Built with red bricks and granite, the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower peaks at 44 metres and once dominated Victoria Harbour. It is now all that remains of the old Kowloon station on the waterfront. Below is Victoria Terminus exactly 100 years ago, a few years after the line itself opened in 1910…
The plan for the terminus was finalised in 1904, but World War I delayed construction…
This photo below from 1916 depicts a steam engine, signal box, lower quadrant semaphore signals, wooden level crossing gates, wrought iron spear fencing and the station clock tower – a typical British railway scene in Hong Kong…
The photo on the left, below, shows an ex-British Army WD 2-8-0 77509, steam locomotive being delivered to Hong Kong in 1947. It was one of 12 exported to Hong Kong, two of which remained in service until 1962. The clock tower is visible in the background…
The terminus design was assigned to A. B. Hubback, due in part, to his experiences in designing Railway Terminus in the Straits Settlements, Malaya.
The Clock Tower reused the clock face from the demolished Pedder Street Clock Tower. Only one side had a clock and it was not until years later that clocks on the remaining three sides of the tower were installed.
Throughout much of the 20th century, the waterfront site remained a major transport hub – many arrivals had travelled overland from Britain via the Trans-siberian Express…
A preservation campaign was organised in the late 1970s, but even protests and a petition by the Heritage Society to the Queen failed to save the station building. Note the TST Post Office at the bottom right of the photo below…
The demolition was completed in 1977, though campaigners succeeded in preserving the Clock Tower…
The tower was declared a monument in 1990 and after 35 years – in 2010 – the bell was returned to the city. It is now kept at the railway depot in Ho Tung Lau.
The station was replaced with the Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The top of the tower can still be reached by a wooden staircase located within. Although previously open to visitors – it is currently closed.
The officially named ‘Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower’ is now a floodlit feature of the Kowloon-side waterfront.
Blog posts charting Hong Kong’s colourful past…
- 1000+ ‘Before and After’ Photos of Old & New Hong Kong.
- An Elephant in Kowloon: Photos from Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park.
- Bustling Hong Kong of 1947: Historical Photos from Mark Kauffman.
- Colourised & Restored Photos of Hong Kong 150 Years Ago.
- Cool Vintage Hong Kong Tourism Posters.
- Execution of Namoa Pirates in Kowloon, 1891.
- Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong: Photos from 1942, Beautifully Restored.
- HK’s Boom Years: The Best of Fan Ho.
- Hong Kong’s Most Offensive Place Names.
- How Hong Kong Was Made: Iconic Buildings Under Construction.
- Mainland Refugees Fleeing Famine Rejected by HK.
- Margaret Thatcher in Hong Kong.
- More Vintage Photos of Old Hong Kong.
- Newly Restored Old Hong Kong Newsreels: Part 1, Refugees.
- Newly Restored Old Hong Kong Newsreels: Part 2.
- Newly Unearthed Photos of 1950s Hong Kong.
- Pictures of Hong Kong in 1972.
- Rare Shots from Inside the Old Kowloon Walled City.
- Shing Mun Redoubt, HK’s Secret WWII Tunnels.
- Street Scenes in Dreamy Colour 1954-2004.
- The ‘Great Chinese Takeaway’ – the 1997 Handover.
- The 1958 Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship Winner (Bruce Lee).
- The 1967 Hong Kong Riots.
- The Bombing of Hong Kong by the U.S. 14th Air Force.
- The Day a Cargo Ship Washed up on Cheung Chau Beach.
- The Hakka Walled Village of Tsang Tai Uk, Sha Tin.
- The Iconic ‘Two Girls’ Kwong Sang Hong Cosmetics Brand.
- The Luxury British Liner at the Bottom of Victoria Harbour.
- Unseen Royal Geographic Photos.
- When the MTR Was New.
Pictorial histories of local landmarks and events…
- A Brief Visual History: HK Police Vehicles & Uniforms.
- A Brief Visual History: HK’s Old Airport, Kai Tak.
- A Brief Visual History: Kowloon Walled City.
- A Brief Visual History: The Evolution of the Hong Kong Skyline.
- A Brief Visual History: The Peak Tram.
- A Brief Visual History: The Peninsula Hotel.
- A Brief Visual History: Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower.
- A Brief Visual History: Yau Ma Tei Theatre.