Aigburth Hall [1928-1995] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Aigburth Hall [1928-1995]

Current condition: 
Demolished
Date Place completed: 
1928-01-01
Date Place demolished: 
1995-01-01
Tags: 

Photos that show this place

1925
1951
1973

Comments

from 1995 scmp:

WE'RE grateful to Catherine Gray of Corporate Communications for this bit of trivia. In a city jam-packed with the things, where is Hong Kong's oldest working Otis lift? Now, if this seems just too trivial a question, ponder on the fact that without lifts, Hong Kong could not sustain its current population. We all owe it to Elisha Graves Otis for the 1853 invention which helped transform agrarian communities into industrial centres.

It transpires that the oldest working Otis lift in town can be found in all its teak glory in Aigburth Hall, May Road. The machine was installed in the glorious colonial-style apartment block in 1928, but now, sadly, is headed for retirement.

The building is to be demolished shortly to make way for yet another towering new monster in the already over-congested May Road/Old Peak Road area.

'Aigburth Hall, according to our records, is the oldest residential block which still has the original installed Otis elevator working,' said the company's Ray White.

'In Hong Kong, where it is very rare for residential buildings with elevators to be older than 25 years, Aigburth Hall is a remarkable example of longevity.' As a tribute to the grand old lady's service, Ray says Otis is in the midst of negotiating for the elevator to be removed and put on permanent display at their Tai Koo Shing office, but without its space-consuming shaft.

 photo here: http://www.otis.com/site/hk-eng/OT_DL_CommonImages/Aigburth%20Hall.jpg

I used to go to Miss Fleuty's kindergarten at her flat in Aigburth Hall back in the early 1950s.  

It really was a spacious, gracious apartment and I have many good memories of my time there with Miss Fleuty :)

1951 - me outside Aigburth Hall
1951 - me outside Aigburth Hall, by Nona

 

1952 Christmas - Miss Fleuty with her charges
1952 Christmas - Miss Fleuty with her charges, by Nona

 

Hi Nona,

Thanks for posting these. Please do you know any more about Miss Fleuty? She looks old enough to have spent several years in Hong Kong and possibly been here during the war years. But I haven't seen her name mentioned before.

A quick search on Google finds an entry in the 1948 Telephone Directory:

28312  Fleuty, Miss M. L., 2 Aigburth Hall, May Road

Regards, David

Hi David

Marguerite Fleuty was a Swiss national who came to HK in 1935 and had a kindergarten in Peak Mansions.
 
During the war she worked as a nurse in the French Hospital and after HK was liberated, she moved to Aigburth Hall -- and that's where I went until I was old enough to go to Quarry Bay School.  I believe she also used to give French lessons to adults as well.
 
Sadly she died in her sleep on New Year's Day in 1963  :(
 
She really was a lovely lady and it was so obvious that she loved teaching us kids and seeing us blossom !
 
smiley
I've got a little bit more information about Miss Fleuty ...
 
She was born in 1899 and originally came to the East in the 1920s to teach the children of Sir Herbert Phillips, British Consul-General and was also a governess in Harbin.
 

Thanks Nona, that's great. I've made a page for Miss Fleuty at http://gwulo.com/node/34505

Thanks, David! 

She deserves to be remembered so I'm very glad you put a page up for her smiley