Shing Mun Reservoir, expert visits and prepares report on problem with the dam, 1937

IDJ has sent the following newspaper report about a perceived problem with the Shing Mun Reservoir Dam in 1937. The image shown on the Home Page of our article accompanied the original newspaper article, and is not, as you might have thought, a pre-war example of modern art but an attempt at illustrating the “dislodgment of masonry at numerous points” on the dam.

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped article.


(Special to “Sunday Herald”)

Shing Mun Dam has suddenly developed into an object of official concern.

Little things have been happening which are probably no more than little things, and were yet sufficiently obvious to require, for caution’s sake, the calling in of an expert for an examination.

The “Sunday Herald” is able to reveal that a visit was paid to the Colony recently, at the request of the Hong Kong Government, of Mr W.J.E. Binnie, partner in the firm of Binnie, Deacon and Gourley, who were responsible for construction work in connection with the Shing Mun Scheme, and that he has prepared an interim report as a result.


Mr. Binnie arrived in the Colony by the Imperial Airways’ plane, Dorado, on October 24, and left on the Carthage after a survey of the Dam.

The Director of Public Works the Hon. Mr. J.M. Henderson, told the “Sunday Herald” yesterday, when asked whether there was truth in the rumours that all was not as well as it might be at Shing Mun: “We have been having some trouble with it?”


Mr. Henderson confirmed the purpose of the visit to the Colony pf Mr. Binnie and stated that the Government were still awaiting his detailed report. He had submitted a preliminary report prior to his departure.

The movement of several blocks of masonry on the face of one of the huge dam walls was the only outward and visible sign of a reason for the visit, apparent to the eye of a reporter who visited Shing Mun yesterday.

Shing Mun Dam Problem Image, HK Sunday Herald 14.11.37 From IDJ

The image above was included in the original newspaper article with the following caption: “Looking up at the face of the wall of the dam at Shing Mun, this picture shows the dislodgment of masonry at numerous points. Owing to the position of the trouble, a close-up picture was impossible to obtain.” (“Herald” photo).
HF: The image is probably the murkiest and least clear of any of the thousands posted on this site and thus, I feel deserves to be included.

Source: Hong Kong Sunday Herald 14th November 1937

This article was first posted on 13th May 2021.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Hong Kong Water Supply – Shing Mun Reservoir
  2. The Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir
  3. Shing Mun Dam and Reservoir – article from the late 1930s
  4. Hong Kong Water Supply – second pipe line to be laid under the harbour to bring water from Shing Mun reservoir, newspaper article 1934
  5. Gordon Burnett Gifford Hull – Needle Hill Mine, Shing Mun Reservoir
  6. Hong Kong Water Supply – Shing Mun First Section
  7. Cross harbour road tunnel – link to planning of Shing Mun reservoir, late 1920s?
  8. Geoffrey Binnie, Engineer 1932–1936, Jubilee Dam, Shing Mun reservoir
  9. Hong Kong Water Supply – official opening of the Jubilee (Shing Mun) reservoir, newspaper report
  10. Imperial Airways – including first scheduled flight into Hong Kong 1936

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