Chinese seamen honoured with plaque

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The blue plauqe in honour of the Chinese seamen

The blue plaque in honour of the Chinese seamen

A plaque has been unveiled to mark the role Chinese seafarers played in the history of Liverpool.

The New Capital restaurant on Nelson Street is now the home to the blue plaque, as this is where the Blue Funnel Shipping Office was housed between 1950 and 1969.

Between 15,000 to 20,000 Chinese seamen made Liverpool their home after being employed by Blue Funnel, which was the main British shipping line which traded with China when it was founded in 1865.

However, following the Second World War, the Government planned to send large numbers of the Chinese back to their own country, taking their families with them.

It is believed that the Blue Funnel Line attempted to help the families affected.

The plaque unveiling is part of a wider project to capture the hidden histories of Liverpool’s Chinese community, which has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £49,400.

Funding for the plaque has been provided through the Riverside ward councillors’ fund.

Local councillor and city council cabinet member Steve Munby said: “Liverpool prides itself on its maritime history and an important part of that history is the role of Chinese seamen.

“The contribution Chinese seafarers have made to the city should never be overlooked and this plaque recognises their role and that of the Blue Funnel Line.”

Oral historians John Campbell and Moira Kenny from The Sound Agents organised the blue plaque ceremony.  Moira said: “The idea for the plaque came about over lunch in a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown with four Shanghai former Blue Funnel seamen.

“Together we wanted to celebrate the happy and tragic times that we have been recording through the Liverpool Chinatown Oral History.”

About Chantal Dickinson, JMU Journalism