largely employing civilian operatives.  Quite a bit of the living accommodation was converted into small, self-contained flats for the use of single employees, both male and a female.  Australian involvement in the operation, which went back to the mid 1950s, and perhaps a little earlier, continued and probably grew, but it is my understanding from the Internet that the overall control remained under G.C.H.Q. I re-visited Little Sai Wan in October 1987, a few months before it was demolished. In 1982, the whole operation had been moved to a site on the Chung Hom Kok peninsula, and Little Saiwan had then been used for several other purposes - a fire training school and finally in 1986/7 as a detention centre for illegal immigrants.

In my 1987 gallery you will see this photograph, that I took in October 1987, of the very battered G.C.H.Q. sign near the original gate at the Eastern edge of the camp.  The very worn print spelled out ‘Composite Signals Organisation Station’ and the sign must have dated from 1982 or earlier. There are quite a few other photographs taken around the camp.

1950s camp gate
1950s camp gate, by Andrew Suddaby

Regards,  Andrew

Thanks for the extra information Andrew.  In the early 70's our ship was in Hong Kong and our supervisor was an EX Royal Navy bloke who had done time at Tai Mo Shan when he was a Brit.  He still knew people there and he arranged a tour to Tai Mo Shan and LIttle Sai Wan.  It was hairy going up the mountain to Tai Mo Shan.  Bye for now mate

Hi Frapper,

I’m envious that you were shown round some of Little Sai Wan in the early 1970s. I took my wife for a holiday to Hong Kong in August 1981- her first visit but also the first of several nostalgic visits for me.  We walked from Chaiwan towards the ‘new’ main gate but got some strange looks from a guard when I got my camera out.  So we retreated up onto the hillside where there were some new swimming pools (possibly still there) and I took a few photographs, which are in my 1981 gallery. How I wish that I had been brazen enough to have spoken with the guys on the gate.  What I didn’t know at the time was that one of my old pals from 1957/8 had remustered  into the Australian forces and was almost certainly working there. Later that week, at the Ocean Park complex we sat near several Aussie guys, who were wearing Liitle Sai Wan T shirts. I nearly told them of my connection but did’t want to butt in, so perhaps I missed another opportunity to see  around the old camp.  It wasn’t until 1987, when I heard that the camp was derelict and soon to be demolished, that I managed to return for a final look around. I’m so glad that I  finally made it. Best wishes, Andrew