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1891 Public Works Department Annual Report
Copy of original available online at HKGRO. (You may need to click the link twice to see the document.)
SURVEYOR GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT.
Report for the Year 1891.
Laid before the Legislative Council by Command of His Excellency the Governor, on the 25th January, 1892.
No. 23. SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, HONGKONG, 13th January, 1892.
Sir,—I have the honour to forward you the following report on the works carried out by the Surveyor General's Department during the year 1891.
ANNUALLY RECURRENT EXPENDITURE.
2. Repairs of Buildings.—The number of Buildings of all descriptions the maintenance of which has been under the charge of this department was at the beginning of the year 114, a complete list of which will be found in the Blue Book.
3. The whole of these with the exception of Mountain Lodge, Whitfield Police Station, Shaukiwan School, the Old Central School and Shamshuipo School, have been maintained in a satisfactory state of repair throughout.
4. The following buildings have been painted externally :—The Government Civil Hospital (New Wing), the European Lunatic Asylum, Number 9 Police Station, the Police Stations at Hung Horn and Shaukiwan, and the Sai-ying-poon and Hung Horn Markets.
5. The construction of a small addition to the Magistracy consisting of two rooms providing additional accommodation for the clerical staff has been commenced.
6. The present condition of Mountain Lodge is most unsatisfactory ; the buildings were erected some years ago, before residence in the Hill District assumed anything like the proportions it has done of recent years, and are now in a dilapidated condition and practically unfit for occupation.
The cost of repairing the existing buildings would be considerable and the accommodation provided falls far short of that necessary for even ordinary comfort during so lengthened a residence in the Hill District as it has of late years been deemed desirable to make.
The time has undoubtedly arrived, owing to the natural decay of the existing buildings, when some steps should be taken-to replace them by a more substantial and convenient structure.
7. Whitfield Police Station has been vacated by the police and is now let for the purposes of an inn.
8. Shaukiwan School not being any longer required and being in a dilapidated condition, it was considered advisable to pull it down.
9. The Old Central School buildings have remained unoccupied, except by a caretaker, but it is not advisable to remove them pending some decision being arrived at as to the future utilisation of the site.
10. The school building at Shamshuipo has been in a dilapidated state and unoccupied for the greater part of the year and owing to the establishment of a Basil Mission School in this village no further demand at present appears to exist for a Government school building in this locality.
11. Maintenance of Telegraph.—The Government Telegraph lines have been maintained in a fairly satisfactory condition, but more active supervision in respect of the alignment of the poles and the fixing of the wires appears necessary.
At present there are 51 miles of land line and 3.3 miles of sub-marine lines which have been maintained during the past year. Two-and-one-half (2½) miles of land line were constructed during 1891.
32. A new bridge has been constructed over the stream at the north end of Yaumati Village and the Swing Bridge on the Praya over the entrance to the Police dock which was damaged by the gale in July last has been repaired.
33. Street Lighting.—Previous to 1st of December, 1890, the City had for some years past been lighted exclusively by gas supplied by the Hongkong and China Gas Company. At the commencement of 1891 there existed 857 lamps.
In October, 1890, a contract was entered into with the Electric Company for the erection of 64 arc lights in the central and eastern portions of the City. These were first lighted in December, 1890.
In April last a contract was made for the erection of eleven additional lamps which were lighted in September last.
34. The total number at present erected is therefore 75, the estimated candle power of which is 150,000 and the annual cost of lighting $22,000.
35. There at present exist in addition to electric lights 653 gas lamps exclusive of those in the Military Cantonment. The annual cost of lighting and maintaining which is $23,000.
36. In addition to the foregoing there are fifteen gas lamps in the Military Cantonment towards which the Colony pays $250.50 per annum.
37. Making the total annual cost of lighting the public thoroughfares of the City $45,750.50.
38. The following is a short description of the system of electric lighting adopted; for much of the information I am indebted to Mr. W. H. WICKNAM, the Company's Engineer, under whose supervision the work has been carried out :—
39. The Central Station of the Electric Company is situated in Wing Fung Street, in which is installed the Plant for supplying the arc lamps in the public streets.
40. The Plant consists of 3 engines driving 3 dynamos of the type known as " Brush Series Arc Light Dynamos" each dynamo being capable of supplying 50 to 55 arc lamps of 2,000 candle power nominal. One of these Engines and Dynamos are held in reserve.
41. The 75 arc lamps, at present supplied, are connected in two separate circuits, one supplying 39 lamps and the other 36 lamps, arranged so that the first circuit supplies the lamps in the central and western portions of the City on the Queen's Road level, and the second supplies the lamps in the upper portion of the City and Queen's Road East.
42. The total length of conducting wires employed is about-eleven miles. The conductor used consists of a strand of 7 wires each No. 16 B. W. G. tinned hard-drawn copper, and is continuously insulated with vulcanized india-rubber protected by a braided covering, and is suspended from a steel wire bearer consisting of a strand of 3 No. 14 B. W. G. galvanized wires, these bearers being supported on Porcelain Fluid Insulators carried overhead on Tubular Iron Poles along the thorough-fares of the City.
43. The arc lamps are known as the Brokie-Pell type, and contain regulating mechanism to adjust the Carbon Pencils as these consume. The Carbon Pencils are renewed in each lamp daily.
44. The Electric Difference of Potential at the terminals of the two circuits of 39 and 36 lamps is about 2,050 and 1,930 volts respectively, and the current supplied in either circuit ranges between 9.6 and 9.3 amperes. As the lamps are connected in series the current supplied to the most distant lamp is of the same value as that supplied to the nearest.