The “Shatin Hat Factory”, pre and post WW2, interview with son of two workers
HF: The HK Memory Project includes a 2010 interview with Hui Chor Tin whose parents worked at Shatin Hat Factory both before and after WW2.
The full interview, in Cantonese, is linked below along with an English transcript.
Here is an edited extract: “Hui Chor Tin was born on 16 December, 1949, on the second floor at 52 Nga Tsin Long Road, Kowloon City.
In a certain period before and after World War II, Hui’s parents worked in Shatin Hat Factory, producing mainly felt hats. The factory was located at what is at present the junction of Prince’s Road West, Nga Tsin Long Road and Lung Kong Road. The owner of the factory, surnamed Hui, was also from their native town.
There was no fine division of labour at the factory. His father had to take care of production, the maintenance of machines, selling hats on the street, as well as cooking. His mother mainly took care of production. She lost one of her little fingers due to a work related injury, and left the job afterward. Since there were inadequate labor legislations, his mother did not receive any compensation for the injury.
Felt hats were popular in mainland China before the war, but fell out of fashion after the war. When Hui Chor Tin was about five to six years old, [ie about 1955] the factory was closed down. His parents became hawkers and selling on the streets in Kowloon City.”
The image on the Home Page is of felt hat makers from a Commerce and Industry Department,Trade Bulletin, Hong 1955.
See: The Hong Kong Memory Project Hong Kong Memory (HKM) is a multi-media web site that gives free and open access to digitized materials on Hong Kong’s history, culture and heritage. The materials include text documents, photographs, posters, sound recordings, motion pictures and videos.
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