Jubilee Buildings, Sham Shui Po [1935-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Jubilee Buildings, Sham Shui Po [1935-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished
Date Place completed: 
c.1935-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

Here is the approximate location of the Jubilee Buildings. They stood on the block bounded by Pratas Street, Hai Tan Street, Camp Street, and Tung Chau Street. When they were built, Tung Chau Street was the seafront, the southern edge of the Sham Shui Po reclamation.

They lay within the boundary of the Sham Shui Po army camp. Jason Wordie's 'Streets. Exploring Kowloon' mentions them:

A substantial block of flats on the waterfront, later known as Jubilee Buildings, was subsequently acquired by the military for use as married quarters. It had originally been built as a speculative venture by the prominent local Eurasian Hotung family.

Timeline:

Photos that show this place

Comments

Message from 'wildwood081':

I lived in HK in the early 60's my dad being stationed there till about 1965 with the Royal Engineers. We lived in Jubilee Buildings and i would be intrested to hear from other 'army brats' who lived there also

You might find Howell Green's photos and descriptions of Sham Shui Po Camp interesting.

regards, David

Hmmmm, I was surprised to see that Shamshuipo was actually on the harbor front at one point if I saw the picture correctly. 

Rich has uploaded these photos, with notes:

The photos were taken by my father about 1946. There is shell / bomb damage visible and a crane present. The door and window frames are absent due to looting by the locals who, apparently, were very short of firewood. My family would have moved in about mid 1947 when the building had been restored.

Jubilee Buildings

Jubilee Buildings

If you zoom in to the top photo you can see bomb damage above the left 'flagpole', and around the balcony on the far left.

hi David

thank you for the photos of jubilee blds, though i lived there in the early 60's i can remeber the windows and how during the monsoon crabs and other local lizards would climb up the windows and into ur bedroom. really does bring back memories. I went to HK last year and could'nt find anything about jubilee Blds and it was disapointing

Many thanks for sharing

Paul

Paul,

Glad to hear you enjoyed seeing the buildings again. Were you in the army at the time, or here as a child like the first commenter above?

Regards, David

I lived in Jubilee buildings from 1955 - 1959 when my father worked in civil service. I have many happy memories from that time,  attendng St Georges school and going swimming on Stonecutters island. 

You may also enjoy looking through our gallery of photos from the 1950s, and the notes & photos for Martin Booth's book.

We'd love to hear some of those happy memories, so please leave a comment on anything that catches your eye.

Regards, David

hi David

No i was a kid of about 8-9 in the mid 60's but i remember quite a lot

 

Cheers paul

 

After looking at the pics  I remembered I also went to Minden Road School for a short time before starting at St Georges .Can't remember where it was located but I am meeting up soon  with an old  friend from HK days and will try and dig up some  info. She has a better memory than me.

Regards, Evelyn

Apart from having a bad memory I obviously  can't get names right either. Meant Minden Row School.

Cheers ,Evelyn

Thanks Evelyn, fingers crossed you dig up some more information about the school.

Regards, David

Hi,

   I lived there in the early 60's up till '65. My Dad was in the REME as well.  We lived in no 95 on the third floor facing the soccer pitch. I have many fond memories of the place. I remember a kid called Christopher Taylor and another called Dean. I started school there. I don't remember the first school, but the second one was Gun Club junior school. I remember going on the 'Walla Walla' boats over to Stonecutters Island on a Sunday.. 

I first became familiar with Jubilee Buildings in the mid to late 1970's. They were, by that period, in a dreadful state of affairs and nobody would have wanted to live in them at that time.

The bldgs were later used to house Vietnamese refugees (I believe) in the early 1980's. They also appear in the Canadian documentary "The Valour and the Horror - Captive Christmas."

Ghastly.

Tony Banham's book "We Shall Suffer There" describes in detail the actual location of the site.

It (Shamshiupo) was close to the waterfront, and into the 1970s [and probably right up to the date when British Forces left ahead of 1997] there was a jetty beyond Jubilee Buildings used by craft manned by Chinese (HKMSC) soldiers of the Maritime element of 31 Regiment RCT, HQ of which plus 29 Squadron (Lorries & other vehicles) of the regiment was in Shamshuipo Camp, along with several other Army Units, a large group of well-built permanent single-storey huts occupying the area between Laichikok Road & Cheungshawan Road.

The name of the Vietnamese refugee camp that used these buildings between 1979 and 1981 was the Jubilee Transit Centre. 

The buildings are clear to see in their seafront location on the 1952 map:

https://gwulo.com/jubilee-buildings?a=1#16/22.3305/114.1558/Map_by_ESRI-...

The people behind Post 41 at The Heritage of Mei Ho House produced an issue covering the use of the buildings as a refugee transit centre in the late 70s. It includes various personal stories, photos and location. You can view it online here: https://www.yha.org.hk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/HMHH_Post-41_03.pdf 

Some good photos and stories in the document Phil links to above.

That got me wondering which year these were built. The 1935 PWD Annual Report has the entry:

27. Buildings of importance completed were:—
[...] 
block of twenty-four European houses at Shamshuipo.

The photo shows two terraces back-to-back, and each terrace has 6 entrances. If we assume an entrance leads to two houses, that's 2 x 6 x 2 = 24. So it seems likely the report is referring to Jubilee Buildings, but has anyone seen any other proof?

Have posted 3 photographs of a childrens party held outside Jubilee Buildings.

That must be it IMHO.  1935 being the year of King George V's silver jubilee, and it's also unlikely at that time for there to be another large development of "European houses" in the area.

Thanks Bunce, I've set it to 1935. If anyone finds any other evidence for or against that date, please leave a comment below.