Lock Road 1952 – mystery portage, cut flax?

It’s 1952, summer presumably, two policemen are walking into Lock Road, TST. Mohan’s Tailors is on the left, well known at time and I believe continuing on to today.

Pretty obviously the subject of interest is the person in the centre. What is he or she carrying? What was it used for?  Why was it being moved around TST?

It’s five years since I posted this article and I didn’t record the source of this photo so can anyone help regarding where it comes from?

IDJ adds: This image may help identify the flaxlike material in the pic you posted. The police seem more interested in something further up the road.

Flax Image Lock Road From IDJ

HF: If it is cut flax as IDJ suggests, I repeat why was it being transported through TST? what was it used for? And was it grown in Hong Kong?

Flax Drying France

Field of cut flax in France Courtesy: Getty Images

This article was first posted on 30th December 2013.


  • Lawrence Tsui

    Some of my aunties who lived at Lock Road when they were small said that there would not be any shops along the road in those days since it was a classy residential area with trees. The buildings were 4-storey high and spacious, with toilets. The residents were mostly Europeans & Japanese.

    There were shops in this 1952 photo; if so they must have been located there after the War. However, it does not seem that there was room for trees.

    I think those were rattan shreds the man was carrying. They could be used to fill mattresses I should think.

    • Hugh Farmer

      Interesting to hear about this area of TST after WW2.

      I have never heard of mattresses filled with shredded rattan. If these were made in Hong Kong in the 1950s perhaps it was done by, or in cooperation with, one or more of the many rattan product companies of the time.

  • Diana Cox


  • Klaus Liphard

    The photo was taken at the Junction of Peking and Hankow Roads (and not Lock Road). Mohan’s was on the corner of Hankow and Peking Road.
    And what abour carrying wool?

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