Silvermine Bay Holiday Camp | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Silvermine Bay Holiday Camp

Silvermine Bay Holiday Camp

National Archives UK:  The Silvermine Bay Holiday Camp. Set on a pine-shaded hillock overlooking the beach, the camp was specially built for Hong Kong's poor children.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Monday, January 1, 1962


The Silvermine Bay Holiday Camp building shown in the 1962 photo above has a number of features in common with the building seen in these 1953 photos which are also said to have been taken at Silvermine Bay.

SCHOOL Silvermine Bay 1953.jpg
SCHOOL Silvermine Bay 1953.jpg, by Hamish68
Silvermine Bay Beach Coolie carrying stones.jpg
Silvermine Bay Beach Coolie carrying stones.jpg, by Hamish68

The following similarities can be seen;

- both buildings have flat roofs and are two storeys high on the left and one on the right as we look at them. The front left sides of the G/F's of both are in deep shadow, apparently caused by an overhanging roof, whilst the right sides are uncovered and in full view. Both 1/F's have nine windows facing front.   

- both buildings sit above a sizeable terrace wall with access via steps on the left side as we look at it. What seems to be a basketball court can be seen below the terrace in the 1962 photo. The lower angle of the 1953 photos doesn't give us sight of what's below the terrace wall, but it does appear to be a flattened area. 

The 1953 photos are said to have been taken at Silvermine Bay, but there's no mention of exactly where. Based on my memory that the mountains behind the Bay are highest towards the south and west, I'm guessing that the 1953 photos were of the northern end of the beach - where the Silvermine Bay Holiday Camp was situated. 

The building in the 1962 photo is obviously bigger than that in the 1953 photos, notably on its left side. Other differences can be seen between their windows. The nine 1/F windows in the 1953 photo are arranged in three groups of three, whilst the 1962 photo appears to show equal distances between all. On the G/F right side, the 1953 pic seems to show five windows, but the 1962 photo only shows four.

Despite their differences, their similar locations and features suggest that the 1953 and 1962 photos are of the same building which had been extended and had its windows altered sometime in the interim period. If so, and as the Silvermine Bay Holiday Camp is said to have opened in 1952, the 1953 photos would probably show it in its original form. As always, corrections gratefully received.        

Hi gw, I think you're right. If you compare the 1953 photo

with the one shown in the 1956 booklet of the Hong Kong Rotary Club

then it's the same building. It looks that in between 1953 and 1956, the house has been extended to the left.

Regards, Klaus

Good research Klaus. I can't verify my mothers photo, only that it is marked School in her album. I was walking down that way 2 days after I saw your post trying to see if this building still exists. I think is maybe part of or on the site of the Methodist Church and or associated buildings.




Hamish, another evidence for the correct location is another photo from the 1956 Rotary Club booklet.

This one shows stripes on the hill with bare rock to the left:

I think that's the same spot as shown on "Silvermine Bay Beach Coolie carrying stones", taken under a different angle compared to the upper one.

On both, a small house or hut can be seen at the beach.

Regards, Klaus