1896 Public Works Department Annual Report

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2. Repairs to Buildings: - A considerable amount of work of a miscellaneous nature has been done under this heading of account, of which the following are the more important items, viz:- 


The Government Offices, St. John's Place; extensive repairs to roof and ceilings, and painting and colourwashing have been executed


The Central Police Station including the Captain Superintendent's House and Officers’ Quarters, Police Stations Numbers 1, 5 and 7, City of Victoria, the Medical Staff Quarters and the  Markets at Wanchai, Sokonpo and Shektongtsui, have been thoroughly repaired, painted and colour washed.


The Western Market has been extensively repaired and improvements in the shops and cookhouses executed. 


At the Government Civil Hospital, painting, colourwashing and sundry repairs have been executed.


The Cattle Depot at Kennedytown, Kennedy town Hospital, Public Laundries and the Chinese Lunatic Asylum have been colourwashed and painted.


At the Government House, Queen's College, Government. Villas, Government Pavilions and the Yautnati, Aberdeen, Tsimshatsui, Hung Hom, Mount Gough and Shaukiwan Police Stations, ordinary repairs have been executed.

ln a report to the Government Office Committee, l pointed out the present unsatisfactory condition of the accommodation available for Government Departments. The present accommodation is inadequate to meet the present requirements, and the condition of the buildings in many instances is such that, in the course of a few years, it is anticipated considerable works of reconstruction will be necessary.

The question of improved market accommodation, both in the City of Victoria and the villages is one requiring urgent consideration. Attention has been repeatedly drawn to the condition of the Western and Saiyingpoon Markets, which require reconstruction, and to the inadequate accommodation provided by the present market at Shaukiwan. 


Plans and estimates have been prepared for the erection of a new market at Saiyingpoon on the present site, and for the extension of the Market at Shaukiwan, but I regret to say that the financial position of the Colony does not apparently admit of these works being proceeded with at present. 


As regards the Western market, its reconstruction should, if possible, be postponed pending the erection of the New Harbour Office. A considerable increase in the present market accommodation in this district is required, and the project for a new market should include the erection of buildings on the present site and also on the site of the existing Harbour Office. The question of reserving the site on the reclamation opposite the Central Market for the erection of a Fish Market deserves consideration. Information respecting the present market accommodation and other particulars will be found in C.S.O. 1791/1896

The new Slaughter houses in the City of Victoria and at Kowloon have been maintained in a satisfactory state of repair and appear to be ample to meet requirements for some time to come, but the Sanitary Board has, on more than one occasion during the last three years, urged the construction of a slaughter house at Shaukiwan. Plans and estimates have been prepared for this work but funds are not yet available for its construction.

The new Cattle, Pig and Sheep Depots at Kennedy town and Kowloon have been maintained in a satisfactory state of repair and amply meet the present requirements, but the erection of a Poultry Depot is much required. Attention has been called to the present insanitary arrangement of housing Poultry in the ground floors of domestic buildings in the City of Victoria, C.S.O. 3034/1895 

The question of providing adequate latrine accommodation is still in abeyance There are at present 12 Government Public Latrines in the City, these have been maintained in a satisfactory state of repair. The Sanitary Board has urged the construction of additional latrines, the importance of which is evident when it is considered that few of the Chinese houses are provided with accommodation of this nature. A special report on this subject will he found in C.S.O. 1638/1896

These have been maintained in a satisfactory state of repair as far as their age admits. In the City of Victoria, Stations number 7 in the Western District and number 2 in the Eastern District, however, require reconstruction, and increased accommodation is required in these stations and at No. 5. 

A new station is required at Taitam and one is also required at Shek O.

The buildings are in a satisfactory state of repair, and though the accommodation at the Government Civil Hospital is insufficient to meet the increasing requirements of the Colony, the site is now built over to such an extent that no further buildings should be erected upon it. Land is however available for extensions in a Southerly direction between the Bonham and Richmond Roads.

Laundry accommodation is urgently required in connection with the hospitals and a Disinfecting Station should be established at Kennedy town as pointed out in C.S.O. 1312/1895 and 2488/1896.

The Gaol buildings have been maintained in a satisfactory state of repair, but not withstanding the addition recently carried out on the west side of Old Bailey, the accommodation falls short of that required. Projects are under consideration for the erection of Warders’ Quarters and a new Gaol Hospital, C.O.D. 197/1895 and C.S.O. 1737/1896. 

The Powder Magazine at Stonecutters’ Island has been maintained in a satisfactory state of repair. The buildings, however, are considered unsuitable for the storage of explosives and the construction ofa New Magazine is urged by the War Office Authorities. Plans and estimates for which have been submitted, C.O.D. 91/1896

 The Lines and Instruments have been maintained in a satisfactory condition. The Harbour Master’s residence has been placed in direct telephonic communication with the Harbour Oflice, C.S.O. 90/1896 and telephonic communication has been established between Head Quarter House and the Central Police Station, C.S.O. 2612/1895.

The expenditure under this heading has been small. The footings of a portion of the Praya Wall at Tsimshatsui have been further protected by the repair of the rubble foundations.

The pier at Stonecutters' Island has been repaired at a cost of $636.87.

The following are the more important works carried out under this heading of account:- 


Rebuilding Boundary Wall, &c, between Kowloon Marine Lot 10 and Kowloon Police Basin Mounting Guns at Gap Rock Lighthouse

Constructing Magazine at Gap Rock Lighthouse

Works at Police Basin at Kowloon

COnstructing 3 Cells and Kitchen at Reformatory

Constructing additional Quarters at Cape Collinson Lighthouse

Rebuilding Retaining Walls, South of Inland Lot 509, and reinstating Seymour Road adjoining. 

Street Improvements in Shaukiwan

Repairs to Shektongtsui Nullah

Po-Yan Street Improvement

Building New Stove and Blinds for Central Police Station

Curbing, Channelling Cameron, Granville and Carnarvon Roads, Kowloon

Curbing, Channelling and Improving Street at Shaukiwan

Street Improvements at Yaumati

35. Private water services are limited to Imperial and Colonial Government buildings and to European houses and trade establishments, the Chinese population deriving their supply from street fountains; this arrangement should, I think, be continued.

42. The stormwater drain in Nullah Lane, Wanchai, has given considerable trouble owing to the sand and debris washed down during rains from an untrained portion of the nullah south of Queens Road. Works for training this Nullah as far as the public laundries should be undertaken as soon as practicable 

The erection of a house for the matron and the conversion of BLock F into a Female Prison were commenced in January last year and completed in October. The matrons house consisting of two rooms with a bathroom, pantry and cookhouse accommodation is situated in the prison yard adjoining the Chief Warder’s Quarters.

The female prison consists of 5 associated cells and 8 separate cells of which 2 are punishment cells, with necessary bathroom accommodation. 

A shelter has been erected in the front yard for washing clothes

This work was carried out for the purpose of rendering a supply of water from Albany Nullah available for the public gardens. The reservoir is situated at the junction of GArden and Bowen Roads and has a capacity of 50,000 gallons

The works carried out include the construction of the reservoir and re-arrangement of the water service to the Public Gardens and the grounds of Government House, so as to substitute this unfiltered water supply for that previously obtained from the mains in connection with Albany Filter Beds.

104. The project includes the reclamation of the foreshore in front of the City of victoria from Murray Road on the East to the Western boundary of Marine Lot 188 on the West, as described by Mr J M PRICE, late Surveyor General, dated June 1st, 1888.