I lived in Happy Valley for the best part of a decade and I have often shared some musings on its everyday life. This is a nostalgia post for a time in Happy Valley that I never encountered. It also ties in with a previous post I made about the ‘green path’, and also a point I reflect upon in my book.
The first couple of pictures hark back to the 1970s when the horses that raced in Happy Valley would be led up and down Shan Kwong Rd. Anyone familiar with Shan Kwong Rd will recognise immediately how steep it is. At the very top of this road the horses had their stables and could be exercised and walked on the roof premises. These areas still exist, but the horses no longer get led up and down the hill, and as far as I know, no horses use the stables at the Shan Kwong Rd Jockey Club.
The last few photos take a look at Wong Nai Chung Rd from the side of the Happy Valley Racecourse Stadium. The black and white photograph is from the 1960s and has an old style Hong Kong Taxi. This was prior to the build of the Aberdeen Tunnel. Which brings us to the second to last photograph that documents the building of this tunnel to connect Hong Kong with the South side of the island.
The Osman Ramju Saddick Islamic Centre in Oi Kwan Rd is in many ways an offspring of the Aberdeen Tunnel. Originally land for the Islamic Community in Hong Kong was given by the government at this spot in Happy Valley. The Islamic Cemetery has stood there since the late 1850s. At this very spot a small mosque was built. This was eventually demolished to build the Aberdeen Tunnel. As a result the government awarded the Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund compensation. This helped fund the construction of the Islamic Centre in Oi Kwan Rd.
As a final note of curiosity, there is an underground physics laboratory in the Aberdeen Tunnel. This last picture shows the position of the laboratory between the two lanes of the tunnel. Rather modest and certainly not the CERN LHC, but I like the idea of a laboratory in a tunnel.