1910s North Point Beach | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1910s North Point Beach

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1910s North Point Beach
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North Point Beach was a public bathing spot. 

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1915

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1914 Tram Service to North Point Beach
1914 Tram Service to North Point Beach, by Moddsey

A small section on such special summer service had introduced in the 1970 version "Hong Kong Tramways", and incorporated in the updated version.

Regards, Joseph

Do we know when the beach was obliterated by reclamation ?

-Geoff

I guess that section of the shoreline disappeared in the 1920s, as the annual reports from the Public Works Department report reclamations at North Point around that time. eg see item 40 in the 1923 report.

Perhaps the ticket being used for this special summer service, the company name and the Chinese name 'Tsat Tsz Mui 姊妹 ' on the 4th row on the right.

Regards, Joseph

1912 ticket
1912 ticket, by Joseph

The North Point beach in the late 1910s had its fair share of stones which made it uncomfortable for the local bathers' feet. Below are two letters to the Editor of the HK Telegraph of interest:

“CORRESPONDENCE.

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[The opinions expressed by correspondents are not necessarily those of the “Hongkong Telegraph”]

NORTH POINT AS A BATHING PLACE.

[To the Editor of the “Hongkong Telegraph.”]

Sir, - I agree with “Bather,” whose letter appeared in yesterday’s Telegraph, that it is to be regretted that the Government cannot see its way clear to spend a few dollars on the erection of a suitable matshed at North Point for the convenience and accommodation of bathers. As is stated in one of the Telegraph’s leaderettes, all that is “required” to make North Point a popular and a very pleasant bathing place is a little attention and a little expenditure on the part of the Government. Had the sand been free of rough stones and other refuse hurtful to the feet, North Point would last season have been as popular and, possibly, more popular, than it was in previous bathing seasons. What the Government does not seem to realise is that the place might very easily  be transformed into a exceedingly good bathing beach; that such is much needed by a large section of the community, who, moreover, would readily avail themselves of the opportunity of using the place if it were put into proper condition. Surely the Government cannot ignore the justice of this contention or say with accuracy that the lack of interest in North Point will not justify the necessary expenditure. If it puts the place in proper order, as those on whose behalf I am writing have a right to expect, then the place will justify all that the Government can reasonably be expected to do. It is not expected that, as in the case of the Golf Course at Fanling, the sum of $2,550 will be disbursed. A much smaller amount will be all that is required. It will be thoroughly appreciated, for it is assistance that is much needed. I trust that the Government will reconsider its decision regarding North Point, which, I repeat, might easily and inexpensively be converted into a delightful bathing place.

Enclosing my card,

                        Yours etc.

                                    J.M.

Hongkong , June 8, 1917.

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Sir, - I sincerely trust that your three paragraphs in last night’s issue of your paper will catch the eye of the Government and cause it to reconsider its decision and spend a few dollars on behalf of the bathers who frequent North Point, who cannot afford to hire a launch and go elsewhere.

A few dollars spent at North Point will go a long way, and will, I am sure, be greatly appreciated by the large number of children and other bathers who frequent this spot. Perhaps if the Hon. Colonial Secretary were to drop down that way one of these fine afternoons and see the children undressing and dressing in the open, and running along the rocky beach, often getting their little feet cut, I am sure he would be in favour of spending a few dollars on their behalf, for I am told he takes a kindly interest in children.

All that is needed is a small pier, a dressing place, and a clearing of the beach. And most of the people who make use of this bathing resort are willing to pay a small fee for the use of such facilities.

Trusting that the Hon. Mr. Pollock will “Try, try again,” and, thanking him in advance for his labours in this connection, which I hope will not be in vain.

I am,

           Yours, etc.

                        EAST POINTER.

Hongkong, June 8, 1917.”

 

Source: The Hong Kong Telegraph, page 8, 9th June 1917

The decision to upgrade the Fanling Golf Course for the few as opposed to the North Point bathing beach for the many clearly rankled a number of people as this editorial opinion piece on the same day demonstrated:

 

“AN INVIDIOUS DISTINCTION

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The action of the Legislative Council in voting a further sum of $2,500 to improve the attractiveness at the Golf Course at Fanling and on the same day refusing to take any steps to provide the public with bathing facilities at North Point is certain to rankle. Golf – at Fanling especially – is the recreation of the comparatively wealthy, while bathing at the beaches named is the recreation of the poor, and the distinction which the two decisions of the Council sets up certainly appears invidious. It was explained by the Hon. Colonial Secretary that, with the exception of a temporary pier from which diving could be performed at certain states of the tide, the bathing facilities at North Point, have hitherto been provided by the Hongkong Tramway Co., “who have found that the facilities were utilised to so small an extent that they have decided not to make any such provision this year.” It is an astonishing statement because the general impression has been that this beach in the bathing season has been utilised to an extent which has demonstrated it to be a public need. When the facilities were first provided the patronage was very considerable, and it has fallen off the reason is to be found probably in the fact that the beach needs a few hundred dollars spent upon it to improve it. Even as it is the bathing beach was used by an enormously greater number of people than the Fanling Golf Course, popular as that Course deservedly is among golfers. If the maintenance of the Fanling Gold Course was a charge which fell upon the railway, that Administration would be justified in shutting up the Course for precisely the same reason that the Tramway Co. has ceased to make any provision this year at the North Point bathing beach. But the Railway Administration is not saddled with the upkeep of the Golf Course, and any help the Government may give in increasing the attractions of  Fanling is all to the good of the railway. In short, this vote of $2,500 is a good investment by the Government. The more beautiful such a delightful bit of country is made, the more people are likely to travel out to see it, and this is all to the benefit of the Government revenue from the railway. Therefore, nobody can reasonably object to the Government spending a sum of money in providing improved bathing facilities at North Point for the very considerable number of people who cannot afford the luxury of bathing trips by steam launch. It may be added that the Government is now getting a percentage of the annual profits of the Tramway Co., and, therefore, the reason which justifies the vote to the Golf Club applies to a certain extent to the bathing beach. It is a matter that ought to be reconsidered.”

Source: The China Mail, page 4, 9th June 1917   

 

Maybe the HK Government already had plans to reclaim the shoreline and couldn’t be bothered to pour money into an area that will cease to exist in the near future?