tai po police station and temporary buildings

Fri, 08/13/2021 - 05:46

From Heritage Impact Assessment of Old Tai Po Police Station

Shows the police station as well as temporary buildings around the station. Quite sure one of these is visible on the "1899-08-02_Meeting_at_Tai_Po_Market (2)" photo.

The photo is probably from 1901 or 1902 (see comments below).

Date picture taken


According to Cheng Po-Hung, in "A Century of New Territories Roads and Streets" (2003), Tai Po Temporary Police Station may have been completed on 16 April 1899 and was "rebuilt in 1900, used as police headquarters of the New Territories District" (p88). 

On p61 of the same book there is also a photo from 1930 showing the Tai Po District Office and Police Station (located close together on the same hill) and the Police Inspector's Quarter on a nearby small hill - these would all be the permanent replacements for the temporary buildings we can see in the original photo above. 

From the 1899 year ending Police Report available in HKGRO, the opening date (16 April 1899)  of the Tai Po Police Station is confirmed. Although mention is not made of the rebuilding of the Police Station in subsequent Police Reports, it appears that a permanent police station was built on the same site to replace the temporary matshed buildings that were destroyed in April 1899.

I think the same photo appears in the National Archives as seen here but is dated as 1901. To be verified as the Tai Po Road/Causeway is also shown.

Following-up, the 1900 Public Works Department Report which looks back at work(s) conducted in 1899 provides the following:

A large permanent Police Station was built at Tai-po containing 12 rooms besides kitchen and out-offices, with accommodation for 5 European and 32 Indian or Chinese constables, the expenditure brought to account being $7,650.

1. Early in 1900, the road was completed to the 9th mile from Kowloon Ferry Pier, a point little beyond Tai Wai Village. PWD Report for 1900 refers.

2. By end of March 1901, the road was opened to traffic up to Fo Tan (10.5 Mile). By year's end, work was in progress up to Tai Po. The causeway which was constructed for access to the landing pier has been incorporated with the road and is being widened and improved. PWD Report for 1901 refers.

3. The whole work has been completed with the exception of the surfacing of the road. The road is open to ricksha traffic throughout its entire length of 18 miles from Tsim Sha Tsui Point to Tai Po. PWD Report for 1902 refers.