Hung Hom Ferry Pier (1st generation?) [c.1903-c.1963] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hung Hom Ferry Pier (1st generation?) [c.1903-c.1963]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1903-04-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Date Place demolished: 
c.1963-12-31 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)

I believe this was the first generation of ferry pier at Hung Hom, but please let me know if there was any earlier one. It was off Winslow Street, in front of the junction with Gillies Avenue.

I first thought the pier went into operation in 1921, based on a request for tenders "for a licence for the exclusive maintenance of Ferry Services between Victoria, Hung Hom, Kowloon City, Saiwanho, and Shaukiwan." Tenders had to be submitted on or before 31 Dec 1920, and the licence would begin on 1st April 1921. Source: Item S.343 in the Government Gazette.

I skimmed the PWD annual reports from 1915 on, and the first mention of a Hung Hom Ferry Pier I found is in the report for 1921. Under Item 56, 'Dredging Foreshores', it says 1,993 cubic yards were removed from the Hung Hom Ferry Pier.

However Item 107 in the same report, 'Reconstruction of Ferry Piers' notes: "The expenditure during 1921 includes, in addition to the cost of new ferry piers, compensation in respect of Keng Shan and Hung Hom Piers and alterations to existing wooden piers." The mention of compensation makes me think the pier already existed in 1921, and the government bought it from the previous owner. The first map at http://www.hkmaps.hk/mapviewer.html that shows a pier here is the 'Map 1903.1', so that's the completion year I've guessed. 1921 may still be the first year that a ferry service operated from Hung Hom.

This site was reclaimed sometime in the late 1950s / early 1960s, and ferry services moved a short distance southeast to the two new piers in front of the bus terminus, one for North Point and one for Central. [Update: The area was reclaimed and the pier went out of use sometime in 1963-64, as described in Klaus's comment below.]

Corrections welcomed.

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Photos that show this place

Comments

Hi David,

I believe the older maps (the late 1950s) has it and the marker is approximately on Winslow & Gilles.  The pier was still there until they started the reclaimation in the late 1960's.  After the Hung Hom Raiway Terminus was completed, new peirs were built off the location of the present day foot bridge.   I remember there were two piers.  One for HYF and the other for Star Ferry.

The then HYF pier used a barge betwen the pier and the ferries for boarding.  Star Ferry has their bording facilities built into the pier.

T

The reclamation in this area is mentioned on page 232 of the government's Hong Kong 1962 book:

At Hung Hom work began on a further 2,800 feet of seawall which will complete the reclamation and increase its present size by a further 30 acres. The reclamation ultimately will be occupied by a new railway station and a marshalling yard to replace the present facilities at Tsim Sha Tsui, and new ferry piers will be constructed nearby.

Work on the reclamation was still underway in 1964, according to page 177 of Hong Kong 1964, though the section with the new piers was probably finished by then:

At Hung Hom another 2,00 feet of seawall was completed and work on a further extension of 1,200 feet of seawall closing the gap on the south of the reclamation was started; on completion, the land reclaimed will be available for the new railway station and marshalling yards.

Hi Thomas, our messages crossed over...

Yes, there's a good view of the pier on the 1956 map: https://gwulo.com/node/47421?a=1#17/22.30574/114.18379/Map_by_ESRI-1956_...

I'm not sure this pier lasted until the late 1960s though? The quotes I just added from the year books suggest the reclamation was underway in the early 1960s, and the notes from Klaus at https://gwulo.com/comment/50588#comment-50588 mention the new piers in 1963.

The pier is shown on the 1924 Kowloon map.

1924 Kowloon map - Quadrant 8
1924 Kowloon map - Quadrant 8, by annelisec

The pier with a ferry, I think a Star Ferry, is visible. No sign of reclamation work here in January 1963.

Gillies Ave pier aerial view 1963
Gillies Ave pier aerial view 1963, by Klaus

 The next aerial survey is from December 1964: Here the older pier is gone (reclaimed), and the two new one are there.

Hung Hom Ferry Piers aerial view 1964
Hung Hom Ferry Piers aerial view 1964 , by Klaus

So the demolition of the older and construction of the new piers was between January 1963 and December 1964.

Thanks Klaus, that narrows it down further.

You mentioned "No sign of reclamation work here in January 1963" - I think that line heading into the sea near the top of the 1963 photo is the new seawall.

Hi There,

I believe we could use the buildings as landmarks.  In the last photo the sea wall had been pushed outwards just past the first block, at around present day Whampao street/

T

Hi David, my statement about reclamation meant the old shoreline. I must admit that I overlooked the straight line - pretty sure that it is the new seawall. Regards, Klaus