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Hong Kong (Kai Tak Airport), Penang & Singapore - - 1959. [3202665]
1959. Hardcover. Very good condition. Profusely illustrated photograph and souvenir album of a member of the Royal Air Force serving in the 1950s in Hong Kong at its first international airport, and at Penang during the Malayan Emergency. Includes 76 real snap shots of Kai Tak and local Hong Kong sites, as well as 21 studio shots of movie stars & beauty queens, as well as much ephemera. In addition, there is one large real photograph of the 205/209 Squadron Seletar in front of a Sunderland in Singapore, as well as 23 real snap shots of Penang. The owner of the album was part of the RAF affiliated with the flying boats at Kai Tak in Hong Kong. The Sunderland four engine flying boats were based at Kai Tak and Kowloon from just after WWII until 1959. The Sunderlands provided search and rescue services in the Hong Kong area to military and civil aircraft during daylight. At this time Cathay Pacific had only 5 aircraft, and BOAC flew a daily service from London. No flights could take off or land at Kai Tak at night due to the dangerous conditions of the airfield. The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), from 1948 until 1960. The album owner was a Corporal Michael A. Jordan who was stationed at RAF Kai Tak, and later at Minden Barracks, Penang. Most of the original photographs- 76 b&w real snap shots - are of Jordan's tenure in Hong Kong. Included are: aerial views of landing at the air port in the evening; Kai Tak tin town; local friends; the local Buddhist temple; the Diamond Hill resettlement area; the "Nulla"; a landscape "After Typhoon Gloria"; Shang-Hai Street, Kowloon; denizens of Hong Kong including Hong Kong "Screws"(police); street children; Bank of China street view; "Wanchai" in the evening; views of Kowloon form Hong Kong Island; waterfront views Kowloon & Hong Kong; views from Victoria Peak; "China" countryside; Tiger Balm Garden; local river boats, sampans, junks, walla walla (motor boat used for ferry service); rice paddies; temple of 100 Golden Buddas in Shatin; Nathan Road; petrol station; and movie advertising billboards. There is a great deal of Hong Kong ephemera, including currency; Hong Kong stamps (with the cancellation marks); color printed cards & wrappers; Kowloon bus tickets; cinema tickets; wine & brandy labels; a silk woven b&w portrait of Mao Tze Tung (4 1/4 x 6 1/4"); color printed beer labels; Communist China celebrations flyer; a "Chung" (Good luck folded banner with silver lettering on red paper); color printed hotel brochures; and a large folded color printed movie poster in Chinese and English advertising "The Kingdom and the Beauty". The album opens with a large b&w photograph of the RAF album owner relaxing in his bathing suit. It then follows his route to the far East, with b&w snap shots, color and b&w postcards, including: his ship the "Empire Fowey", bunks on board the Fowey; Canary Islands; Cape Town South Africa; Durban; Singapore; and Kowloon hotel luggage labels. This is followed by a section of color postcards titled "At Last! Hong Kong". The cards here are titled: "Across to Kowloon (showing a city view at night), At Aberdeen, H. K. (showing fishing boats); and Hong Kong Tiger Balm Gardens. This is followed by Ferry to Macau by M. V. Tai-Loy or S. S. Tak-shing (accompanied with 2 stamped ships passes, July 1958. Next is "Sent to Penang", with color postcards of Town Centre, Georgetown and the Botanic Garden. The 23 b&w snap shots of Penang consist of images of cafes, "chow" shops & stalls, Penang High Road, fortune teller, at Minden Barracks, including "Our slack mob at Penang (Bayan-Lepas) airport and a shot of the crashed DC 3 "Charity" Dakota. Following pages include shots of local people, bus tickets, Penang Malaya postal stamps, Malaya/Borneo $1 bill, and local beauty queens. Jordan next returns to Singapore and 205/209 Squadron, with 2 images of seaplanes and a large photograph captioned "205/209 Squadron Seletar, Singapore", showing the enormous Sunderland flying boat behind RAF officers, and "note 3 stars over the door". The photo stamped 4 June 1959 by Alex. M. Currie". The last part of the album consists of photographs of "movie queens" and RAF service members with local girl friends, captioned in both English & Chinese. There are 21 movie star real photographs and 12 b&w snap shots of RAF service members socializing. Also includes a printed Royal Air Force identity card with b&w picture of Corporal Jordan, dated 23 July 1959. Only a few names of other servicemen are included in the captions; they are: Dave Johnson, "Lofty" Gibbons, Bob Plane, Robby Romano (at Aberdeen), Johnnie Hosford (at Kai Tak). The last photograph, at the rear paste down, is captioned in Chinese and in English, "Mandarin movie stars from Hong Kong, Lam-Foong, Mai-Yeh, Ting-Ming and Pearl Au Kar-Wai". Housed in an oblong red brocade Chinese patterned fabric covered album (14 x 10") with yellow cord ties. The postcards are posted to family back in Margate, Kent, in very good condition. The movie poster a bit ruffled at edges. Altogether in remarkably good condition.
      [Bookseller: Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints]
Last Found On: 2017-04-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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