|Pre-order the new Gwulo book today to get
special price, free shipping, signed copies, and a free sample
Details and how to order
Tonnochy Ballroom [1950-????]
6, Tonnochy Road.
In Ian Fleming's 1963 book, Thrilling Cities, he mentions this ballroom in the section about Hong Kong's nightlife:
The dance-hostesses are on call—which does not mean by telephone, but by personal arrangement—at seventy-six 'ballrooms'. The prettiest girls and the best bands tend to be in places like the Tonnochy Ballroom and the Golden Phoenix (on the island) and at the Oriental (in Kowloon), where most of the patrons are Chinese and no hard liquor is served, only tea, soft drinks and melon seeds.
There are 8,000 registered hostesses, whose company (financed by a coupon system) ranges from 60 cents to HK$5.50 per twenty minutes. At the Tonnochy or the Metropole (where you should ask to study the telephone-directory-like album, which shows the photographs and names of available hostesses), an hour's dancing will thus cost HK$16.50 (just over £1). Most of the girls in the higher-priced ballrooms are glamorous and English-speaking and, subject to financial adjustment with the proprietor, will gladly leave the ballroom and accompany a visitor to a night-club; this invitation, of course, gives them great face. The tourist has the patriotic satisfaction of knowing that the colony's government collects ten per cent tax on every dance-girl's coupons.