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The "Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition"

The Background

The Fireboat Alexander Grantham (Fireboat AG), the largest in the fleet of fireboats managed by the Hong Kong Fire Services Department was decommissioned in May, 2002 after its services for 49 years. With a dimension of 38.9(L) x 8.8(W) x 15(H)m and a water displacement of 511 tonnes, the Fireboat AG had taken part in numerous fire-fighting and rescue operations during its service period, e.g. the fire of the vessel "Seawise University" in 1972, the fire of the vessel "Eastern Gate" in the '80s and the fire of the vessel "New Orient Princess" in 1993 etc. In addition to its glorious history in fire-fighting, the Fireboat AG was locally built and had duly reflected the achievements of Hong Kong's ship-building industry in the early 1950s. Since the news of decommissioning of the Fireboat was widely covered by the media, the LCSD had received many positive comments from the public (including the Tourism Development Board) on the long-term preservation of it, which had witnessed Hong Kong History in the past half-century.

Fireboat "Alexander Grantham" in the past. Fireboat "Alexander Grantham" in the past.

Fireboat "Alexander Grantham" in the past.

Given the great historical significance of the Fireboat AG, the Hong Kong Museum of History decided to include it in the museum collection and put it on display for public viewing. Moreover, in consideration of the safety issues and the exceedingly high maintenance costs of keeping the Fireboat AG in water, the most cost-effective mode to preserve it in the long run is to transfer it onto land.

Location for Displaying the Fireboat

After a detailed feasibility study and inspection visits to many possible sites on the waterfront, the Central Concourse of Quarry Bay Park turns out to be the ideal location for housing the Fireboat AG. Not only that the site is very prominent for the display of the Fireboat, it also poses the least technical problems to the boat lifting and mounting work.

Central Concourse at Quarry Bay Park
Central Concourse at Quarry Bay Park before construction works




Display Plan

In order to enhance the visual impact and to harmonize with the setting of the Park, the Central Concourse of the Park has been modified to house the Fireboat and a special exhibition gallery is built around the Fireboat for holding thematic exhibitions. The Fireboat and its adjoining gallery is named as "Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery", in which a thematic exhibition on the "History of the Fireboat" and "Sea Rescue" is presented by displaying the invaluable relics of fire-fighting equipment and sea navigation equipment, etc. Audio-visual programmes are also produced for the public to derive a richer experience from the visit.

Works Schedule

Date Works Description
Mid-Oct 2004 to Feb 2006 Foundation works including excavation, piling, construction of foundation plinth and containing walls

Progress of Construction Work at Quarry Bay Park Click me for photos
Jun 2005 to Feb 2006 Conservation Treatment of Fireboat AG

Conservation Treatment Progress of the Fireboat AG Click me for photos
10 Mar 2006 to April 2006 On site lifting and installation of Fireboat AG

Lifting and installation of Fireboat AG Click me for photos
Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Builder works including construction of exhibition galleries, surrounding landscape, passage, as well as conservation work for the relics, exhibition design and initial stage of production

Construction of the exhibition facilities Click me for photos
Apr 2007 to Aug 2007 Final overhauling work for the Fireboat AG, exhibition fabrication and mounting of exhibits in the gallery
30 Sep 2007 Opening of the Fireboat AG Exhibition Gallery

The "Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition"

Now that the exhibition is open free to the public, we earnestly hope that the opening of "Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery" will add to the heritage credentials and overall attractiveness of the Eastern District, and hence Hong Kong.

For details on the exhibition, please click below:

http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/History/en/fbag.php

For details on conservation issues, please click below

Bringing a Second Life to a Historic Vessel Bringing a Second Life to a Historic Vessel -the conservation strategy for Fireboat Alexander Grantham (paper presented at the IIC congress 2006)

(For contents of publication please consult Conservation Office)
The Fireboat Alexander Grantham : An Accessible Artifact The Fireboat Alexander Grantham : An Accessible Artifact (paper presented at the IIC Congress 2008)

(For contents of publication please consult Conservation Office)
Layout Plan Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery Layout Plan of the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery

Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery