The First true Chinese Imperial arch of Europe, located in Manchester, is hoping to undergo restoration. The second largest Chinatown in the UK is to hold the Chinese Dragon Boat Race to raise awareness towards the China Town Regeneration project.
With boats beautifully designed and decorated by local artist Lydia Meiying, the dry-land boat race is to start and finish under the Imperial arch. The iconic arch which overlooks the historical Faulkner Street was erected in 1987 as a gift from Manchester council to the Chinese community as a symbolic gesture of goodwill, however, as with any monuments exposed to the elements, this has warranted restoration. Currently it is covered in protective netting in a futile attempt to prevent any more debris falling away and to ‘protect’ it from further deterioration. Governmental funds were allocated to its restoration but has ‘disappeared’ leaving various leaderships pointing the plastic finger.
Enter: the Manchester Chinatown Community Group, a collective that refuse to be idle bystanders in the face of social unjust as the iconic arch slowly weathers into dismay. Among their members is dancer/student Mr Yin Ting Yeung who kindly got in touch with us to inform us of the cause.
He says, “maintenance of the arch has been an ongoing issue and with the lack of funds we wanted to try and raise awareness off the back of the Dragon Boat Festival. Bits of the arch are falling off, and the council’s answer has been to shroud it in some netting, which as you may well know is not ideal or propitious. It also also a bit of an eyesore and draws a great deal of concern from local residents and businesses”.
The Dragon Boat Race will be the first of a series of charity events by the MCTCG which include an entire host of events and functions such as the ‘Best Waiter in China Town’ competition, so keep eyes peeled to stay in the loop!
The dry-land race is to take place on Sunday the 24th of June, kicking off from 10am til late with lots to eat, do and see so make sure you don’t miss out.