As I never visited the property I do not know how large it had been, but it certainly seems to have been a large house when built in pre-war days. This view is looking to the North with the back of the ruined wing on the left overlooking the sea towards Lantau. Ken Sly wrote that when he and Olga first saw it they asked the owner, a Doctor Thomas, who lived in a house below the Blarney Stone grounds, if they could lease it if they renovated one wing. This was agreed and they lived there from about 1957 until their move to Melbourne in 1965. During all those years, Ken and Olga employed an amah called Ah King, who became a good friend. They took out an insurance policy for her and, when they moved to Melbourne, Ah King had enough money to buy a small apartment. Ken was always very pleased that they had been able to look to Ah King's future security. A final note on the Blarney Stone is that Ken wrote that when they moved out, the daughter of Sir Robert Black, the Governor, asked if she could take over the lease. This was agreed and Ken understood that she lived there until the handover in 1997 when she returned to the U.K..
My grandfather, Dr George Harold Thomas, owned Blarney Stone. It was interesting to see photographs of the residence taken in 1959. It was sadly demolished in the early 1990s and the current development still bears the name. The original name plaque is still located within the property.
I was very interested to see your comment. I revisited the site in 2002 in order to send a short movie clip to Ken Sly. In his autobiography, that I helped him write, he remembered the years he spent living there with great affection. Were you ever able to visit Blarney Stone? Andrew
I've added 1912 as a guess at the completion date.
The site is mentioned under 'Works commenced' in the PWD's annual report for 1911:
1 House on R.B.L. 135, Victoria Road.
And Ulick Farrell was living there in 1913.
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