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Friday, 24 October 2014

Links between Barrow and China to be featured in film

LINKS between Furness and China will be the focus of a new documentary to be shown next year.

A film crew visited the Dock Museum, in Barrow, this week as part of a project retracing the steps of diplomat Li Hung Chang from his 1896 visit to the town.

The crew from RARE Media saw a terracotta bust on display at the museum that was produced to commemorate his visit, along with a hoard of Chinese coins discovered in Dalton in 2012.

Li Hung Chang’s visit on an early fact finding mission saw him visit Barrow’s steelworks and shipyard and stay at the Abbey Tavern.

Sabine Skae, curator at the Dock Museum, said: “The crew wanted to go around Barrow and see the places Li Hung Chang would have seen.

“Sadly many of them were either totally different or there was nothing left but the crew were really excited about the bust of him we have in our collection.”

As many of the sights Li Hung Chang visited no longer existed, the team visited the archives in Barrow where they were shown copies of speeches and photographs recording the visit.

Susan Benson, an archivist in Barrow, said the crew had been particularly interested in letters from the visit.

In the 19th century, Vickers made a warship for the Chinese fleet and Miss Skae said the crew hoped to spread the word about Barrow to Chinese tourists.

She added: “A lot of people are unaware of the Chinese connection – it’s unexplored.

“Japan had a process of sending people out to see the latest processes and they would take them back to Japan and the Chinese started to do it too.

“People don’t know about Barrow in China, the tourists go to Windermere but the crew think it (the film) might spread the word.”

The documentary is expected to be screened in China on PHTV early next year.

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