Cheung Chau Island Industry

This article is the result of initial research into industrial development and related matters on Cheung Chau Island.

New Information – Beacon Light, Choppers + Scissors – Shing Kee, Concrete Channels, Electricity Supply, Market, Pier, Quarry, Soap Manufacturer – added July 2016

If you can provide information on any of the subjects below, or add to the list, it would be good to hear from you. I can then gradually add to this framework to provide a fuller picture with an acknowledgment of your contribution.
Hugh Farmer indhhk {at} gmail [dot] com

HF Hugh Farmer
JH James Hayes
IDJ
ER Elizabeth Ride

Beacon Light

HF:

Cheung Chau tender for Beacon Light 9.11.1937

Boat, Breaming

HF: I am presuming this account of cleaning the bottom of boats is a form of breaming unless corrected.

Wat Wai Chun was born on Cheung Chau in 1923. This is an extract from her oral history: “Her mother was in the trade of mountain weeds, which her family ordered from the peasants on Lautau Island. Mountain weeds were grown by season in saline water and used for burning. The peasants made timely deliveries of the mountain weeds to Cheung Chau by boat. The Wats stored the mountain weeds they bought in their ancestral house. Other boatmen turned to them in Cheung Chau by boat to buy the weeds. On the 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar, when the tides were high, the boatmen fixed their boats on shallow waters with thick ropes. When the tides were gone, the boats were stranded on the beach. Then the boatmen lifted the boats with wooden blocks for cleaning, and dried the bulks of the boats by burning mountain weeds. Tree oil was applied on the bulks to prevent the bulks from being attached by mussels and from being damaged by water fleas.”

Source: Wat Wai Chun’s life on Cheung Chau before WW2 – HK Memory Project

Boat, Repairers

HF:  “Throughout coastal southern China, smuggling and piracy have always dominated maritime activities.  It was not until controlling legislation on the registration of native craft was enacted and enforced in the late 1860’s that it became more difficult for pirates to operate in Hong Kong waters. The first man to survey Hong Kong waters using modern methods, the Bombay Marine Company Daniel Ross, reported in 1808 that when he went ashore on Cheung Chau to set up a triangulation station there were only two boat repairers resident as the island had just been devastated by pirates.” (Lost source)

Below: From http://gwulo.com/atom/22151 Slipways at the North end of the harbour. The shipyard was moved a bit further out into the harbour when the Pai Chong road was built.

These slipways have…become [a] … boatyard that… is now on reclaimed land.

Photo dated : 1st January 1958

Cheung Chau slipways at north end of harbour Andrew Suddaby photo 1958 gwulo jpg

Courtesy: gwulo.com

Choppers + Scissors

HF: Shing Kee “Merchants” and/or manufacturers? a) Canton, b) 145 Sun Hing Street, Cheung Chau in July 1941 and c) 106 Jervois Street (Victoria) Sheung Wan.

Shing Kee Choppers + Scissors trade mark ordinance 4.7.1941 a

Shing Kee Choppers + Scissors trade mark ordinance 4.7.1941 b

Concrete Channels

HF: Channels for what purpose?

Cheung Chau PWD Tender fo Concrete Channels 23.2.1917

Cowhide Factory

Hong Kong Memory Project: Wat Wai Chun’s younger sister had a lonely life during the Japanese rule. There were no adults around to take care of her. Neither were there any companion of her age. She lacked a good learning environment and a stable life…At the time when Hong Kong was severely bombed, a bomb dropped on a cowhide factory in Cheung Chau.

Source: Wat Wai Chun’s life on Cheung Chau during the Japanese occupation, WW2 – HK Memory Project

Electric Company, Cheung Chau

IDJ: To obtain an electricity supply in Hong Kong customers have to sign up with either China Light & Power Co Ltd or the Hong Kong Electric Co Ltd. However, in the years before 1984 the residents of Cheung Chau Island were supplied from their own independent power station operated by the Cheung Chau Electric Company Co Ltd which had an office in Victoria…

click on image

Lister diesel engines driving the electrical generators - 1983

Cheung Chau Power Station – 1983

See the Indhhk articles:
Cheung Chau Electric Company
Cheung Chau Electric Company – further information

Electricity Supply

HF:

Cheung Chau Electric Light + Power Service applications for establishing + maintaining 20.1.1928

Factories, General

ER: This image of life on Cheung Chau was taken by my father Dr Lindsey Ride in the 1930s. It shows wares on the quayside ready to be loaded.

The buildings behind look rather like a factories. Can anyone indentify any of them and what went on inside?

Cheung Chau 1930s - harbour and lighting

Fish, drying

Cheung Cha fish drying c1920s Courtesy, HKU libraries - HK Memory snipped image

Cheung Chau fish drying c1920s Courtesy: HKU libraries

ER: This image of life on Cheung Chau was taken by my father Dr Lindsey Ride in the 1930s
It appears to show the drying of fish or shrimps. Can anyone verify what is shown here, both where the man is and the other collection to the right?

Cheung Chau A man drying fish

Hoe Hin Pak Yeow Manufactory Ltd (Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation)

HK Memory Project: An advertisement of Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation on the external wall of a building in Cheung Chau. The content included the product logo, slogan and the Chinese characters of White Flower Embrocation.

Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation, Cheung Chau, 1980s-1990s, Courtesy HK Memory Project snipped

Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation, Cheung Chau, 1980s-1990s, Courtesy: Hoe Hin Pak Yeow Manufactory Ltd / HK Memory Project

Leather Factory, Woo Kee

An advertisement of the products and services of the company:

Woo Kee leather factory, Cheung Chau, 1941 advert Courtesy - HKU libraries, HK Memory snipped

Woo Kee leather factory, Cheung Chau, 1941 advert Courtesy: HKU libraries

Market

HF: Executive Council 18th June 1914 Cheung Chau Market + Market Rules

Cheung Chau Market - Executive Council 18.6.1914

Pier, concrete

HF:

Cheung Chau, Concrete Pier tenders, 13.8.1920

Pirates

JH: There is further documentary evidence [of piracy] from the records of the Chinese Customs Station at Cheung Chau. L.C. Arlington of the Chinese Maritime Customs, who spent six years (1893-9) in charge of the Customs Station at Cheung Chau, wrote in his autobiography: ‘During my time in Kowloon territory (1893-1901), piracies were so common that we regarded it as extraordinary if a day passed without one. Indeed, it was the daily routine for junk masters to report at the Customs Station that they had been pirated and all of their cargo looted‘ (1)

Quarry

HF: Letting of right to quarry 29th June 1914

Cheung Chau - Gov notice - letting of right to quarry Lot 726 29.6.1914Cheung Chau - Gov notice - letting of right to quarry Lot 726 29.6.1914. b

HF: Letting of right to quarry 29th February 1917

HF: Letting of right to quarry 9th August 1929

HF: Letting of right to quarry 20th December 1929

Shipped, Beached

In September, 1983, a Cypriot freighter called ‘City of Lobito’ beached on Cheung Chau island after being washed ashore by Typhoon Ellen.

City Of Lobito, Cheung Chau ship beached bSee: http://hongwrong.com/cheung-chau-typhoon-ship/

Shrimps, drying

ER: This image of life on Cheung Chau was taken by my father Dr Lindsey Ride in the 1930s
It appears to show the drying of fish or shrimps. Can anyone verify what is shown here, both where the man is the other collection to the right?

Cheung Chau A man drying fish

Shrimp Paste

HF: LC Arlington, the British expatriate employed by the Ching Dynasty as Imperial Maritime Customs Officer stationed at Cheung Chau between 1894-98, recalled a different aspect of life in his autobiography.  “The exceptionally strong smell from raw fish and shrimp paste under the sun was almost everywhere on the island.” This made it very difficult for him to set foot on the island again after 6 years of service on the island. (2)

Soap Manufacturer

HF: Yuet Kwong Company

Yuet Kwong Company Cheung Chau Soap Maker Trade Mark Ordinance 7.9.1917

Transport, Sampans

Cheung Chau sampans to Lantau 1984 Courtesy - HKU Libraries, HK Memory snipped

Cheung Chau sampans to Lantau 1984 Courtesy: HKU Libraries

Transport, Village Vehicles

Gas bottle delivery Vehicles

Village Vehicles Cheung Chau Hanson's Hikes

Courtesy: www.hansens-hikes.com

Hospital Vehicles

IDJ: Village vehicles on Chueng Chau used by the local hospital. They are American and not island home-builds. See: Taylor Dunn Utility Vehicles – Anaheim, California

Village Vehicle Cheung Chau -TAYLOR-DUNN-ambulance a IDJVillage Vehicle Cheung Chau -TAYLOR-DUNN-ambulance b IDJ

Water Supply

Cheung Chau water well c1920-1930s Courtesy - HKU libraries snipped HK Memory

Cheung Chau water well c1920-1930s Courtesy: HKU libraries

Wong Wing Kee Preserved Fruit Factory

Dates: 1908 to c1975

fordwong writes on gwulo.com:
The terraces are part of a preserved fruit factory which dated back to 1908. In those days, the workers use the sun light to dry the fruit and made over 30 varities of products.
The factory moved to China in the 1970’s when the labour source dried out.

Wong Wing Kee Preserved Fruit Factory, Cheung Chau from gwulo

Courtesy: gwulo.com

See: http://gwulo.com/node/29220

This article was first posted on 1st October 2015.

Sources:

  1. The Rural Communities of Hong Kong, Studies and Themes, JW HayesHong Kong, Oxford University Press, 1983 (quoting from LC Arlington below)
  2. Through the Dragon’s Eyes: Fifty Years Experience of a Foreigner in the Chinese Government Service, LC Arlington, Constable & Co Ltd, 1931

See: The Hong Kong Memory Project Hong Kong Memory (HKM) is a multi-media web site that gives free and open access to digitized materials on Hong Kong’s history, culture and heritage. The materials include text documents, photographs, posters, sound recordings, motion pictures and videos.

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