Log Sawing by hand in Hong Kong

IDJ remembers seeing log sawing by hand particularly in shipyards building wooden junks and sampans but also on construction sites. Many had two or four men pushing and pulling from above and below. They could tear through a log surprisingly accurately and quickly. The frame’s sidebars were used to guide the saw blade in a straight line and achieve the right […]

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Hong Kong’s Lighthouses and the men who manned them – HKBRAS article

Louis Ha and Dan Waters have kindly both given permission to post their article published in the HKBRAS Journal, Volume 41, 2001. This contains a great deal of information. In particular details about these Hong Kong lighthouses: Green Island Cape Collinson Waglan Tang Lung Chau On life at the lighthouses: Climatic conditions Water Supply Manpower Defence Communications Creature comforts and […]

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Cosmopolitan Docks during the Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945

Elizabeth Ride: Extracts from reports in the BAAG Intelligence Summaries.  Layout [Map reference 192583:  GSGS 3868 1/20,000 HK&NT]. Sketch not found, but this Japanese map of the harbour and facilities may contain some information to  readers of Japanese.  2. During the Occupation. “According to one source, many of the ships salvaged by the Japanese were taken to this dockyard for repair.” 1943 […]

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Tuen Mun – “From Ancient Port to City of the Future”, 1982 account

IDJ has sent this monograph of the dramatic changes that occurred in Tuen Mun in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It starts rather gloomily, “Castle Peak, in reality a string of scattered settlements along the shoreline of the Bay, a straggle of ramshackle squatter huts pushing up the creek of the Tuen Mun river…” click the pages to enlarge. […]

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Cheoy Lee Shipyard, Penny’s Bay, Lantau 1964-2001

HF: Cheoy Lee Shipyard operated at Penny’s Bay, Lantau from 1964 to April 2001. The company was founded in 1870 in Shanghai by the Lo family. In 1936 when the Japanese Imperial Army [invaded China] the yard was moved to British-controlled Hong Kong, where the Lo family thought the yard would be safe. But the Japanese took over Hong Kong, too, […]

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Industrial Districts – Sai Kung

This article is the result of several people’s research into industrial development and other related topics in Sai Kung district. If you can provide information on any of the subjects below, or add to the list, it would be good to hear from you. I can then gradually add to this framework to provide a  fuller picture with an acknowledgment […]

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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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Les Messageries Maritimes á Hong Kong (1918-1941)

Messageries Maritimes Detail Liner Pathos In Hong Kong Harbour Circa 1930 Private Collection Francois Dremeaux

François Dremeaux has kindly sent extracts from his MPhil dissertation Les Messageries Maritimes á Hong Kong (1918-1941). He says “I did my MPhil about the Messageries Maritimes in Hong Kong during the interwar period. More than a subject, it is also a passion!” HF: François has translated the extracts from the original French and I have slightly amended his translations […]

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Olyphant & Co, China 19th century (Hong Kong office)

HF: Olyphant & Co. was a merchant trading house in 19th-century China. From its initial involvement there, the firm expanded into other countries including Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.  Olyphant & Co’s business dealings in Peru caused the company to collapse in 1878. The firm was founded in Canton by David WC Olyphant (1789-1851) and Charles N Talbot after their former employer, King […]

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Sai Hing Steam Ship Company – smuggling, pirates and bombs…

Stephen Davies: Further information about the Sainam and her sister ship the Nanning. I now know that the owner, Sai Hing Steam Ship Co., was originally a Chinese firm offering Canton to Macao river ferry services, formed as a syndicate to buy four ex-Swire ships (see SCMP, 9th November 1917, p.11) – the ships were the Nanning, Sainam, San Ui and Lin […]

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