Hong Kong 1946 – HSBC

This is the first of nine photographs taken in post-occupation Hong Kong in 1946. This shot is of Central district with the old Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building centre-frame. In the foreground is the original Hong Kong cricket club and Hong Kong Club. Victoria Peak is in the background. I can remember all of these buildings from my youth – of particular curiosity was the children’s exercise club that took place on Saturday afternoons on the cricket pitch – it was run by Billy somebody-or-other. All the chidren wore whites – including old-fashioned polo shirts. Anybody else remember that?

The photographer is unknown – so the copyright is unclear.

HK1946 - HSBC

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37 thoughts on “Hong Kong 1946 – HSBC

  1. They were the Billy Tinglers. We were not allowed to join, so stood outside with our noses pressed to the fence, yearning to be dressed in white doing callisthetics and running unfathomable races for (suredly) fantastic prizes. We did go to the Cricket Club occasionally however, to watch cricket (I think) though were too young to have any idea what was going on. The annual Kennedy Road Junior School Sports Day was held there, and I achieved the pinnacle of my sporting career by winning first place in the hula hoop race. I went slow and steady, while everyone else hit the thing wildly and it veered all over the place. I still have my winning badge, and wear it sometimes to confuse people.
    Things were never the same after the cricket club moved to Repulse Bay Road.

  2. Interesting picture……..the small building directly next to the HSBC was eventually replaced by the Bank of China Building; the Governor’s residence is clearly visible in the background; the building in the foreground with the dome is the present Legco (used to be the Supreme Court). In the centre of the picture, there is a tram (the alignment of the tram tracks in Des Voeux has not changed and is basically the same even up to the present day). From my own recollection, the H K Cricket Club’s move to Wong Nei Chong Road was made during the construction of the Mass Transit in the 70’s. The place is now called Chater Gardens and used by all kinds of people for holding demonstrations……and by the Filipino maids on Sundays!

  3. Alison could not join the Billy Tinglers because they were always fully subscribed. He was limited to 150 or so. She likes to paint a picture of pre-teenage persecution, although a reluctance to get out of bed early on Saturday mornings may have been another factor for her not joining in the fun at the Cricket Club.
    Billy Tingle died some years ago and his funeral service at the cathedral was attended by many of his old Tinglers. I was pleased to be at G.H. when he received his MBE for services to the youth of HK in 1986.

  4. Where is the building I worked in, the Murray Building? It is next to HK Hilton and was moved for the Bank of China.

    It was one of the most haunted places in Hong Kong. The Government had to pay for monks to come in to cleanse the building. It was used by the Japanese Military Police, Kempeitai (something like the Gestapo), during the war. Rumor had it that they did all sorts of nasty things in that place.

    As the man in charge of security in the old Rating & Valuation Department (housed in Murray Building) I had to go there and inspect the place at night once a month. Nobody worked overtime in that place, even the watchman wasn’t too keen to wander inside. I always had my assistant with me. The two of us walked through each and every room and checked if classified material was left open. He walked ahead and turned on the lights and I sauntered along, never wanted to find out if there was any truth about a Japanese officer with his samurai sword sitting in the corner office on the third floor.

  5. Not only did I attend Billy Tingles Saturday Morning at the Cricket club, where we invariably ended up having lunch as well, but I was also taught to swim by Billy at the LRC too. I had the misfortune one saturday morning to have one of those corner flag spears put through my right foot.

    Damn, I remember cold Kit Kats on the steps overlook it all as well.

    My mouth still waters when I think about sour plums (wah Mui), lemon peel, dry ginger and watermelon seeds too.

  6. Yes, the Wah Mui, dried mango, dried ginger and dried cuttlefish were our firm favourites too. I also went through a phase of enjoying the fish balls from the Dai Pai Dongs! Thanks for the comments. BTW I was recently in HK again with Mo (see above) and this view (i.e. up Garden Road towards Government House) is unrecognisable.

  7. I am sorry – I feel like a bit of an intruder – like I have opened a door and joined in a conversation somehow…
    I am a Billy Tingler too. Ex Gleneally School, love Wah Muis and still eat them when I see the nice big ones! I still live in Hong Kong – and am very interested to know more about you guys?! I was also taught to swim at the LRC by Billy – in fact my father was taught to box and swim by him in Shanghai. My Dad was a pallbearer at Billy’s funeral.

  8. Thanks for the comment. Who are we? Mo, Alison and me are Morgans. The family moved to HK in 1961 and Mo (our father) was in the Civil Service. I was born in Queen Mary’s in 1962 and christened in St John’s Catherdral which is just out of shot on the left. We were variously at Kennedy Road Junior School, Beacon Hill School and KGV. I left in 1980 to go to university in the UK. Regards.

    • Annelise, when were you in HK? I was there between 1960 and 1964. I’m very curious – we have the same last name…..

  9. These photos are part of the Hedda Morrison collection. You can see more of her photos, together with a potted history of each one, at this website: http://www.heddamorrison.com/hm/hk46_47.html

    It’s also worth visiting the original collection, as they let you zoom in on each photo, and the amount of detail that can be seen is remarkable. There are instructions on how to find them at http://gwulo.com/photos-of-old-hong-kong#comment-5990

    I didn’t arrive in HK until 1989, so it’s very interesting to read everyone’s comments on these old photos.

    Regards, David

  10. This is all a bit spooky. I thought memories of Billy Tingles and the old Cricket Club were long dead. I was at KRJC form 1970 to 1976 and remember well being dressed in all white (including plimsoles) and socks almost to my knees. I used to go to the grounds for Billy Tingles and the school sports – it was a hallowed venue the rest of the time. What a shame it’s gone. I remember sitting in lines waiting for my chance to race bw it in fancy dress or with a hoop or in a sack. I also remember playing hockey here with Billy Tingles. I have photos somewhere of me on the podium at this ground recieving medals for school sports. KRJC held their last school sports here in about 1975. My last recollection was the school sports being held at the Football Club in Happy Valley – but I think this was my last year of junior school. Happy memories of wonderful Hong Kong.

  11. Was in hong kong 1946 with royal navy
    only big building was the hk & shaanghai bank.
    Have pics of me on the peak by jap war memorial and sitting
    on old cannon overlooking hk

  12. Billy Tingle was our sports teacher at Public & Thomas Hanbury School For Boys in Shanghai,prior to World War 2.I have the 50th anniversary book of our school, with many pictures of Billy.I will be glad to scan those, and forward to you. Moses Katz

    • Hi, my name is Sandra Sands.

      Billy Tingle was my uncle, my grandmothers brother.

      I live in Australia and i am putting together as much information as

      i can get

      Thank you

      • Hi Sandra my father would have more info. I went to the Saturday morning Billy Tingles but got into trouble as I decided instead of doing the activities like the other kids, I would go and climb one of the trees! A few years later when my mother tried to enroll my brother she was told no due to my rebel behavior! That would have been just before the club moved premises and I don’t think Billy was teaching then.

      • Hi Moses I was a student at Public and Thomas Hanbury school for boys prior to WW2 and he taught me boxing and PT I dont remember you but its a long time ago and we are lucky to still be alive I guessI am 88 yrs this year and would love to have the the 50th aniversary book you mention or any info of that time ……jack .lovell@bigpond.com

      • Hi Sandra – I was at Gleneally School from 1960-1965 and was a regular at Billy Tingles at the HKCC on Saturdays. I was taught to box by Billy at school – to swim too, along with my sister, at the LRC. In fact Billy lived at Clovelly Court in May Road where we had our apartment also. He used to call me Ricky – an affectionate abbreviation of my name, Warwick. He was a great influence in my life. Loved a drink too! I was only 7 or 8 when he fell from his apartment balcony while trying to climb back in, having locked his keys inside. Very battered and bruised but lucky to have survived at all. I remember those thick black plastic spectacle frames on which he was always performing running repairs. And his comments as we squared off in the boxing ring..”..Come on Ricky – give and take!” He made strong impressions on all the boys and girls who were lucky enough to be instructed by him. Cheers, Warwick

  13. Pingback: Billy Tingle in Shanghai « tressillian photoblog

  14. Hi, I am another “graduate” of Billy Tingle, along with my three siblings (period 1947-62). He taught me to swim (well), to box (well) and to play cricket (badly). A wonderful man.

    • Hi Tony, I wonder if you are in the photo i have of Billy Tingle outside
      the Cricket Bldg. He is sitting in the centre of the photo with over 200
      of his “Tinglers” and some of his helpers or teaches. It is a long
      photo I would have to send it in 2 sections.
      Sandra. Billy Tingle is my Uncle.

  15. Wonderful memories. I am writing a short story about kids learning to play mah jong in post war Hong Kong and your comments have provided such great add ons. Wah Mui – I know them, but heard the name as oh Mai – and they will certainly be mentioned. Thanks everyone

  16. Hi my maiden name is Tingle,I am travelling to Hong Kong in December and I believe Billy is my great Uncle,my grandfathers name is Lawrence but people called him Harold,as my grandfather has past I’m trying to piece together a family history for my children if anyone can help me that would be fantastic

    • Hi Amanda: There were some posts here by relatives (Sandra Sands) and old pupils in Shanghai (Moses Katz). In particular, I think Moses has some old photographs from Shanghai. If you’re agreeable, I’ll forward your contact details to them as I may still have their email addresses. Also, my father (Mo) may have some recollections. Best wishes, David (aka tressillian)

      • David that would be fantastic if you could forward my details on,is there any place in Hong Kong that has memorabilia that my daughter and I can go and have a look at.regards Amanda

  17. Hi Sandra, I have gone through some of my photo’s of Billy Tingle if you are still interested. You can contact me via email.

  18. Hi Sandra, I am Harold (Lawerance) Tingles granddaughter I’m trying to find out information on Billy Tingle he was my pops brother, my pop died at the age of 94 about 15 years ago

  19. Hi Sandra
    I am the Mo whom David referred to earlier. I did not know Billy Tingle very well only by his reputation! I attended his funeral at the cathedral which was full of former ” Tinglers” . He was held in great affection by everyone in Hong Kong at that time.
    I only met him once , at Government House when we were both there to receive decorations. Poor Billy was in a flap before the ceremony started. He was worried that the Governor would not be able to penetrate his label to pin his medal on. I found the tiny hook on which the Governor would hang the medal and fixed it for him. Everything went fine for him during the ceremony and he received an enormous reception from the guests as he left the dais. Afterwards , Billy thanked me most gratefully……. and we both had a stiff drink.

  20. I’m not sure if I am supposed to ‘join’ something here so apologies if so – just had an idle moment and typed in Billy Tingle into the search engine. Couldn’t resist chipping in. I was born in Hong Kong in 1957 with congenital dislocation of both hips and spent several years in hospital back in UK in plaster before returning to Hong Kong with stick-thin, weak legs. Billy taught me how to swim and dive (I could swim before I could walk) in the pool at the LRC and I ended up training for the Colony Championships in breaststroke when I was about 10 – he used to use this funny little girl with massive scars on her legs as a ‘demo’ to other kids on how to do a racing start, etc. and gave me so much confidence – I will always be so very grateful. (Debbie ‘Fry’)

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