N.A.A.F.I. club Chatham Road a | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

N.A.A.F.I. club Chatham Road a

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N.A.A.F.I. club Chatham Road a

Very few images survive of the N.A.A.F.I, club on Salisbury Road.  It backed onto the railway lines and was housed in several large Nissen huts, joined together by other huts, and was more or less opposite the Y.M.C.A. and Peninsula buildings. Thanks to David and Moddsey for providing the correct location.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, January 1, 1952


Hi Andrew, I haven't seen any clusters of Nissen huts in photos of the area around the Peninsula Hotel. I think Brian's photo shows part of the camp around on Chatham Road, seen at the top of this photo:

1967 Chatham Road Camp and Hung Hom Reclamation
1967 Chatham Road Camp and Hung Hom Reclamation, by eternal1966e

Hi David and Moddsey, I think that you are probably correct. In 1981 my wife and I walked through the side streets as far as Chatham Road where we saw an old Army camp probably in the process of being demolished. This was a new area for me as, in 1958, I had only once ventured as far as Nathan Road, our ‘in town’ time being spent on the Island with an occasional trip to Tsim Sha Tsui to catch a train or bus into the New Territories. Once I visited a tailor, Mr Hira whose business had moved from Queen’s Road in Central to somewhere on, I believe, Nathan Road. I did, once or twice, look round the streets behind the Y.M.C.A. and the Pen. and visited Tkachenkos restaurant in the Middle Street area. However, I have always had a clear memory of having a snack in a N.A.A.F.I. building very close to the railway station and somewhere opposite the Y.M.C.A. and the Pen. I now wonder whether it was a N.A.A.F.I.? Of course, memory can be a very misleading thing, but it is very unlikely that I would have ventured onto Chatham Road. I didn’t even get as far as the Whitworth Barracks on Nathan Road! For some reason we never saw the Kowloon peninsular as being as interesting as the Island. Maybe, in 1958 it was still largely ‘suburban European’ compared with the very oriental districts that were more or less on our doorstep. I am quite happy to change the title but shall wait until anyone can comment on the above! Thanks for the feed-back. Andrew.

I think your 1957 Guide Map will show the N.A.A.F.I. Club as being on Chatham Road. Cheers.

Thanks Moddsey,

You must  be right! I’ll change the title of Brian’s photograph straight away. When I looked at the old map I couldn’t see the N.A.A.F.I. but then realised that you had spotted it in the notes.  Well I never, 60 years of thinking I knew where it was. False memories do get deeply embedded.  Keep your eyes on future inputs by me and I’m sure that you’ll be able to see errors, especially as I did not take these photographs - with my own, I think that I have been reasonably ‘accurate’.  Best wishes, Andrew

just wondering if you have details as to the designer who designed these buildings as i believe it may have been my grandfather, if you have such details could you please let me know? Thanks

Hi wickerman32,

Sorry, I cannot help except to point out that Nissen huts (curved corrugated iron shells with brickwork fronts and backs were built in various sizes and were very commonly constructed on British military camps during and after WWII as a quick and relatively cheap way of housing personnel and equipment, including vehicles. I do not know whether the Americans also used that constructional technique .Andrew S