OUR MEMORIES
Happy Valley Racecourse Rebuild 1929



Happy Valley Racecourse Grandstand Rebuild

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Ascot Of The Gorgeous Orient

 

Racing enthusiasts are, no doubt, aware that radical improvements are being made to the grand stands and members’ boxes, as well as giving the jockeys and stewards a spacious room each with all modern conveniences. Even the ponies have not been forgotten. They will have a stable that other steeds would envy.

 

Fronting the long row of buildings, the members’ and public stands, with their tiers of concrete steps showed up very prominently. The whole view is most picturesque, and notwithstanding the fact that drab workmen are still busily moving to and fro, and the grime and mire that are inevitably present in a building under construction, the entire race course has been already beautified.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Transformation At Happy Valley Racecourse

 

A MODEL STABLE
Beginning from the North end, which is opposite to the Colonial Cemetery, a model stable has sprung up on the same piece of ground where the booths used to be.
Before the great fire these booths were mere matsheds, and after the disaster, a cumbersome concrete building was erected. This latter building was torn down on March 21, and in its place, a home for the ponies has come into being.
This home is built on most sanitary line and affords excellent accommodation for the ponies.
A two-storey building of reinforced concrete, there are 60 stalls on each floor.
The stalls are divided in two rows—30 on each side—with an alley between them. The entire block of building is divided in three sections; being separated by fire-proof steel doors.

 

NOT A PERMANENT HOME
The entrance to the stable is from the paddock. Two broad ramps give access to the first floor, while access to the ground floor is directly from the paddock. The interior is well ventilated and the stalls are only to be alloted to owners of race ponies participating in a meeting.
This stable although up-to-date in all respects, is not intended to provide the ponies with a permanent home. They will be housed there only temporarily during a race meeting. Their permanent domicile will still be at the Jockey Club’s stables at Causeway Bay.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Factors That will Popularize The Sport of Kings

 

THE MEMBERS’ STAND
Crossing over from the cinder paddock is the members’ stand which is about 150 feet in length. The stand has 18 tiars of concrete steps with a huge concrete canopy overhead. This is 20 feet in width and affords ample protection to the spectators from sun and rain.
On the first and second floors are to be found the private boxes for members. These boxes can either be had single or double.
They are designed with the view of giving the members the utmost comfort. Each box has its own verandah which commands a full view of the course. Immediately at the rear is a private kitchen and lavatory for each box.

 

THE CLOCK TOWER
Where the main entrance cuts off the ground floor of the north block from the south block, a clock tower will be built. It will have a height of 120 feet from the ground. On a level with the first floor, where the members will have their lounge an alley on both sides of the tower will be found, so as to join the two blocks of buildings together.

 

MEMBERS LOUNGE AND LUNCHEON ROOM
In the middle section of the first floor will be found the members’ lounge and luncheon room. The members’ kitchen will be found on the second floor.
The luncheon room is very spacious and is a great improvement over the old one while the lounge will be tastefully furnished so as to provide a pleasant resting place to the members after an exciting race meeting.

 

THE PRESS BOX
At the center of the second floor above the members’ stand, there will be a spacious box for members of the European Press. The position is most central, and the broad verandah commands a full view of the course. A telephone will be installed in this room for the use of the Press men.

 

THE PUBLIC STAND
Entrance to the public stand will be from the south end—opposite the Parsee Cemetery. This block of building is also two-storey high, and as explained, it is joined to the block on the north end. On the first and second floors are boxes for members. Each is fitted out in the same manner and each has its own lavatory and kitchen.
The stand for the public is about 270 feet long with a tier of 18 steps of concrete. A wide canopy hangs overhead so as to give protection from sun and rain to the spectators.

 

PUBLIC PARI-MUTUEL
On the ground floor there will be the cash sweep counters and pari-muteul for the public. They are so arranged that no delay and inconvenience will be caused.
In front of the public stand there will be the usual boards to announce the entries and the winner and also the cash sweep results and the same thing is to be found on the members’ side.

 

BEND WIDENED
During the past few days a numbers of coolies have been engaged in removing the mound of earth from the side of the course in the straight. This will afford about five feet more room from the ‘WongNeiChong ‘Village Bend (Sanatorium Bend) to the winning post. This is no improvement which in much needed ,for it will make a lot of difference when twenty or more ponies are coming into the straight practically together.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

BEAUTY & SERVICEABILITY
On the whole the Hong Kong Jockey Club is to be congratulated. The new stands with their appertaining buildings will no doubt be much appreciated by members and the public. It is obvious that the Club has spared no expense in combining beauty with service ability. And in this, it is fair to mention that both the Hon. Mr. B. D. F. Beith and Mr. T. E. Pearce two hard-working Stewards of the Club have spent much time, in connection with the work. But to Mr. C. G. S. Gordon Mackie the scheme owes its birth.

 

THE ARCHITECTS’ SHARE
Messrs. Palmer, and Turner who are the architects, are responsible for the beautiful design of the building, and, under their supervision, work has been going on rapidly. Mr. K. K. Staple and Mr. A. J. Linge are supervising the construction.
1929-03-21, he booths on the site of the new stable were pulled down and the new building was completed and handed over to the Jockey Club in August.
1929-05-22, two old stands with their appertaining portions were demolished and that in new foundation had to be dug and built in, it can safely be said that the work constitutes a record for speed in Hong Kong.
1929-08-16, had it not been for the typhoon, the Racecourse rebuilt would have been completed earlier. Considerable havoc to the scaffolding work was done which had necessarily delayed the work for about a fortnight.
The sanitary fittings were carried out by Messrs. Dodwell & Co. The wiring system is in the hands of Messrs. Jardine Engineering Corp. Ltd., while the General; Electric Co. are responsible for the fittings. All the windows are of metal suppled by Messrs, Crittal Manufacturing & Co. London whose local agents are Messrs. Arnhold & Co.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

1866 Jacob Arnhold, a German Jewish businessman and Peter Karberg, a Danish merchant, as a German-registered trading company founded Arnhold, Karberg & Co., a company in Canton.

 

1868 founded by architect William Salway, P & T Architects & Engineers Ltd, (simplified Chinese: 公和洋行; traditional Chinese: 巴丹拿集團 abbreviated to P & T ), formerly known as Palmer and Turner Hong Kong is a firm of architects who have designed many landmark buildings in Hong Kong, Shanghai and elsewhere in southeast Asia.

 

1898 as Manor Works, the works team of the Crittall Window Company formed the Braintree Town Football Club, nickname IRON . in the North Essex near London.

 

1929-11-16, photographs showing the damage done to the preliminary stages of the work appeared in the “Pictorial Supplement” of 《The China Mail》

 

 

 


 

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