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Historical Photographs of China

I came across this website by accident when looking for information on an uncle who served in the Chinese Maritime Customs before the war. He died in Amoy in 1937 of blood poisoning, no penicillin then.

There are some wonderful photographs and not all of ships, but of people and places. Looking through them I felt sad, the faces seemed somehow rather naive and innocent. They had no idea of the horror to come.

Below a picture of one of Swire’s river steamers.

Steamer Kinling at Shanghai 1904

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Categories: General
  1. March 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Twenty years ago In Shanghai I was taken to an old ‘colonial’ hotel near the Bund which still featured tea dances to the accompaniment of a jazz band. Some of its venerable stars had been in the band for 70 years! Between the wars the hotel had been the mecca for British residents and visitors .

    Sorry, I don’t have a pic.

  2. O Zangado
    March 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Very interesting. Christopher will be beside himself. 🙂

    OZ

  3. March 22, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I was appalled on reading that the Chinese have taken to MacDonalds. Chinese fast food is far better than anything dreamt of by McD’s and KFC which to my mind are a blight on the world.
    As 2nd mate on a small tanker which regularly carried fuel oil in the Malacca Straits from Port Dickson to Penang and Telok Anson. The PD loading was frequently overnight night and was usually finished by about 5 or 6 am and the load paperwork wasn’t available until about 9am. If I’d been doing the loading I and the chinese quartermaster would go ashore to one of the little food stalls for breakfast. We’d have some kind of stuffed dumpling and a couple of bottles of ice cold Anchor Beer….wonderful ! Can’t see that happening these days.

  4. March 22, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    O Zangado “..Christopher will be beside himself.

    Sounds ominous.

  5. christinaosborne
    March 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I thought that might have been his preferred stance?

  6. christinaosborne
    March 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Don’t you dare misinterpret that!

  7. March 22, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    No, I assure you that I am not beside myself. I am actually a single-cell organism that split and my two former halves are beside each other. That said, thank you for the picture. This summer I will go to Shanghai and stay in the region of the Bund. My mate is arranging it and his father who read law in Shanghai will take me around a few places as well. Expect me to keep all of you posted about life in China.

  8. March 22, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Maybe life in Shanghai has moved on but in the ’90s, walking along the Bund in my raincoat, looking v English, I suppose, I was a bit of a curiosity, esp among the children.

  9. March 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    PS C, I believe the Peace Hotel is still there – with a jazz band.

  10. March 22, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Janus: Westerners are no longer objects of curiosity in Shanghai, but in the provinces we remain very much that. The Fairmont Peace Hotel is still there and has been tastefully restored recently. The jazz band plays on. While I doubt I can convince anyone to go there with me in July, I might well return in October and pay the rate myself. A bit dear, but one pays for the experience and privilege of staying in such a hotel.

  11. March 23, 2015 at 7:41 am

    See website ‘As time goes by in Shanghai’ for a profile and pics….

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