Central and Western District Council has dug out the area's legends, including some of the city's most colourful tales, and compiled them into a book. While it is by no means a comprehensive anthology, the book marks the first time a district council has undertaken a project of this kind and on such a scale. The 300-page book, written in Chinese and accompanied by many rare photographs, is called Legends of the Central and Western District, Hong Kong. Stephen Chan Chit-kwai, a district councillor who was in charge of the project, said the book was inspired by conversations with some elderly couples in the district. 'In 2000, the district organised a banquet for 100 couples who were celebrating the golden anniversary of their marriages,' Mr Chan said. 'We interviewed them and found that they had a lot of very interesting stories and that they knew the district well.' Mr Chan said that the council was also encouraged by the response to a book about the district's history it published in 1998, The Heritage of the Central and Western District, of which 7,000 copies were printed. 'In this latest project, we interviewed about 800 people. We tried to get hold of a history that was becoming lost,' Mr Chan said. The book's most compelling chapters are those during the time of the the Japanese occupation and the area's disappearing professions. It recalls, for instance, the old-style wine shops that served homemade rice wine. Labourers would turn up after work for a glass of wine to ease their aches and pains. Besides detailing the district's influential people and events, the book gives a glimpse of an early red-light district. In 1903, the government moved the brothels in Sheung Wan to Shek Tong Tsui. Restaurants followed the brothels as the prostitutes were called to the restaurants to entertain businessmen at banquets. The book can be downloaded at www.districtcouncils.gov.hk/central_d/book/cwdfinal.pdf .