“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Caldbeck Macgregor – Out from Shanghai

Posted: September 1st, 2016 | 5 Comments »

The wines and spirits distributor Caldbeck Macgregor is intrinsically linked with Shanghai – you can still their old HQ down on Foochow Road (Fuzhou Road) and I blogged about it way back when (here). Caldbeck Macgregor was early in Shanghai – establishing in 1864 (as George Smith & Co.) and serving thirsty taipans right from the early years of the treaty port. The company assumed the name Caldbeck Macgregor in 1883. However, they soon spread out across South East Asia and today are most commonly associated with Malaysia. Still, here, from 1928, some Caldbeck Macgregor ads for their Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur outposts (though still a company incorporated in Shanghai)…

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5 Comments on “Caldbeck Macgregor – Out from Shanghai”

  1. 1 Paul Cheng said at 7:39 am on June 4th, 2017:

    Dear Sir:

    This is such a small world. My father worked as head of house servant for Mr. & Mrs. P.G. Strickland; managing director and nephew to the Calbeck Macgregor clan.

    The Macgregors had Johnny Walker, Dewar’s, 7 Up franchise etc. in H.K. back in the 1950s until Mr. Strickland retired.

    After we moved to Canada, we wrote regularly to Mr. Strickland. He would write that he is the last of the methuselahs.

    The Stricklands passed away many years ago. My father passed away over 10 years ago. I just retired recently from Aramco. So thot you might like to know this part of the Macgregor history before it fades into obscurity. I still have pictures from old H.K. if you are interested.

    Sincerely

    Paul Cheng
    519 709 2091

  2. 2 Paul French said at 5:25 pm on June 6th, 2017:

    thank you Paul – great story – and yes, I’d love to see any photos – do send to my private email address – paul@chinarhyming.com

  3. 3 Nancy Forsell said at 12:29 pm on March 9th, 2021:

    I’d love to see some of the old photos of Hong Kong from Paul Cheng. I’m a distant relative of the MacGregor group.
    Very interesting article and photos. Thank you. Read the one from 2010 blog too.

  4. 4 Victor Leung said at 4:45 pm on September 1st, 2021:

    Hi, I worked at Caldbeck Macgregor Hong Kong from 1970 to 1972 as an inventory clerk, it was situated at Union House in Central District at that time, it moved to Jardine House near the harbour front years after I left.

    I remembered we have staff discount in purchase of wine and spirit on a monthly basis (value at 10% of monthly salary), then a bottle of red label Johnnie Walker was HK$16, black label was HK$19, and a bottle of F.O.V. brandy was HK$33.

    Whiskey and other spirits were consumed mainly by visiting sailors and local English businessmen, wines were not that common in Hong Kong at that time.

    Victor Leung

  5. 5 Paul French said at 5:08 pm on September 1st, 2021:

    thanks for getting in touch Mr Leung – that’s very interesting – Paul (Chinarhyming)


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