Culture of Hong Kong
The culture of Hong Kong, or Hongkongers culture, can best be described as a foundation that began with Lingnan's Cantonese culture and, to a much lesser extent, non-Cantonese branches of Han Chinese cultures. It became influenced by British culture due to British colonialism, resulting in a culture characterized by both Cantonese-ness and British-ness. Moreover, Hong Kong has indigenous people, whose cultures have been absorbed into modern day Hong Kong culture; as a result, after the 1997 transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong has continued to develop an identity of its own. Hong Kong Cantonese is the Cantonese language spoken in Hong Kong. Although it is not one of the Hong Kong indigenous languages, it is the most spoken language in Hong Kong nowadays; the Hong Kong style of Cantonese contains many loanwords from English, some from Japanese, due to Japan being one of Hong Kong's biggest trade partners and the popularity of Japanese pop culture in the city in the past few decades.
Hong Kong Cantonese is still mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken by Cantonese people from mainland China or overseas Chinese of Cantonese ancestry. Cantonese is the primary language used in Hongkongese cultural products. One distinctive trait of Hong Kong's Cantonese is that, due to British cultural influences, Hongkongese are noted to have a habit of sprinkling their Cantonese with English words, resulting in a new speech pattern called "Kongish". Hakka language is used in many walled villages in New Territories and Hakka ethnic communities in Hong Kong, being one of the indigenous languages for Hong Kong indigenous peoples. Hakka is, like Cantonese and Mandarin, a member of the Chinese language family, but has close to zero mutual intelligibility with either. Hakka people has a distinct culture, differing from Cantonese in terms of traditional architecture, music and other customs. Waitau language, another of Hong Kong's indigenous languages, is spoken by the older generation living in walled villages in New Territories.
Lastly, the Tanka people from the fishing villages is another group of Hong Kong indigenous peoples. Their language, with their own version of Cantonese, is another form of Hong Kong indigenous languages. Since the 1997 handover, the government has adopted the "trilingual" policy. Under this principle, "Chinese" and English must both be acknowledged as official languages, with Cantonese being acknowledged as the de facto official variety of Chinese in Hong Kong, while accepting the use of Mandarin in certain occasions. In terms of writing systems, Hongkongese write using Traditional Chinese characters, which can write all of the words in Mandarin-based Vernacular Chinese, the language in which government documents and most works of literature are written. With the aid of Cantonese characters invented by Hongkongese, the Cantonese language can now be written verbatim, written Cantonese have been becoming more prevalent since the turn of the 21st century in less formal spheres such as internet forums and advertisements.
156 years of rule as a separate British colony, as well as political separation from the rest of Lingnan have resulted in a unique local identity. Elements of traditional Cantonese culture combined with British influences have shaped Hong Kong in every facet of the city, spanning from law, education, languages and the way of thinking, it is for this reason that many Hongkongese are proud of their culture and refer themselves as "Hongkongers" or "Hongkongese", to distinguish themselves from the Han Chinese from mainland China. Academic Kam Louie described Hong Kong's colonial past as creating a "translation space where Chinese-ness was interpreted for'Westerners' and Western-ness translated for Chinese." In Hong Kong, traditional Confucian-derived values such as "family solidarity", "courtesy" and "saving face" carry significant weight in the minds of the people. Hong Kong's mainstream culture is derive from and influenced by the Cantonese from the neighboring province of Guangdong and their culture, different from those of other Han Chinese people.
There are small communities of Hakka, Hokkien and Shanghainese people in Hong Kong. Structurally, one of the first laws to define people's relationships was the Hong Kong Matrimonial Ordinance passed in 1972; the law set the precedent of banning concubinage and same sex marriages with a strict declaration for heterosexual relationships with one partner only. Other economic changes include families in need of assistance due to both parents working. In particular, foreign domestic helpers have become an integral part of the household since the late 1980s. In terms of architecture, Hong Kong shows Cantonese and indigenous influences, she has several styles of architecture, most notably Cantonese architecture and British architecture. The former
History of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom as a unified state can be treated as beginning in 1707 with the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland, into a united kingdom called Great Britain. Of this new state the historian Simon Schama said: What began as a hostile merger would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history. The Act of Union 1800 added the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the first decades were marked by Jacobite risings which ended with defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746. In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the growth of the First British Empire. With the defeat by the United States and Spain in the War of American Independence, Britain lost its 13 American colonies and rebuilt a Second British Empire based in Asia and Africa; as a result, British culture, its technological, political and linguistic influence, became worldwide.
Politically, the central event was the French Revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath from 1793 to 1815, which British elites saw as a profound threat, worked energetically to form multiple coalitions that defeated Napoleon in 1815. The Tories, who came to power in 1783, remained in power until 1830. Forces of reform emanating from the Evangelical religious elements, opened decades of political reform that broadened the ballot, opened the economy to free trade; the outstanding political leaders of the 19th century included Palmerston, Disraeli and Salisbury. Culturally the Victorian era was a time of prosperity and dominant middle-class virtues when Britain dominated the world economy and maintained a peaceful century, 1815–1914; the First World War, in alliance with France and the United States, was a furious but successful total war with Germany. The resulting League of Nations was a favourite project in Interwar Britain. However, while the Empire remained strong, as did the London financial markets, the British industrial base began to slip behind Germany and the United States.
Sentiments for peace were so strong that the nation supported appeasement of Hitler's Germany in the late 1930s, until the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 opened the Second World War. In the Second World War 1939–45, the Soviet Union the U. S. joined Britain as the main Allied powers. Britain was no longer a military or economic superpower, as seen in the Suez Crisis of 1956. Britain no longer had the wealth to maintain an empire, so it granted independence to all its possessions; the new states joined the Commonwealth of Nations. Postwar years saw great hardships, alleviated somewhat by large-scale financial aid from the United States, some from Canada. Prosperity returned in the 1950s. Meanwhile, in 1945–50 the Labour Party built a welfare state, nationalized many industries, created the National Health Service; the UK took a strong stand against Communist expansion after 1945, playing a major role in the Cold War and the formation of NATO as an anti-Soviet military alliance with West Germany, the U.
S. Canada and smaller countries. NATO remains a powerful military coalition; the UK has been a leading member of the United Nations since its founding, as well as numerous other international organizations. In the 1990s, neoliberalism led to the privatisation of nationalized industries and significant deregulation of business affairs. London's status as a world financial hub grew continuously. Since the 1990s large-scale devolution movements in Northern Ireland and Wales have decentralized political decision-making. Britain has wobbled forth on its economic relationships with Western Europe, it joined the European Union in 1973. However, the Brexit referendum in 2016 committed the UK to an exit from the European Union. In 1922, Catholic Ireland seceded to become the Irish Free State. In 1927 the United Kingdom changed its formal title to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shortened to Britain and to the United Kingdom or UK; the Kingdom of Great Britain came into being on 1 May 1707, as a result of the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland under the Treaty of Union.
This combined the two kingdoms into a single kingdom, merged the two parliaments into a single parliament of Great Britain. Queen Anne became the first monarch of the new Great Britain. Although now a single kingdom, certain institutions of Scotland and England remained separate, such as Scottish and English law. England and Scotland each continued to have their own system of education. Meanwhile, the long War of the Spanish Succession against France was under way, it see-sawed back and forth until a more peace-minded government came to power in London and the treaties of Utrecht and Rastadt in 1713–1714 ended the war. British historian G. M. Trevelyan argues: That Treaty, which ushered in the stable and characteristic period of Eighteenth-Century civilization, marked the end of danger to Europe from the old French monarchy, it marked a change of no less significance to the world at large,—the maritime and financial supremacy of Great Britain; the Stuart line died with Anne in 1714, although a die-hard faction with French support supported pretenders.
The Elector of Hanover became king as George I (1714–1
Economy of Hong Kong
As one of the world's leading international financial centres, Hong Kong's service-oriented economy is characterized by its low taxation free port trade and well established international financial market. Its currency, called the Hong Kong dollar, is issued by three major international commercial banks, pegged to the US dollar. Interest rates are determined by the individual banks in Hong Kong to ensure. There is no recognised central banking system, although the Hong Kong Monetary Authority functions as a financial regulatory authority. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong has had the highest degree of economic freedom in the world since the inception of the index in 1995, its economy is governed under positive non-interventionism, is dependent on international trade and finance. For this reason it is regarded as among the most favorable places to start a company. In fact, a recent study shows that Hong Kong has come from 998 registered start-ups in 2014 to over 2800 in 2018, with eCommerce, Fintech and Advertising companies comprising the majority.
The Economic Freedom of the World Index listed Hong Kong as the number one country, with a score of 8.97, in 2015. Hong Kong's economic strengths include a sound banking system no public debt, a strong legal system, ample foreign exchange reserves at around US $408 billion as of mid-2017, rigorous anti-corruption measures and close ties with mainland China; the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is a favourable destination for international firms and firms from mainland China to be listed due to Hong Kong's internationalised and modernised financial industry along with its capital market in Asia, its size and available financial tools, which are comparable to London and New York. Hong Kong's gross domestic product has grown 180 times between 1961 and 1997; the GDP per capita rose by 87 times within the same time frame. Its economy is larger than Israel's or Ireland's and its GDP per capita at purchasing power parity was the sixth highest globally in 2011, higher than the United States and the Netherlands and lower than Brunei.
In 2009, Hong Kong's real economic growth fell by 2.8% as a result of the global financial turmoil. By the late 20th century, Hong Kong was the seventh largest port in the world and second only to New York and Rotterdam in terms of container throughput. Hong Kong is a full Member of World Trade Organization; the Kwai Chung container complex was the largest in Asia. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of about US$3.732 trillion. Hong Kong has had an abundant supply of labour from the regions nearby. A skilled labour force coupled with the adoption of modern British/Western business methods and technology ensured that opportunities for external trade and recruitment were maximised. Prices and wages in Hong Kong are flexible, depending on the performance and stability of the economy of Hong Kong. Hong Kong raises revenues from the sale and taxation of land and through attracting international businesses to provide capital for its public finance, due to its low tax policy.
According to Healy Consultants, Hong Kong has the most attractive business environment within East Asia, in terms of attracting foreign direct investment. In 2013, Hong Kong was the third largest recipient of FDI in the world. Hong Kong ranked fourth on the Tax Justice Network's 2011 Financial Secrecy Index; the Hong Kong Government was the fourth highest ranked Asian government in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index, a measure of a government's information and communication technologies in 2016, ranked 13th globally. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of about US$3.732 trillion as of mid-2017. In 2006, the value of initial public offerings conducted in Hong Kong was second highest in the world after London. In 2009, Hong Kong raised 22 percent of IPO capital, becoming the largest centre of IPOs in the world; the exchange is the world's 10th third largest in China. Since the 1997 handover, Hong Kong's economic future became far more exposed to the challenges of economic globalisation and the direct competition from cities in mainland China.
In particular, Shanghai claimed to have a geographical advantage. The Shanghai municipal government dreamt of turning the city into China's main economic centre by as early as 2010; the target is to allow Shanghai to catch up to New York by 2040–2050. Hong Kong's economic policy has been cited by economists such as Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute as an example of laissez-faire capitalism, attributing the city's success to the policy. However, others have argued that the economic strategy is not adequately characterised by the term laissez-faire, they point out that there are still many ways in which the government is involved in the economy, some of which exceed the degree of involvement in other capitalist countries. For example, the government is involved in public works projects, healthcare and social welfare spending. Further, although rates of taxation on personal and corporate income are low by international standards, unlike most other countries Hong Kong's government raises a significant portion of its revenues from land leases and land taxation.
All land in Hong Kong is owned by the government and is leased to private developers and users on fixed terms, for fees which are paid to the state treasury. By restricting the sale of land leases, the Hong Kong government keeps the price of land at what some consider as art
The Thirteen Factories known as the Canton Factories, was a neighbourhood along the Pearl River in southwestern Guangzhou in the Qing Empire from c. 1684 to 1856 around modern day Xiguan, in Guanzhou's Liwan District. These warehouses and stores were the principal and sole legal site of most Western trade with China from 1757 to 1842; the factories were destroyed by fire in 1822 by accident, in 1841 amid the First Opium War, in 1856 at the onset of the Second Opium War. The factories' importance diminished after the opening of the treaty ports and the end of the Canton System under the terms of the 1842 Anglo-Chinese Treaty of Nanking. After the Second Opium War, the factories were not rebuilt at their former site south of Guangzhou's old walled city but moved, first to Henan Island across the Pearl River and to Shamian Island south of Guangzhou's western suburbs, their former site is now part of Guangzhou Cultural Park. The "factories" were not workshops or manufacturing centres but the offices, trading posts, warehouses of foreign factors, mercantile fiduciaries who bought and sold goods on consignment for their principals.
The word derives from "feitoria". The foreign agents were known as daban in Chinese; this term's Cantonese pronunciation, tai-pan, only came into common English use after the rise of private trading from 1834 on. A private captain might be his own supercargo. A team of supercargos divided their work, some overseeing sales, others tea purchases, silk purchases, so forth. Permanent supercargos might divide their work by the order ships arrived; the bookkeepers who attended them were called "writers". By analogy, it was applied to its chief, the Hong merchant, its property, the factories themselves. Hoppo, or the "Canton Sea Customs Minister", was the imperial official responsible for imperial customs and supervised the other officials; the word is Chinese Pidgin English, some speculated that it derived from Hu Bu, but the official had no connection to the Board. The Hoppo was responsible for fixing the charges levied as a ship entered the port, a responsibility that allowed him to become quite rich.
Since the Ming dynasty, a series of sea bans restricted China's foreign commerce, at times attempting to ban it completely. In 1684, the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty allowed foreigners to trade with China in the four cities of Guangzhou, Xiamen and Ningpo. In the case of Guangzhou, early traders were obliged to follow the monsoon winds, arriving between June and September, conducting their business, departing between November and February; the foreign ships were anchored downstream at Pazhou, with business conducted in the city's western suburbs. Western traders were further required to work through Chinese merchants who would guarantee their good behavior and tax obligations. In practice, private traders could avoid these restrictions but the customs superintendent, the hoppo, was always careful to enforce them upon large-volume purchasers such as the East India Company. Cargo was ferried from the ships by its own crew and to the ships at the expense of the Chinese merchants on their "chop boats".
To avoid theft or piracy, foreign traders began assigning a few of their own seamen to these ships as guards. In 1686, Westerners were allowed to rent accommodations in the factory quarter to avoid the necessity of shuttling back to Pazhou each night. For the most part, the supercargos, their assistants, the bookkeepers stayed at the factories, the crew—except for a few guards or those on shore leave—stayed with the ships, the captains continued to ferry between the two. A Chinese comprador hired each factory's staff of Chinese servants and bought its provisions from local vendors. Another comprador dealt with the ship's provisions at Pazhou, where sampan ladies crowded around the ships to do laundry and odd jobs for the sailors. A few weeks before departure, the crew came to the factories in shifts of a few days each for shore leave, chaperoned by some of the ship's officers. Hog Lane was lined with open-fronted booths and shops catering to them, selling food, clothing, "chowchows", was policed by Chinese guards stationed at both ends of the alley.
At first the supercargos came and left with the ships, but over the course of the 18th century companies began to rent their factory spaces year-round to avoid being displaced on their return. The supercargos were permitted to outstay their company's ships a few weeks to conduct business for the next season. By the 1760s, every East India company had permanent supercargos and rooms were being rented in Macao year-round as well. In the mid-1750s, the East India Company realized that the fees and prices were both better at Ningbo; the impact of their shift on Guangzhou's tax receipts and a fear of a second Macao being created prompted attempts to force Ningbo to make itself less attractive. When that failed, the Qianlong Emperor
Convention of Chuenpi
The Convention of Chuenpi was a tentative agreement between British Plenipotentiary Charles Elliot and Chinese Imperial Commissioner Qishan during the First Opium War between the United Kingdom and the Qing dynasty of China. The terms were published on 20 January 1841, but both governments rejected them and dismissed Elliot and Qishan from their positions. Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston stated that Elliot acquired too little while the Daoguang Emperor believed Qishan conceded too much. Palmerston appointed Major-General Henry Pottinger to replace Elliot, while the emperor appointed Yang Fang to replace Qishan, along with Yishan as General-in-Chief of Repressing Rebellion and Longwen as an assistant regional commander. Although the convention was unratified, many of the terms were included in the Treaty of Nanking. On 20 February 1840, Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston instructed the joint plenipotentiaries Captain Charles Elliot and his cousin Admiral George Elliot to acquire the cession of at least one island for trade on the Chinese coast, amongst other terms.
In November 1840, during the First Opium War, George returned to Britain due to ill health, leaving Charles as sole plenipotentiary. In negotiations with Imperial Commissioner Qishan, Elliot wrote on 29 December to "request a place in the outer sea, where the British can fly their flag and administer themselves, just as the Westerners do in Macao." However, the year ended with no agreement. To force Chinese concessions, the British captured the forts at the entrance of the Humen strait on 7 January 1841, after which Qishan agreed to consider Elliot's demands. Negotiations ensued at the Bogue near Chuenpi. On 11 January, Qishan offered to "grant a place outside the estuary to lodge temporarily", he wrote to Elliot on 15 January, offering either Hong Kong Island or Kowloon but not both. Elliot replied the next day. On 15 January, trader James Matheson wrote to his business partner William Jardine that Elliot arrived in Macao the night before: "I learn from him confidentially that Ki Shen has agreed to the British having a possession of their own outside, but objects to ceding Chuenpee.
One factor that may have led to settling on Hong Kong was the perceived ambiguity of the Chinese language. Matheson believed that when Qishan wrote "as we have granted you territory you do not now require another port", Elliot as a result gave up demands of British access to a port in northern China in the hope that he could hold Qishan to an interpretation of the Chinese characters in which the British had been ceded Hong Kong rather than just being given a trading factory there. On 20 January, Elliot issued a circular announcing "the conclusion of preliminary arrangements" between Qishan and himself involving the following conditions: The cession of the island and harbour of Hong Kong to the British crown. All just charges and duties to the empire upon the commerce carried on there to be paid as if the trade were conducted at Whampoa. An indemnity to the British government of six millions of dollars, one million payable at once, the remainder in equal annual instalments ending in 1846. Direct official intercourse between the countries upon equal footing.
The trade of the port of Canton to be opened within ten days after the Chinese new-year, to be carried on at Whampoa till further arrangements are practicable at the new settlement. Other terms that were agreed upon were the restoration of the islands of Chuenpi and Taikoktow to the Chinese, the evacuation of Chusan, which the British had captured and occupied since July 1840. Chusan was returned in exchange for the release of British prisoners in Ningpo who became shipwrecked on 15 September 1840 after the brig Kite struck quicksand en route to Chusan; the convention allowed the Qing government to continue collecting tax at Hong Kong, the main sticking point that led to the disagreement according to Lord Palmerston. The forts were restored to the Chinese on 21 January in a ceremony on Chuenpi, held by Captain James Scott as pro tempore governor of the fort. Commodore James Bremer, commander-in-chief of British forces in China, sent an officer to Anunghoy with a letter for Chinese Admiral Guan Tianpei, informing him of their intention to return the forts.
About an hour Guan sent a mandarin to receive them. The British colours were hauled down and the Chinese colours were hoisted in their place, under a salute fired from HMS Wellesley, returned by the Chinese with a salute fired from the Anunghoy batteries; the ceremony was repeated at Taikoktow. Military secretary Keith Mackenzie observed: "I never saw a man in such an ecstasy of chin chin, as he was, when our colours were lowered—he jumped for joy." Two days Elliot dispatched the brig Columbine to Chusan, with instructions to evacuate it for Hong Kong. Duplicates of these dispatches were forwarded overland by the imperial express. At the same time, Qishan directed Yilibu, the viceroy of Liangjiang, to release the British prisoners at Ningpo. News of the terms was sent to England aboard the East India Company steamer Enterprise, which left China on 23 January. On the same day, the Canton Free Press published the opinion of British residents in China regarding the cession of Hong Kong: We consider that, for an independent British settlement, no situation can be more favourably chosen than that of Hong-Kong.
The island itself is of little extent... but it forms, with the neighbouring lands, one of the finest ports existing... Hong Kong would, we doubt not, in a short time, become a place of considerable tra
History of bus transport in Hong Kong
The history of bus transport in Hong Kong began with the introduction of the first bus routes in Hong Kong in the 1920s. Bus transport in Hong Kong was started in the 1920s. Several operators were managing a number of bus routes on both sides of the Victoria Harbour by the end of the 1920s; these included – Kowloon Motor Bus China Motor Bus Hong Kong Tramways Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Aberdeen Kai Fong Hotel Hong Kong Hotels In 1933, bus services were franchised. Rights were given to Kowloon Motor Bus on the North side, China Motor Bus on the Island. Other bus companies such as Hong Kong Tramways, Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels, Hong Kong Hotel and Aberdeen Kai Fong, had to cease operations and their buses sold to the franchised operators. Records relating to the period before the 1930s are scarce as they were destroyed in World War II, but the surviving photographic and written evidence indicates that an extensive network of buses served both sides of the harbour; some remote areas of the territory at the time, such as Yuen Long and Stanley were served.
Buses of various British bus manufacturers, such as Leyland and Daimler were present in significant numbers around the territory. During the occupation, the Japanese tried unsuccessfully to restore bus services to normal levels, due to an insufficient supply of fuel and spare-parts; the limited resources and buses available for service, was responsible for the reduction in the total number of routes in service, as well as for the re-introduction of horse-driven carts to the territory. When the British returned, they put the restoration of public transport to the highest priority. Before new buses were shipped to Hong Kong, both KMB and CMB had to use modified trucks instead of proper buses to transport passengers; these trucks were phased out by the end of the 1950s. The position eased when KMB took delivery of a batch of 50 single-deck Tilling-Stevens and CMB a further 108 during 1947/48; the return of large number of people to Hong Kong after the war, people who wanted to escape from the communists, caused a population boom.
As a result, the demand for public transport skyrocketed and larger buses became necessary. Kowloon Motor Bus received 20 Daimler CVG5 double-decker buses in 1949 as a trial, they turned out to be an unparalleled success, just like the AEC Regents in London. More than 1,000 buses in various specifications, including the Daimler Fleetlines, were to follow until the 1970s. China Motor Bus chose to use more single-deck buses instead; this was because the Gardner engined double-deckers did not perform satisfactorily given the hilly terrain, population levels on the island were more steady and predictable. The company partnered with Guy in Wolverhampton and became the second major buyer of Guy Arab buses – after Wolverhampton Corporation Transport. A comparison the buses on both sides of the harbour in the 1960s: The KMB buses were larger in capacity with standard engines, while those of CMB were small yet over-powered. While KMB went for 34-foot double-decker buses, CMB chose to buy 36-foot version of Guy Arab, but with only 60% of the capacity of a 34-footer.
The growth of Hong Kong seemed to be out of control and squatter settlements sprang up everywhere. Areas like Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong and Chai Wan were developed at a rate, unparalleled in any other British colony; the bus network had to grow accordingly. KMB started to call for double-deckers longer than 30 feet. Daimler regained ground by introducing the 34-foot CVG6 with the Gardner 6LX engine; this model found favour with KMB. Soon, these behemoths – for their time – were dominating the Kowloon streets, replaced older Daimlers in outer areas, as well as the Cross-Harbour Tunnel routes later. Meanwhile, CMB was tackling an big problem. On routes 8 and 8A, buses have to travel up a hill, which includes covering a 1-km road with a gradient of 1:10. However, the small Tilling-Stevens and the Arabs which the CMB deployed were not up to the challenge due to the large population of Chai Wan, the large double-deckers used by CMB did not have the required engine power. CMB ordered 40 36-foot single-deck buses to shift the working crowds, after considering their early success in Africa.
Those single-deckers, suffered from the same problem as their African siblings: They were too long, with a 10-foot overhang, 22-foot wheelbase and no upper deck to provide additional strength. The buses bent and their tail ends swung up and down, they were used for no longer than 10 years before being cut down to standard 30-foot length and re-bodied. In 1963, China Motor Bus introduced the first double-decker bus on Hong Kong Island CMB introduced more double-deckers on routes serving the northern coast of the island. At that time with larger buses and increased ridership, costs were still high. On KMB buses, there were up to four people employed on each bus – a driver, one or two conductors to collect the fares and the last, the gateman, supervised boarding and alighting by opening and closing the gates at each end. CMB buses had two crew on each bus, with the fare collector and the door-keeper being the same person; this level of manning was soon deemed unacceptable and the bus companies replaced manual doors and gates or open platforms with pneumatic doors, which eliminated the need for the gateman.
However, there were no layoffs, as both bus companies were expanding and the surpl
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth