Unusual building. | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Unusual building.

Unusual building.

In the same batch so perhaps another photograph taken at Lai Chi Kok - amusement park?

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


Hi Andrew, I remember seeing a photo showing the bridge and building in the same orientation as these.  I think the exterior design was an after-thought.  Regards,  Peter

I think you're right. It looks like the other end of a building that can be seen far centre left of your other picture here: https://gwulo.com/atom/33309

I have a feeling that years ago I saw a picture of this strange building in a book, possibly one of the annual Government Reports.

The evidence from the various photographs indicates that the building was in the Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park. Thank you all. Andrew

1950s Lai Chi Kok amusement park
1950s Lai Chi Kok amusement park, by eternal1966d

The 367 Association photos have brought back so many memories for me....especially this one....and I can tell you that this was The Lai Chi Kok floating Restaurant and Ballroom. It was in the middle of a little lake...and you can see the little bridge you had to cross to get to it.

Nancy and I used to go there regularly, and a great friend of ours, ( the late Frankie Fonseca ...he was Portugese..and had one finger on his left very short arm,...so he had his guitar slung round his neck..fingered it with his right hand then plucked it with the one finger on his left arm) and used to play guitar with the Dance Band (who were all Philipinos there),

And on our Wedding night, we went there and danced for a few hours before returning to our Hotel. When we were about to leave, it was raining  'Cats and Dogs' and the manager of the Ballroom arranged for his own personal car to take us back in to Town and to our Hotel ( all for NO Charge) and as a little Wedding Gift......and the following Morning, we boarded our Ship, to set sail back to UK ( which took SIX weeks).

WOW! this is all so vivid in my memory, AND wow! again...that was SIXTY SEVEN YEARS AGO....( September 22nd 1952). What memories these pictures have brought back to me...and, I don't mind admitting that these have also brought loads of Tears to my eyes..I have just spent AGE's looking through them....

Many thanks for these wonderful memories


Hi Bill,

I’m sure that all the old men in the now disbanded 367 Association would be pleased to know that their photographs from the 1940s and 50s have a new and continuing lease of life on Gwulo. Giving pleasure to as many people as possible is well worth the effort.  Some time ago I enjoyed reading your own contribution about your remarkable wife, Nancy. A lovely story, and shouting ‘Good old Fred’ by me and my pals in 1957/8 still brings back happy evenings spent in the Astra cinemas of the R.A.F.

Best wishes, Andrew

Hi Bill, reading about Frankie Fonseca, in your notes about Li Chi Kok (above), your description of Frankie has jogged my memory.

During 1956/57 I was a regular attender at "The Round Up Room" in the Miramar Hotel, just off Nathan Road, and the small band who played there had a guitarist who fitted your description of Frankie. They were a Phillipino group and I think there were some members of the same family, including a very young girl singer who's name (Ithink) was Philomena. I think her dad or brother were in the the group. The girl sang mostly standards, with a slight jazz emphasis,  I remember her well because she always sang a couple of my favourite numbers for me.

I just wondered if the guitarist in this group was Frankie.

Anyway Bill, thanks for jogging my memory.

Brian Clift.


This conversation intrigued me.  I have just uploaded this photograph into my gallery, 'Andrew Suddaby' within the 367 Association gallery:

Norman Smith's Philipino combo.
Norman Smith's Philipino combo., by Andrew Suddaby

 I don't want to duplicate everytrhing that I typed there but the salient points are that Norman Smith, a talented pianist, was at Little Sai Wan between 1958-59 and I understand that he played in at least one band down town.  The pianist on the left hand photograh is not Norman, but here he is below playing a grand piano (and therefore not on the camp) for his pals.  Who was Eddie and why was the photograph titled Norman Smith's Philipino Combo?  Were there several Philipino bands?  Any suggestions.  Andrew

Norman at the piano
Norman at the piano, by Norman Smith

Thanks for posting the above photographs Andrew.

It has been over 60 years, but I think the girl singer in the above photographs, and the group,  may well have been the band I used to see regularly playing at the

Round up Room, in the Mirimar Hotel, in Kowloon back in 1956/57.

I have already been surprised to find out so much, so thanks once again.

Hi Brian and Bill,

It's quite possible that the photographs of the girl singer were taken at the Mirimar Hotel.  My only doubt is that, for most of us at Little Sai Wan, Kowloon was not usally visited - we tended to stay on the island.  The Ritz complex in North Point was visited by some of us and if there was a Philipino band there, the Ritz would be a more likely venue for those two pictures and also for the photograph of Norman playing the piano.  Norman's years in Hong Kong were 1958 and 59 and bands presumably did move around.  I am very open-minded about it all but, between you, you might well be homing in on who the young lady was - Philomena?  She looks to be in her mid to late teens.  Best wishes, Andrew