Timeline of London Chinatown
Related development of London Chinatown
|As a result of the inflow of Opium into China imported by the British traders and the attempt to force the Chinese government to relax its restrictive trade practices, the Opium War started in 1939. The war lasted until 1842.
|1841||With the end of the Opium War, the Chinese agreed to give up the island of Hong Kong to Britain. Hong Kong became a British colony.
|1875||In 1875, Kuo Sung-Tao, the first Chinese envoy to Britain was sent by the Chinese Government to be the first diplomat in a foreign country.
|1900s||Chinese seamen and cooks from merchant ships passed through the London Docks and slowly formed a settled Chinese population near Limehouse, the first London’s Chinatown emerged. However with the destruction of the area during the Second World War, Chinatown in Limehouse also faded away in 1940.
|1941||The Second World War
|The Kung Ho Chinese Association was founded in the UK in 1947.|
|1945||The Second Civil (Liberation) War in China
The transportation industry flourished. People in Hong Kong could travel to the UK and other countries by sea.
|Soho was a red light district in the 1950s.|
Leases of houses & shops were very cheap in the area. Chinese businessmen began to acquire premises in Gerrard Street & Lisle Street to set up restaurants of their own. 這地區的樓宇及商鋪的租金非常平宜. 華裔商人開始在爵祿街及儷人街開業經營餐館
St. Paul's Cathedral in London ordained the first Chinese pastor – Mr. Lee Siu Ying. In the early years, he was the first in the Chinese community to give support to those who came from the New Territories to the UK by applying for business licences and dealing with all kinds of government correspondence in English.
|1950||Due to the poor economy post war, it was difficult to make a living in Hong Kong. Having British National Overseas citizenship; people began to seek job opportunities in the UK.
|Due to the changes in the world rice markets, thousands of farmers in the New Territories in Hong Kong came to the UK, more Chinese appeared in London Chinatown.|
More and more people from the New Territories moved to the UK because of the fall in farming's profit. Many worked or ran businesses in Chinatown.
|1960||British Overseas Airways Corporation extended
its operation across the Pacific. Connection between
London and Hong Kong commenced in 1960.
The Big Escape – An influx of migrants moved from China to Hong Kong because of "The Three Years of Great Chinese Famine" between 1960 and 1962. The population of Hong Kong increased.
|Cheung Clansman Association was set up and based near Chinatown for those with the surname Cheung to meet up and socialise.|
Located near Chinatown, Kung Ho Chinese Association and London Chinese Mutual Aid Worker's Club provided venues for leisure activities and social support for the Chinese migrant workers. They also organised Chinese classes, traditional Chinese music classes and cultural activities.
|1967||During the leftist riots in Hong Kong in 1967, notices of bomb threats reading 'Keep clear fellow citizens!' were everywhere. Many people sought migration to other countries including Britain.
|Chinese Chamber of Commerce UK was set up in 1968.|
|In the early 70s, more Chinese businesses such as hair salons, supermarkets and book stores etc. had opened up to meet the restaurant workers' needs. Gerrard Street became London's new Chinatown.|
Chinese Chamber of Commerce UK organised the Chinese New Year Celebration in Chinatown.
|1970||In Hong Kong, a trend of studying abroad emerged in the 70s. Many came to study in the UK.
|Loon Fung, Chuen Cheng Ku, Lee Ho Fok, etc. were a few famous restaurants in the early 70s. The China City Restaurant was the largest multi-storey restaurant which could accommodate 60 tables per floor situated in Piccadilly Circus.|
Chinese movies were shown in the basement of a newsagent where Harbour City Restaurant is located today.
Many social clubs (gambling dens) operated in Chinatown.
Sing Tao Daily's European Edition began publishing in 1975. Their first office was based in Dean Street near Chinatown.
|1973||Hong Kong's population increased because of the arrival of migrants from China, many of whom were fleeing domestic upheavals.
Industrialisation gathered pace, and by the 1970s Hong Kong had become an "Asian Tiger" -- one of the most powerful economic regions in South East Asia.
|Chinese Chamber of Commerce UK bought a building in Frith Street and their Chinese school was officially established.|
英國華商總會購置位於Frith Street的建築物, 所屬的中文學校正式成立。
|London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) was founded.|
The Chinese Community Centre (CCC) in Chinatown was set up.
|A fire accident occurred in the basement of a gambling den due to a dispute. Five people died in the accident. |
|By the late 70s groups of gangsters from Hong Kong had emerged in Chinatown.70年代未由香港來的黑社會幫派開始湧現。||1979|
|From the 1980s, London Chinatown Chinese Association began to organise the Chinese New Year Celebration in Chinatown.|
In the 80s, there was a mix of businesses run by different ethnic communities in Chinatown selling electronic goods, cameras, Asian drapery, and musical instruments. There were also a mix of restaurants and bakeries including Indian, Italian and Chinese.
Pang's Clansman Association was set up based in Lisle Street.
The Metropolitan Police appointed the first Community Police Officer to take up a patrol in Chinatown.
|London Chinatown Chinese Association started discussions with Westminster Council to start building up the characteristics of Chinatown.|
|1984||The Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed by the United Kingdom and Chinese governments on 19th December 1984 in Beijing. The Joint Declaration agreed that the UK would handover Hong Kong to China in 1997. Hong Kong citizens were uncertain about the future. A tide of emigration broke out.
|The opening ceremony of London Chinatown took place in October 1985. The Chinese gates, a pagoda and a pair of stone lions were unveiled and Gerrard Street was made into a pedestrian precinct. 唐人街開幕禮於1985年10月舉行，中式牌樓﹑涼亭和石獅子均落成。 爵祿街成為行人專用區。||1985|
|Chinatown Police Liaison Group was set up. The Chinatown Unit came into effect.|
From the 1990s, more Mainland Chinese migrated to the UK, some of them ran restaurants and other businesses in Chinatown.
The British Government granted, to a select 50,000
Hong Kong families, the ability to obtain full British citizenship under the 'British Nationality Act (Hong Kong) 1990'.
Large numbers of Chinese people from Fujian came to work illegally in EU countries and the UK.
The sovereignty of Hong Kong transferred from the United Kingdom to China.
The London Chinatown Chinese Association and a lawyer helped the families of the victims apply for compensation, and to repatriate the bodies of the deceased back to China.
Gangsters from Mainland China emerged in Chinatown. The London Chinatown Chinese Association and the Metropolitan Police strengthened their co-operation and the dilemma was settled eventually.
58 Chinese people were found dead after they were smuggled in the back of a lorry heading to the UK in June 2000. This highlighted the desperate situation facing asylum-seekers and refugees.
The Chinese New Year celebration event, organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association, was extended to Trafalgar Square for the first time.
The SARS pandemic directly affected Chinese restaurants in the UK, causing a fall in business.
The London Chinatown Chinese Association appealed to Westminster Council for a regeneration of Chinatown.
The SARS outbreak in Hong Kong led the economy into recession. 299 people died. It was the most serious pandemic Hong Kong had seen in recent years.
The London Chinatown Chinese Association and the same lawyer, once again helped families of the victims apply for compensation, and to repatriate the deceased bodies back to China.
The Chinatown Arts Space (唐人街藝術空間)正式成立。
The Chinatown Arts Space was officially set up.
In 2004, 30 cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay suddenly encountered a high tide. Twenty three people were killed. The deceased were all Chinese illegal workers. The incident caused great shock in the UK. Concerns around issues of human rights for the Chinese in Britain and particularly illegal workers were raised.
The regeneration plan of Chinatown was approved. Gerrard Street was re-paved and replenished.
The British government conducts raids against illegal workers. The situation in Chinatown was grim.
|回應無證勞工的問題，London Citizen在.2009年 5 月於 Trafalgar Square舉行請願運動。|
In response to the issue of the undocumented workers, a charity, the London Citizen, organised a petition in Trafalgar Square in May 2009.
為要求政府更改2006年的賭博法令(Gambling Act 2006)，倫敦中華基督教會蘇豪堂，召集百多人到唐人街示威，反對無限制發出博彩業執照。
Requesting the government change the Gambling Act of 2006, the Chinese Church in London Soho gathered more than a hundred people in Chinatown for a demonstration against the unrestricted distribution of gaming licenses.
Parliament started to convene a new committee to re-examine the Gambling Act of 2006.
The rental fees in Chinatown continue to increase. While the first-generation migrants reach retirement age, a shortage of successors meant many old restaurants closed down.
More and more businessmen from Mainland China come to the UK. Many of them run restaurants and other businesses in Chinatown. Apart from Cantonese cuisine, Northern and other Chinese cuisines develop in Chinatown.