Ah King’s Shipyard – location 1925 to 1955?
The image below, courtesy of gwulo.com may show part of Ah King’s shipyard in its second location and was taken shortly after the 1937 typhoon but, given the indications of the street index referred to below, this cannot have been the yard, which is either in the extreme right of the picture of is just off it.
The 1937 photograph could be of the old A King boatyard in its Causeway Bay location. I think the actual yard may just show on the right of the photo but with the main slipways out of shot. What we can see appears to be the water frontage where boats were moored waiting for work to be done or to be collected. This argues that at this stage the yard extended along quite a frontage – maybe a hundred metres or more. This would be consonant with the scale of work we know they did, which included vessels up to substantial small coaster size, ie 200-300 register tons. However, there is some hard evidence as to location. Reviewing the evidence in 1938 the Ah King operation was still quite small and, interestingly, was not on a gazetted lot. Here is the entry from the John Wyatt, Street Index for the City of Victoria, &c., & c., 25th edition, Noronha & Co., 1938, p.179: Electric Road
So the first lot on the left headed north along Electric Road, which begins “from junction of Causeway Road and King’s Road (i.e. BEFORE we come to the first basin noted below), is neither an Inland nor a Marine Lot but Crown Land and at this stage occupied by Ah King.
Hence my doubts about the Gwulo location. The small map in the BAAG piece at top shows A King’s slipway and yard tucked right in the corner of the 1937 period Causeway Bay typhoon shelter after the completion of Causeway Road but before the driving through of King’s Road had been mapped as completed. This conforms with the Street Index evidence.If you look at this detail of a 1937-45 (1937 survey with updates) map you can see it basically agrees with the BAAG map and shows what the Street Index indicates. What it seems to imply agrees with the doubts about the Gwulo photo analysis, once one sorts out where the main yard is. You can see there are two basins in the south east corner. The Ah King yard seems to have been in the smaller, furthest south basin with its place of business on the piece of Crown Land immediately south. The building with “A King” on the end wall is somewhere in the cluster of buildings north of the larger more northerly basin and may be the “A King” on the walls is unrelated or was an advertisement. It is possible that over the years up to the 1950s and its relocation, the yard expanded to include both basins.
I found a 1950s photo that seems to show, if not exactly where A King’s yard was, because nothing is actually identifiable, then where from the other evidence we have reason to suppose it was. When this area the typhoon shelter was reclaimed to create Victoria Park in 1955, the yard moved to its final location just WNW of where the Tung Lo Wan Fire Station now stands.
Related Indhhk articles:
- Ah King’s Shipyard during the Japanese occupation 1942-1945
- The luxurious junk Cheng Ho, Ah King shipyard built, Standard Oil connection…