Spring Garden Lane
|Spring Garden Lane|
Southern end of Spring Garden Lane, viewed from Queen's Road East
|Cantonese Jyutping||ceon1 jyun4 gaai1|
|Literal meaning||spring-season garden street|
Spring Garden Lane is a street in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, connecting Queen's Road East to its south, and Johnston Road to the north. It was one of the first focal areas developed by the British in Hong Kong during the 1840s.
During the early development of Wan Chai, one of the focal area of development was Spring Gardens. The name was used by the British during the early Colonial Hong Kong era in the 1840s. The word "spring" in "Spring Gardens" was supposed to be referring to a water spring. However, when the name "Spring Garden Lane" was translated into Chinese, the resulting name became "春園街", with the character "春" meaning spring season. The water spring mentioned possibly refers to the mountain creek beside Hopewell Centre in Queen's Road East.
In the early 1900s, Spring Garden Lane and Sam Pan Street (三板街) became a red-light district with western and Chinese prostitutes. In order to attract attention, brothels were displaying large street number plates, and the area became known as "Big Number Brothels".
During the founding of the People's Republic of China around 1948 to 1949, many of the Communist party guerrilla forces found their way to Hong Kong after World War II. One of them was the East River Guerrilla Force (東江縱隊), which formed a pro-Communist underground group called the Hailiushe (海流社). They were headquartered in the rooftop of a multi-story house on Spring Garden Lane. The area and group was raided by the Hong Kong police, while it was an operating network cell.
- Queen's Road East, for a list of lanes connecting Johnston Road and Queen's Road East
- Wordie, Jason (2002). Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 962-209-563-1.
- "Early Hong Kong Brothels", Exhibition at the University Museum and Art Gallery, 26 November 2003 to 29 February 2004
- Wan Chai Heritage Trail flyer. p.2
- Fung, Chi Ming (2005). Reluctant Heroes: Rickshaw Pullers in Hong Kong and Canton, 1874-1954. Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong studies series. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-962-209-734-6.
- Picture of "Big Number Houses" on gwulo.com
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