Cable hut, Deep Water Bay [????- ]

Submitted by David on Sat, 08/31/2019 - 18:39
Current condition

This hut was hut where the submarine telegraph cables that landed at Deep Water Bay were connected to the cables that ran across Hong Kong island.

The hut was built for the Great Northern China and Japan Extension Telegraphic Company. They landed Hong Kong's first international telegraph cable here at Deep Water Bay in 1871. It connected Hong Kong and Shanghai initially, but a few months later the connection to the trans-Siberian cable was complete, and telegrams could be sent via this line to and from London.

In 1892, a cable from the new Gap Rock lighthouse also landed here. It was described in the Public Works Department's report for 1892:

115. Telegraph Cable to Gap Rock.—Providing telegraphic communication between the City of Victoria and the Gap Rock Lighthouse involved the construction of 5.25 statute miles of land line, and the laying of 29.80 nautical miles of cable.

116. The land line constructed of galvanized iron wire No. 7. B.W.G. commencing at the Post Office is carried on iron poles along Pedder Street, the Praya, Zetland Street and Albert Road to the High-Level Tramway, then across Crown land on the west of the Tramway to Bowen Road, along the Bowen and Stanley Roads to Little Hongkong, and hence across Crown land to the Eastern Extension Telegraph Cable House at Deep Water Bay.


Does any part of the old cable hut still remain?

Here's a c.1920s view of the hut, showing it with a pitched roof:

Cable hut
Cable hut, by Admin

Today, Deep Water Bay is still a landing site for international communications cables, though they now land in the northeast corner of the bay, near to the stream. So there's no longer any need for a cable hut on the golf course's land, but there is still a small building roughly where the old cable hut used to be. It's marked "store" on the modern government maps.

The building can be seen from the road, and one obvious change is that the present building has a flat roof. Is it the original building that has been re-roofed, or a modern building built on the same site? We'd get a better idea if we could see what the building is made of: a concrete hut is definitely modern, but if it was built from stone it could be closing in on its 150th birthday!

Photos that show this Place



Playing at DWB recently, I took the opportunity of looking at the small building located between the 1st hole green and the 2nd hole tee at the Deep Water Bay Golf Course. The external walls are covered in ivy, but they are clearly made of granite blocks. The door and window openings seen in the photo mirror what now exists. The original (timber?) pitch roof has been replaced by a flat concrete one. I talked with one of staff members working in the store who confirmed that it was the original cable hut. He also pointed to fairly recent strenthening of the granite blocks with internal metal framing. Apparently the granite walls were becoming somewhat unstable.

In my opinion there is no doubt that the existing store hut is the original 1871 cable hut.