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Fock Chong Hin, Tinsmith in Melaka

I stumbled upon this shop while documenting Rotan Melaka months ago. The uncle at Rotan Melaka suggested I write about this shop as well. I wanted to, but I hesitated to barge in and ask questions, considering the owner was busy. These pictures were taken during our recent visit a few weeks ago on December 14, 2023.

The owner was as busy as he was on our first visit months ago, but he was friendly and smiled at me. I asked for his permission to take these pictures. It’s unfortunate that this shop doesn’t have a proper Google Maps listing. I guess old-school businesses tend not to have one.

However, I did find two articles online about this shop. one from The New Strait Times and the other from Portal Rasmi Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah. Excerpts below:

Excerpt from The New Strait Times:

While walking along the streets of Melaka, I was drawn to the sound of metal being beaten and found two elderly gentlemen forming flowering cans. As I stopped to chat with them, I took in their surroundings.

Excerpt from Portal Rasmi Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah:

Pembuatan barang keluli yang telah dibuka pada dahulunya oleh Encik Fock Chong Hin yang sudah beroperasi sejak 100 tahun dahulu dan kini diusahakan oleh Encik Yong Ah Kau. Beliau telah mewarisi kemahiran ini dari bapanya. Beliau juga menghasilkan barangan keluli seperti takung dan baldi. Kini, beliau merasakan perniagaannya semakin terhimpit terutamanya disebabkan kehadiran peralatan plastik seperti takung dan baldi yang lebih ringan dan tahan lasak.

Translation: The production of steel goods, which was initially established by Mr. Fock Chong Hin and has been in operation for 100 years. The shop is now managed by Mr. Yong Ah Kau. He has inherited these skills from his father. He also manufactures steel products such as buckets and pails. Currently, he feels that his business is increasingly constrained, primarily due to the prevalence of plastic equipment that is both more lightweight and durable.

Apologies, there aren’t many pictures, and the article is quite short. We plan to revisit Fock Chong Hin soon, take some more pictures, interview the owner and update this article with more info from the interview.

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