Central Star Ferry Pier (3rd location, Edinburgh Place) [1957-2006] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Central Star Ferry Pier (3rd location, Edinburgh Place) [1957-2006]

Current condition: 
Demolished
Date Place completed: 
1957-12-15
Date Place demolished: 
2006-12-16

Obviously no longer there and that part of the harbour is already filled in as part of the ongoing reclamation project.

Photos that show this place

Comments

Hi there,

There is an Wiki entry saying this version started out in 1958 and ended in 2006.   In Star Ferry's own website they moved to the new pier on 12th November 2006.  I am uncertain of the exact demolishion date though.  Probably sometime in 2007 or 2008?

Best Regards,

T

I found this entry on page 210 of the 1956 Hong Kong Annual Report:

The construction of new piers in Hong Kong and Kowloon to replace the present 'Star' Ferry Piers was well advanced. These piers will provide berths for four ferries at the same time on each side of the harbour which will speed up operation during rush hours. The passenger gangways are wide and spacious. Waiting rooms are provided. Other facilities include an Information Bureau, Newspaper Stalls, Money Changers, Toilets and First Aid Rooms, as may be found at any large rail terminus. A clock with a full set of Westminster chimes, presented by Mr J. Keswick, C.M.G, has been installed in a tower in the Hong Kong pier. It is expected that two berths of each pier will be in operation by April 1957 and the remaining two by April 1958.

This Wiki article gives late 2006 as the demolition date:

Following the pier's decommissioning on 12 November 2006, demolition work started amidst protests. The demolition was originally scheduled for the early part of 2007, but demolition was brought forward by 3 months, to 12 December 2006. The government ignored a nonbinding motion in September in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong urging it to retain the pier and clock tower.[10]

The demolition crew took control of the site by erecting scaffolding on 6 December 2006, and demolition commenced on 12 December.[4] Workers took down the clock mechanism and clock face, leaving a gaping hole, and then proceeded to lift the clock tower off in one piece. After the protesters had been dispersed, the remainder of the pier was completely dismantled, away from the glare of publicity.[11][12]

The 3rd generation of old Central Star Ferry Pier was opened initially on Dec 15, 1957 (1st service at 6:15am) but only the western wing was completed at that time. Almost all media (except ATV) including government officials were wrong by claiming the Star Ferry pier was opened in 1958 as AMO Advisory Board said it was not eligible to apply to be a monument since it was just 48 years old at that time (2006). I did a thorough research & wrote 2 emails to the CE Mr Donald Tsang under the title "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in Nov & Dec 2006 trying to save the Clock Tower in last minute. I was on site witnessing the incident when the government dismantled the old star ferry clock on December 12, 2006 & showed my old Sing Tao newspaper clipping to some reporters. 3 Chinese press covered me on Dec 13 but they failed to highlight my main argument on the integrity of the piers, Edingburgh Place & City Hall. They even got some facts wrong. The government cut the clcok tower in halves at 8:45 am on December 16, 2006 by obtaining an urgent approval from the ExCo then crashed it into little pieces on Lantao Island. I had a deeper insight on this incident & wrote 3 lyrics ( 2 Cantonese 1 in English) in memory of the saviour in vain for the clock tower. Long Story to tell all details here.

Hi Alan, any chance you can post up a scan of your newspaper clipping?

I tried looking at the China Mail online. The Dec 15 copy isn't online, and unfortuantely there's no mention of the pier opening in the issues that are online (14, 16, 17).

Regards, David

David,

I need more time to dig out my archives as I lost some of my records in computer failure and things are in disorder after my removal due to a fire accident which put me in QMH ICU & hospitals for 13 days in January. However I just searched the public library resources & managed to find 2 Ta Kung Pao news coverage on Dec 14 & 15, 1957 about the opening. But I couldn't upload it here as they are not jpeg files. may need further processing. You could find my 1957-12-15 Singtao Evening News coverage at the Shatin Public Library microfilmed old newspapers if you can't wait to see. meantime, here's one of my lyrics hung in front of demolished Old Star Ferry Central Pier :

 

The Chime of Silence

沉默啞言的鐘聲

Dedicated to The Chime of Old Star Ferry

 

       

Hey Star Ferry, my old friend
I come to take a look of you again
Because a nightmare softly creeping
Stop your bell while we were listening
And the nightmare that was planted in our brains
Still remains within the chime of silence

 

In restless dreams we shouted aloud
Please preserve our memories

Save the harbour of our own hometown

We turn our eyes to the old clock tower

When our ears were struck by the last chime of the bell

That torn our hearts

And echoed the chime of silence

 

And in the candle lights we burn

Countless people joined to roar

People fighting without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never heard
We all dared

Reclaim the chime of justice

 

"Fools," said He, "you do not know
The old pier is not that old
Hear no chime and you’ll soon forget it
Take my order to demolish it"
But our wishes like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of justice

 

And the people yelled and prayed
To the high rises not they made
And the bell struck out its warning
In the values that are vanishing
And the bell said “The words of the prophets are

Hidden on the curtain walls and our City Hall”
And lingered in the chime of silence…

 

       

Echoed, Echoed and Echoed by Alan Chi-lop Yu

based on Paul Simon’s “Sound of Silence” (1964)

November 23, 2006

 

Thanks Alan,

However I just searched the public library resources & managed to find 2 Ta Kung Pao news coverage on Dec 14 & 15, 1957 about the opening.

That should be good enough if anyone wants to see the original records of the opening.

Regards, David

Reading through this I wonder what became of the clock tower at the Star Ferry which appears in my photo of 1954?

Pauline.

 

I read somewhere that it ended up in the landfill at Tuen Mun - despite so many pleas to keep it. Sad :-(

the clock mechanism was given back to the Star Ferry company after dismantlement as that was not government property. The concrete clock tower was destroyed as the Government feared Friends of the earth trying to redeem the remains from the contractor. After the incident, the government planned to build a replica of the clock tower at the new Central reclamation in response to the public's strong voice. Whether the old clock could be re-installed & chime in the replica tower not sure yet. But the Queen's pier will be re-assembled on the new sea shore & NOT on its original site despite the consultation survey revealed that professional views advocated re-siting the piers on their historical location (this indicated how government manipulated surveys to substantiate her actions). Mrs Rita Lau, Permanent Secretary for Planning, Housing and Lands, spoke for the Government at the Legislative Council on 18 Dec 2006: "Let me tell the truth, even if you may call it a cruel one: My understanding is that the clock tower has been sent to the waste landfill and mixed with other construction waste. It can't be restored anymore. Don't have any rosy dream that it may be restored." So the incident ended up by a total & fatal disruption of the original balanced configuration of the urban design by the original architects. Why the Government was so anxious to "kill" the clock tower? (e.g. browse : http://am631010.blogspot.hk/2006_12_01_archive.html Star Ferry Pier Murdered at 49 ) So it was believed that there were some political motives disguished as urban development behind all these actions. The central axis with a balanced spatial design of a city (like the Forbidden City or any other great cities) are very very important. But our Government & modern urban planners & architects lack this sort of cultural insight. It was too late when the architect Mr NG Wing-shun Vincent raised my similar "integrity" point of view when meeting Clara Lam at the fight to preserve the Queen's Pier. The government was dishonest by claiming it was just a careless mistake when they removed the AMO consultant's document about this crucial point of view from the web & discovered by Alex Hui, then curator at HKU Museum. With the disruption of this central axis & balanced urban design, Hong Kong entered a new era of corruption & conflicts with non-benovelence & non-righteousness as I predicted in 2006. We could prove all these by observing what have been happening and will happen in our society. The government 'll be doing another similar damage to the Government Hill heritage. Another disaster coming ahead!