Of gods, diamonds and brothels – quarrying questions

Hugh Farmer: Researching my recent Quarrying in Hong Hong  article brought up lots of place names with  quarrying associations. And even more questions. Can you help answer any?

A Kung Ngam Quarry:  “A Kung literally means maternal grandfather or old man in Cantonese while Ngam means rock, but in the case of this place name, “A Kung” refers to Tam Kung, sea god, who the quarry workers believed in. A temple dedicated to Tam Kung is located in A Kung Ngam.” Can all of this be confirmed?

The Tam (譚) character at the entrance of the Shau Kei Wan Tam Kung Temple.

The Tam (譚) character at the entrance of the Shau Kei Wan Tam Kung Temple.

Cha Kwo Ling Quarry: This village was apparently established before Hong Kong became a British colony. It became a major Hakka settlement post 1841. It was ” one of four quarry hills in East Kowloon”. What were the names of other three?
Thomas Ngan says:  Cha Kwo Ling was one of the four hills in Kowloon well known for stone quarries. The other three were Sai Cho Wan, Ngau Tau Kok & Lei Yue Mun.

Diamond Hill Quarry: No diamonds in Hong Kong let alone in this area. Why the name?

Stone House at Diamond Hill was built in the 1940s of granite from the Diamond Hill Stone Quarry,

Stone House at Diamond Hill was built in the 1940s of granite from the Diamond Hill Stone Quarry,

Quarry Bay, er Quarry: The area of the long reclaimed bay was where stone was transported from by ship. Was the quarry(ies) there. And if so where exactly? “The Chinese name Tsak Yue Chung (鰂魚涌) reveals it was a small stream where  crucian carp (鰂魚) could be found. The English name was Arrow Fish Creek.” When did it become known as Quarry Bay in English?

Shek Tong Tsui Quarry: “The area was first settled in 1880 by  miners. In the early 1900s, HK Island’s brothels  were moved from Possession Point in Sheung Wan to Shek Tong Tsui under orders from the HK Governor Nathan The place thus flourished as a red light district and came to its golden period”. Yukon miners knew how to blow their money on whisky and women. Was this also true of the quarrymen of  Shek Tong Tsui? They didn’t have to go far for the latter. Can anyone confirm this symbiotic relationship?

Tseng Lan Shue Quarry: Anderson Road Quarry is at Tsiu Lan Shue. Is Tseng Lan Shue a mistake? Are there two places, two quarries?

Anderson Road Quarry photo: KY Cheng

Anderson Road Quarry
photo: KY Cheng

See:

  1. Stone breaking in early 20th Century Hong Kong
  2. Chek Lap Kok Quarry
  3. Lam Tei Quarry connections with post WW2 proposed Ping Shan Airport
  4. Lam Tei Quarry – Ping Shan Airport , RAF Technical  Magazine Report, May 1946
  5. Ling Hang Quarry (China)  – supplier to Green Island Cement Company
  6. Quarrying in Hong Kong – how the City of Victoria was built

 

 

 

 

One comment

  • knoxploration

    Re: Diamond Hill, the story I’d heard was that it’s a simple mistranslation. “鑽石” can mean either “diamond” or “drill stone” (ie. quarry). A correct translation would hence have been “Quarry Hill”, presumably referencing the quarry from which the stone for Stone House came.

    Wikipedia repeats this story; hopefully somebody can confirm or deny its veracity.

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