Cheero Club (aka Cheerio Club) [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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Cheero Club (aka Cheerio Club) [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists

Update: Although Fred's notes name it the 'Cheerio Club', Andrew Suddaby has written in to let us know that the official name was the 'Cheero Club'. If you search on the web, several people mention it as the Cheerio Club, so maybe that's what it was called informally. (The Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English lists Cheerio and Cheero as synonyms).

 


 

A couple of Fred Evans' photos are of the club. First is a photo of the club taken from a passing tram:

1950s Fred Evans' photos, Cheero Club, taken from tram

Then he returns the favour and takes a photo of a tram from the club:

1950s Fred Evans' photos, View from Cheero Club

We've been sent a map confirming the club's location along the northern edge of the Murray Parade Ground - about where the main entrance to the Cheung Kong Centre is today.

 

1950s Map of Central district

The same person sent in a good bunch of photos of the area in the 1950's:

1950s Banks & Cricket Club
1950s Garden Rd, Bank of China
1950s HSBC & Court buildings
HSBC Court & Cricket Club
1950s Queen's Road Central & Garden Rd

 

It was a recreation club for the British Armed Forces, incorporated in January 1935, and run by the YMCA. Here's another mention, in a recollection of visiting Hong Kong in the late 1930's, on the way to Shanghai:

We spent about a month in Hong Kong and during that time we used to spend a lot of our time in a club called "The Cheerio Club", where you could get English meals and there was plenty of entertainment available.

Photos that show this place

Comments

1950s Serviceman's Guide Listing:

Cheero Club: Queen's & Garden Rds. Inexpensive food, billiards, table tennis, library and piano.

 

You may have noted that I used the words the new "Force", for it is intended that there shall be one Force embracing all three arms of the Service, that is, Naval, Military and Air, together with an Essential Services arm, including Civil Defence should the need arise.

Negotiations are taking place with the trustees of the Cheero or Harcourt Club, with the idea that The Club should early next year be handed over to the Force. It will be used for messes and a canteen.

HONG KONG LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
15th December, 1948.

As a result of the increase in British forces in Hong Kong in 1927 (probably through events in China), the YMCA of Hong Kong was requested by the parent YMCA in England to provide additional facilities for the entertainment and recreation of British troops.

A Committee was formed and funds were obtained through public appeals. Premises were found at the Queen's Building and later accommodation was granted at the Old City Hall. It was known as the "Cheer O" (HK Daily Press 15 March 1927). From then, until the City Hall building was declared unsafe in 1933, facilities for entertainment and recreation were carried out under the name of the Cheero Club.

On the closing of the City Hall, an appeal was launched for sufficient funds to enable new premises to be built. The appeal was successful. In 1934, a building was erected on a site granted by Government at the corner of Murray Parade Ground which had been handed back by the War Department on the understanding that it was to be used for the benefit of British Forces.

The new building was opened by Lady Peel on 8 November 1934. The building was built by Leigh & Orange and comprised a main recreation and social hall with a ladies room attached,  large dining room, billiards room and library. In the opening ceremony, Lady Peel thanked the architects for erecting 'a very attractive building on a small and difficult site'.

1n 1935, an Ordinance to provide the incorporation of the Cheero Club was passed into law.

I think the three-storey building opposite the Old City Hall and HSBC was the premises of the Cheero Club prior to WWII. See:

http://gwulo.com/node/6150

1930s HSBC

 

 

Hi Moddsey, that looks likely. I can't imagine the low hut in Fred's photos being called 'a very attractive building on a small and difficult site'!

Checking the Place for the Murray Parade Ground there are a couple of photos dated 1934 & 1940, neither of which show the low building from Fred's photo. So that gives us at least three sites for the Cheerio club over the years.

Regards, David

It would appear that the Cheero Club had moved around after WWII

China Mail 2 July 1949

The newspaper reported that the building opposite the HSBC was taken over by the NAAFI in 1948 and turned it over into the Harcourt Officers' Club. But due to lack of support, the building had been taken over by the Hong Kong Defence Force with the intention of re-opening the Cheero Club.

China Mail 15 December 1949

Apparently this was not the case. A newly constructed Servicemen's Centre, the Cheero Club was formally opened on 14 December 1949 at the Murray Parade Ground by Sir Alexander Grantham. The major cost of construction was borne by the Government. I reckon the one storey huts in Fred's photos were indeed the premises of the Cheero Club.

China Mail 11 July 1960

The newspaper reported that the Cheero Club had moved to new premises in the Naval Dockyard, Murray Road as the land where the former premises were sited had been sold for the construction of a luxury hotel (Hilton).

I think the original building opposite the HSBC shown: http://gwulo.com/node/10940 was the Cheero Club.

 

 

The cheero club was always our drop off point when going down town for whatever reason. It was especially pleasant havine a chat with Bruno who had the little gift shop in the far left corner. I tasted my very first pizza inthe cheero club.

Found this "medal" amongst some of my dads old stuff. He was at Tamar from around 1958 to Jan 1962.

Inscription on back says:-

JUNE

R.ROBERTS, P.O.M.E

HMS TAMAR "A"

Cheero Club Darts Medal 1960

Thanks for posting this. It's the latest date we have for the club - I wonder when it finally closed its doors for good?

Regards, David

I remember the Cheero from 1954 as in Fred's photo - always a comfortable easy chair and plenty of dog-eared back copies of LIFE magazine go through. Bought my first decent watch there - an Oris. Prices were keener than anywhere else and no haggling.

H.

 

Anyone know where the name of this club came from, was it an acronym of some sort?

This photo was taken in 1952, after a parade in the city which the Governor attended. Not sure what the event was, though.

 

Hi Nona, please can you let us know which photo you're referring to?

Regards, David

Sorry David - I've been trying to upload the picture and when that didn't work, I tried to delete my comment but couldn't work out how to do that  :/

I'll read the instructions to that page you posted for me on FB and hopefully will be able to show you the picture I was referring to :D

Thanks Nona. After uploading the photo, here's how to insert it in the text: http://gwulo.com/node/1929

Apologies that it isn't as straightforward as uploading photos on Facebook.

Regards, David

Cheero Club

Oh wow! It worked!  Great instructions, David, if I managed to work it out by myself! Thank you :D

The date of the photo is June 8, 1952, and my mother was in the Army Reserves.  There was a parade and the Governor did his thing, walking up and down - I assume this was taken after the parade but you can see the sign of the Cheero Club in the building behind us.

Success!

Thanks for persevering,

Regards, David

PS It's a good sharp photo too - any other photos of Hong Kong from that time you'd like to post will be gratefully received.

This is a photo of the parade I referred to. I put an arrow showing where my mother was, standing to attention :)

I found her Forces ID card and all it said was that it was the HK Regiment.

HK Regiment parade

 

My dad [back right of the photo] with the darts team at the Cheerio Club I guess late 50's early 60's as that is when he was posted in Hong Kong, his next posting was around 1963 at Maralinga Atomic test site in Austrailia. 

In June 2016 the BBC's "Flog It" program got in touch asking to use a couple of photos of the Cheero Club. I put them in touch with the owners, then it all went quiet til this April when they let me know the show would be broadcast.

I thought it's a shame I can't see it, but today I received an email from Jenny saying the show was on Youtube! If you click Play, it should start at the 27-minute mark where a gentleman named James introduces a couple of dishes including one from the Cheero Club that was given to his mother. The photos also appear for a moment:

Thanks to Jenny for sending the link.