Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 3 – Exterior – human scarecrows, brandy and hens…

Jane Taylor: My grandfather, Robert Taylor, appears to have started out in Macau in 1912 and moved to Hong Kong around 18 months later. He served as manager of the Green Island Cement Company, I think from the late 1920s, until his retirement in 1949. Recently discovered family photographs show the manager’s house clearly, and also its pre- and post-war interiors. Much work had to be done after the war to make it habitable again.

The interior shots of the Manager’s house are mostly in an album, so I’ve been reduced to photographing them on my iPad.  The originals are small, but pin-sharp, and I’m hoping to copy them later more effectively.  For me, one of the most exciting discoveries has been that, with a jeweller’s loupe, it’s possible to see photographs, pictures and ornaments very clearly.  This has enabled me to date these photographs reasonably accurately and study them more closely than might be apparent from my iPad copies.

HF: Jane has sent a large number of photos copied from the album. There are three groups with Jane’s comments:-

a) an interior set which show Chinese-style, ebonised/blackwood furniture and which would have been taken no later than 1938 and no earlier than 1930 – my guess would be the later date. (See: Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 1 1930s linked below)

b)  another interior set showing rooms furnished with contemporary post WW2 Western furniture (See: Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 2 – late 1940s linked below)

c) exterior shots (HF: I think undated)

Let’s start with a photo showing the works with the Manager’s house clearly visible in the bottom right hand corner.

Hong Kong-Green Island Cement 7 Manager's house foreground

The rest of the comments are Jane’s.

Jane Taylor 5a

Hen house! They kept bantams, as well.  Every time a chicken was killed, the Boy came to Grandma for a glass of brandy.  In her innocence (early in her life in HK) she thought this was to stun the hen…only later did she discover that it was to fortify the Boy!  (He still got his ration, though!)

Jane Taylor 6d

Jane Taylor 6c

The apparent scarecrow waving at the camera is one of my aunts…not sure which one until I can look with a magnifying glass but if, as I suspect, it’s the youngest one, the photo will date from 1937/8.  The children used to pinch peas, etc from the vegetable garden – probably stripped the place while they were at it, and were endlessly in trouble for their rapacity

Jane Taylor 6bJane Taylor 6aJane Taylor 5b

This article was first posted on 27th September 2014.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 1 -1930s
  2. Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 2 – late 1940s
  3. Green Island Cement – manager late 1920s to 1949 indentified + photos of earlier manager’s house?
  4. Green Island Cement- stunning photos
  5. Green Island Cement – BAAG  report 1945
  6. Robert Gordon Shewan – CLP, Green Island Cement and HK Rope Manufacturing


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