The Incense Tree in Hong Kong – a vanishing species

Hugh Farmer: For over two thousand years the Chinese have used incense in religious ceremonies, to venerate ancestors, in traditional medicine and in daily life. The two  most important ingredients in Chinese incense are agarwood and sandalwood. In what was to become colonial Hong Kong local producers brought in agarwood from across southern China as far back as the Song […]

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The KCR – choices of routes, construction and opening

Hugh Farmer with thanks to IDJ for the main account: The idea of connecting Hong Kong and China with a railway was first proposed to prominent Hong Kong businessmen in March 1864 by a British railway engineer, Sir Rowland MacDonald Stephenson (1808-1895), who had considerable experience of developing railways in India. The minutes of the committee of the Chamber of […]

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Stone breaking in early 20th Century Hong Kong

Hugh Farmer with thanks to IDJ for the source of information. “Stonebreakers in the early twentieth century. Granite in Hong Kong is of high quality and abundant. As a common construction material for columns, door frames and floors, the demand for granite was large. Because of its weight granite was transported by stone-boat by water from the quarry to the […]

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Sing Lee Shrimp Sauce and Paste Factory, Tai O

Hugh Farmer: When I first came to Lamma Island in the early 1990s  a powerful odour greeted the visitor as you entered Yung Shue Wan. The smell was  instantly recognisable and initially overwhelmingly unpleasant. The manufacturing of shrimp paste. I got used to the odour. Then I  began to actually like it. And now I miss it, it’s still made on […]

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Messrs Barretto & Co – managers of The Imperial Brewing Company 1907

Hugh Farmer: IDJ has sent these images of Messrs Barretto & Co. The company, established by the two gentlemen below  in 1895, had a large range of business concerns in Hong Kong. We are probably most interested in the company’s involvement with the Imperial Brewing Company. “An industry only recently, started in Hongkong is that carried on — under the general management […]

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KCR Whampoa Railway Siding

In November 1937, the Whampoa docks at Hung Hom were connected to the KCR by a 1.090ft siding down Baker Street. The line would provide access to the new 100T tower crane that was to be completed in 1938. As reported in the KCR 1937 Report for the year; “The crane is located alongside water which is deep enough to […]

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