George Underhill Sands (1824-1881?) – connection to three HK companies

Stephen Davies and Hugh Farmer have collaborated in researching the life of George U Sands (1824-1881). In particular his time as the captain of a steamship in China and his later involvement in three Hong Kong companies. Stephen’s contributions are indicated, all others are from HF. Any information about Mr Sands during his time in both China and Hong Kong and […]

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Kowloon (HK & Whampoa) Dockyards during the Occupation 1942-45

ER: Extracts from reports in the BAAG Intelligence Summaries. 1. Layout. [Map reference 223585: GSGS 3868 HK & New Territories 1/20,000] 2. During hostilities.“Superficial damage was caused by enemy bombing on the first day of the war. Dock gates were not damaged.” 3. During the Occupation. 1942. “The materials left in the Kowloon Docks are rapidly diminishing. There is an […]

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Fresnel Lenses – Barbier, Benard & Turenne – AGA and Waglan lighthouse…

HF: Barbier, Benard and Turenne (BBT) was a French company founded in 1862. It specialized in the manufacture of lights, optical devices and lighting systems. And complete lighthouses including the one on Hong Kong’s Waglan Island. The lighthouse incorporated Fresnel lenses. The Swedish Company AGA was later involved as was its UK subsidiary Pharos Marine. I didn’t know the name […]

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Waglan Island lighthouse – a brief history

Stephen Davies provides further information about the history of Waglan Island lighthouse, its link to another in NE China and to two European companies. And a Swede who was awarded the Nobel prize for Physics for his invention regarding the illumination of lighthouses. SD: The light was built by Paris lighthouse makers Barbier, Bénard & Turenne as one of two identical lights for the […]

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Waglan Island lighthouse – inaugurated on 9th May, 1893

Stephen Davies rightly laments: Some of our maritime heritage, like the older lighthouses, are…gazetted monuments… but by far and away the majority of the maritime past that made Hong Kong what it is, from the historic dockyards, shipyards, wharves, jetties and basins…are dead, buried and for the most part forgotten. From a note attached to Stephen’s article, The Principal Datum: Some […]

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The Royal Naval Dockyard Hong Kong during World War Two

Elizabeth Ride:  A selection of information reported in the BAAG Intelligence Summaries.    1. Layout.  September, 1944.  [From indistinct original] During the Battle of Hongkong, December 1941. *   At the outbreak of war, HMS Moth was in drydock with some plates off.  The guns were removed and the ship was scuttled by flooding the dock.  The dock gate was […]

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Operation “Mateys” – Dock workers extraction from HK during the Japanese occupation WW2

Elizabeth Ride: Here is a transcription of an audio letter from my father, Sir Lindsay Ride, which concerns the Dockyard workers’ extraction from HK during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, World War Two. For further details about this please see the article, WW2 – BAAG, Mateys and Allied attempts to disrupt HK Dockyards, linked below. “Operation “Mateys” was one of the […]

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19th Century Wanchai Shipyards – Messrs. George Fenwick & Co Ltd

Stephen Davies has researched the many small shipyards which existed along the Wanchai waterfront from shortly after the colony of Hong Kong came into being up until the early years of the 20th century. These shipyards had a tough time during this period especially during HK’s first 20 years. Businesses came and went because of fluctuating demand thanks to some […]

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Dutch Companies in China 1903-1941

Nicholas Kitto has sent in a PDF file of the book: Corporate Behaviour and Political Risk: Dutch Companies in China 1903-1941 by  Frans-Paul van der Putten. This was freely downloadable from the Leiden University website. Unfortunately the images are absent. HF: The book covers in some detail a variety of Dutch concerns in China. Namely:- Chapter 2 Banking: Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (NHM) […]

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On the slow boat – Sai Wan Ho, Kwun Tong, Sam Ka Tsuen ferries – part three…

Hugh Farmer:  On the 25th September 2014 I took the ferry from Sai Wan Ho to Kwun Tong, walked from there passing through the industrial area  of Yau Tong and caught the ferry back to Sai Wan Ho from Sam Ka Tsuen ferry pier. I took pictures of the piers, ferries, crew and passengers…of the slow boats… a tribute to […]

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