Ever popular ‘Stone Slab Street’
- Pottinger Street, Central
A governor’s tale
Named after Sir Henry Pottinger, first governor of Hong Kong, this street is known as ‘Stone Slab Street’ among locals. Granite slabs were used to pave the steep slopes to make it easier for coolies to carry construction materials to Hollywood Road where they were building the Central Police Station and the Victoria Prison - now known as Tai Kwun. The slabs are so special that the street is one of the only two streets in town that is officially recognised as a historical site.
The market stalls have been there since the 1950s, selling all kinds of bits and pieces. Auntie Chung came often: “You can find a good selection here, buttons, needles, embroidery threads, chalks, ribbons, basically everything you need for sewing.” Pottinger is still the place to go for costumes and decorations for Chinese New Year and Halloween.
Somewhere below your feet is a 75-metres air-raid shelter, built during WWII. Luckily, it was never used and was later filled up… Also underground but much less secretive was the public latrine, there were many of them on HK Island in 20th century, when few people had toilets in their homes.