Hidden History: Manchester and China


Hidden History: Manchester and China

The talk for CGN was given via Zoom on Thurs 2nd Dec 2021 by Bryan Sitch , Deputy head of Collections at Manchester Museum. He explored the hidden history of Manchester’s links with China. The link to a recording of this presentation in available on YouTube (see below)

Mancunians went to China as missionaries, soldiers, traders and diplomats; whilst at Belle View zoo the crowds were entertained by re-enactments of battles and campaigns, some set in China, performed against a backdrop of spectacular firework displays. During the First World War, former ‘China Hands’ were recruited to lead companies of Chinese workmen who travelled across the world to northern France to help the Allies in the struggle against Germany.

During the 1930’s the fate of Manchester ‘s missing missionary in China , Alfred Bosshardt – the Terry Waite of the time- was the subject of much speculation in the newspapers. Morri Abraham Cohen, the Jewish ‘Eastender’ who became a bodyguard to Sun Yat Sen, the first president of China after the 1911 revolution, had relatives in Salford and his grave is here. Many Chinese people have made the city their home and their communities (including many university students) are an important part of Manchester ‘s diversity.


In addition, if you missed the Aug 5th 2021 Zoom presentation to the CGN history group on “The development of Stained Glass from Bede to the 21st Century” by David Winpenny, that too is available on line (see below)