Facebook: ‘Photos of Taikoo and Kowloon Dock Families’ group – additional images

HF: Geoff Douglass, the creator and administrator of the Photos of Taikoo and Kowloon Dock Families Facebook sitecontacted me in May 2016.

Geoff very kindly offered to be of any help to our group after I suggested we would probably be interested in two main areas regarding his site, namely:
a) further information about the photos of both docks shown there
b) the personal stories of individuals who worked at either yard – either first or second hand

I have started albums below showing images from the Facebook site: Kowloon, Taikoo, Hong Kong United Dockyards and Other Shipyards.

I have given each image a number so that they can be easily referenced by anyone wishing to add a comment.  If you can provide further details about any of the images: (approximate) dates, exact location, details about what is shown, personnel etc it would be good to hear from you. Please leave a comment below this article.

And if you can provide an account of working at either dock please either leave a comment, contact me through Geoff or directly: Hugh Farmer indhhk at gmail dot com
Two people have kindly responded to say they would like to send information:
Alex MacDonald is looking into his father’s employment as a Kowloon Dock Police Inspector,
Geoff Douglass is researching his father’s employment with both Taikoo and Kowloon Docks.
I look forward to seeing what both Alex and Geoff can come up with.

Kowloon Dockyard (aka HK & Whampoa Dock Company, Hong Kong Kowloon and Whampoa Dock Company)

Image 7 was posted by Alexander B MacDonald and is from c1925. There are several comments on Facebook from those who remember living at places shown on this photo.

Kowloon Dock Facebook Collection 17.6.16

Image 7

Image 9 was posted by George Windram. Can anyone estimate the approximate date. And identify the function of the dock buildings. I presume the dock site ended just beyond the row of dark buildings running parallel to the shore. If so what were the large double storey buildings behind the latter?

Kowloon Dock Facebook Collection 27.6.16

Image 9

Image 1 was posted by David Yuill and shows Kowloon Docks and its famous hammerhead crane.

Facebook 3 Taikoo and Kowloon Dock Familes

Image 1

Taikoo Dockyard

Images 2+3 were originally posted joined by Angus Maclean.  He added the following description:-
The upper photo: Taikoo cableway, lower station about 1930
The lower photo: Summer houses,  no date

HF: I believe image 2 is of the 2.3-kilometer long aerial ropeway, constructed 1911, linking Tai Koo Sugar and Docks to the Taikoo Sanitarium which contained blocks of apartments for Taikoo Sugar Refinery and Taikoo Dockyards upper management and families to use during the hotter months of the year.
Photo 3 is probably from 1911 or shortly after when the additional middle section of the Sanitarium was built.
See: The Aerial Ropeway (1891-1932) and Sanitarium (1893-1932) of the Taikoo Sugar Refinery

Taikoo aerial ropeway from Facebook Families

Image 2

Taikoo Sanitarium from Facebook Families

Image 3

Tons of detail in Image 6 originally posted by Simon Lo with Jonathan Ho enhancing the contrast in this version. Jonathan adds on Facebook: you can see Kornhill and the elevated King’s Rd on the left.

Taikoo Dock Facebook Collection 17.6.16c

Image 6

Image 10 was posted by David Yuill and is labelled 1958 welders.

Taikoo Docks - Facebook collection 1958 welders 27.6.16

Image 10

Derek Allan contributed Image 8: photograph from my Father’s album. A group of men from the drafting office I believe. HF: Anyone’s father there? Date?

Taikoo Dock Facebook Collection 17.6.16b

Image 8

Hong Kong United Dockyards (HUD)

Image 4 posted by Geoff Douglass shows a competition at HUD which was formed in 1973 from the merger of Hong Kong and Whampoa  Docks and Taikoo Dockyards.

Facebook 4 Taikoo and Kowloon Dock Familes

Image 4

Other Shipyards

Cosmopolitan Shipyard
Image 5 was posted by Alexander B MacDonald and shows Taikoktsui (Cosmopolitan) Shipyard where Mr MacDonald says he once stayed.

Facebook 2 Taikoo and Kowloon Dock Familes

Image 5

This article was first posted on 17th June 2014.

Source: Photos of Taikoo and Kowloon Dock Familes – Facebook

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Kowloon Dockyard – ships built, wrecked during WW2
  2. Kowloon Dockyard – during the Occupation 1942-45
  3. Kowloon Dockyard – WW2 bombing – the aftermath
  4. Kowloon Dockyard – what happened to its famous Hammerhead Crane?
  5. Kowloon Dockyard – glass plate photographic collection
  6. Tai Koo Dockyard
  7. Tai Koo Dockyard – 1911 detailed technical article covering its construction
  8. Tai Koo Dockyard during the Occupation 1942-1945 
  9. Tai Koo Dockyard, James Thirlwell, Master Mariner, captain of the tug “Tai Koo”
  10. Tai Koo Dockyard Tug 2 – captained by James Thirwell when sunk by a mine 1941
  11. World War Two – BAAG, Mateys and Allied attempts to disrupt HK Dockyards
  12. Hong Kong United Dockyards (HUD)


  • Nikki Veriga

    Hi there – could you please advise if you have any information and/or photos of the Thirlwell family (my mother’s family) who lived at Taikoo Dock prior to the war? My grandfather, James Thirlwell, was a tug boat captain – his last vessel was the Tai Koo which sank in the Red Sea.


    • Nikki

      We don’t have anything about James Thirlwell I’m afraid. However, I would be pleased to post an article about him if you can provide further details.

      Best wishes

  • Geoff Douglass

    I am Geoff Douglass, the creator and admin of the above group. If I can help you in anyway please feel free to get in touch.

  • Nikki Veriga

    Hi Geoff – we know very little about what lif was like for my grandparents and my mother’s siblings. Whether as a result of living on the docks and its ship building activities, or genetics, the siblings all appeared to have chest /breathing ailments.
    I realised recently that we don’t even know how our grandparents met! I am happy to continue email correspondence.

  • Alexander Booth Macdonald

    I am MACDONALD, Alexander Booth. I’d be more than happy to help. I’d stayed between Kowloon Docks, Hung Hom & Tai Kok Tsui when I was a young boy say between 5-10 years of age. My now deceased father, Alexander Macdonald served with this company in the capacity of Dockyard Police Inspector from 1960 to 1965 and tendered his resignation. Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information.

  • Geoff Douglass


    I have seen the name “Thirlwell” mentioned and think it was in this website:


    There are links to other sites that may help shed some light on your family history.

    If you are on Facebook ask to join the “Taikoo and Kowloon Dock Families” group. There may be members that can help shed light on your family. We often get requests of this nature and the members are very helpful.

  • Margaret Duddy

    My father worked in Kowloon Docks from about 1948 until about 1969. His name was Archie Campbell and he lived in Kowloon with his wife Zena and son Andrew later in 1959 Sheena and myself Margaret were born. I am due to visit Hong Kong in December and would love to know if the Housing, Bowling Club etc. still exists. Would love to hear from anyone who would know the family.

    • Hello Margaret

      Thanks for contacting our Group.

      It’s always good to hear from those who worked for HK companies or whose relatives did.

      I wonder if you would be able to provide a short biography of your father focussing on the period when he was working at the Kowloon Docks. If so and if you would like I could post a short article about him.

      Regarding the buildings connected to the Docks I would very surprised if anything remains. However, if you haven’t already done so you could contact the Facebook page which you left your comment under. There is tons of information there and contacts who may be able to answer any questions you may have.

      Best wishes

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