MANCHESTER

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THE RISE OF MANCHESTER CHINATOWN

Between 1773 and 1801 the population of Manchester quadrupled in size from 22,500 to 84,000 inhabitants as people flooded in from rural areas, as well as from countries abroad such as Ireland, looking for work and a better way of life. What greeted them in Manchester city centre was a filthy slum with poor housing and terrible conditions for workers. In 1857 the area now known as Chinatown was described as a slum area and in 1915 T. F. Tout described the Scientific and Medical Society (later to become Owens College Medical School) on Faulkner Street as being located in, 'a squalid and noisy slum'.

Origins of Chinatown

Chinatown Manchester covers an area to the south of the city centre bordered by Charlotte Street, Mosley Street, Portland Street and Princess Street. The area was first built on in 1786 around the church of St. James and streets were named after royal members, e.g. Queen Charlotte and King George 3rd. In the eighteenth century many prestigious buildings were located in this area, namely the Literary and Philosophical Society on George Street, the Scientific and Medical Society (later to become Owens College Medical School) on Faulkner Street.

This trend continued into the nineteenth century with the opening of the Portico Library in 1806 and the Royal Manchester Institution (now the City Art Gallery) in 1835, both on Mosley Street, and the Athenaeum on Princess Street in 1837.

曼城唐人街的崛起

在1773年至1801年间,由于乡下人和爱尔兰等国的移民涌至曼城找工作,曼城的人口增长了四倍,从原来的22500增长到84000。1915年,T. F. Tout 描述了今天的唐人街一带,认为该地区是一个杂乱无章、乌烟瘴气的贫民窟。

曼彻斯特唐人街位于市中心的南部。它由Charlotte大街、Mosley大街、Portland大街和Princess大街连接而成。它始建于1786年,地处圣詹姆士大教堂一带,街名都是以王室成员名字命名,如夏洛特女王大街和乔治三世大街。18、19世纪,许多著名的建筑坐落于该地区,如1806年修建的波蒂科图书馆,1835年建的皇家曼城研究院(即现今的曼城市美术馆),都坐落于Mosley大街。

唐人街的大多数建筑都是19世纪遗留下来的老棉花仓库。因为19世纪60年代美国内战导致了棉花慌,很多仓库就闲置了下来。

很多建筑被贱卖或廉价租出,也成了城市改造发展的一部分,其用途很广,有的成了商铺,有的则成了办公室。上个世纪70年代,华人在这一带闲置的建筑里开起了中餐馆。后来,因为华人群体不断壮大,各种商业经营也出现了,唐人街便也初具规模。

50-70年代初期,中餐馆也相继在此开业,如1972年陈炎庭的中餐馆 ,1968年由Lai Kim Fat从叶氏家族手中接管的国民楼餐厅和1977年开业的羊城中餐馆。至今,国民楼和羊城一直仍然对外营业。1977年,第一家中国超市“荣业行”也在Faulkner 大街开业了。

到了80年代,唐人街得到了蓬勃发展,餐馆、超市、理发店、中医药诊所等各种商店应有尽有,生意兴隆。Mr. Loret Lee在对唐人街的发展过程中起了关键性的作用。通过他的努力,1986年才建起了中国牌坊,1986年位于曼城市图书馆的中国分馆得以建立并对外开放。

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Chinatown, 1890 Manchester Local Studies