Hear the Dragons Speak meal and talk, 17 March

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Slatey Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH43

Saturday 17th March 6:00pm (meal), 7:30pm (talk)

Tickets for the meal can be booked through Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2BZEozi

An opportunity to hear more about the true stories behind our Dragons of the Pool exhibition first-hand from the Dragons who were left behind and the authors of the book Sea Dragons.

Meet some of the surviving dragons and hear from Yvonne and Charles Foley who started the ball rolling on the research, still unfolding about this incredibly moving personal history. Join us for a meal at 6pm (£20 (+small booking fee) – meal tickets must be bought in advance) or come for the talk at 7.30pm (£8). There will be a cash bar available.

In 1946, the Liverpool Constabulary carried out orders from the British government to deport Chinese sailors in Merseyside, many of whom had travelled to England as part of the war effort. They were forcibly repatriated to China. More than 1,300 Chinese sailors were put on specially assigned ships and sent to the Far East without notice.

The wives and children of the men believed they had been deserted. It wasn’t until the release of declassified records 50 years later that it was revealed that more than 1,300 Chinese sailors had been put on specially assigned ships and sent to the Far East without notice.

Now Edge Hill University, working with local community group The Dragons of the Pool, have documented the stories of the surviving children of the seamen for the first time.  Through Heritage Lottery Funding, this year-long project recorded video interviews with the seamen’s descendants, now in their seventies, and capture this important part of British Chinese history for future generations. The project’s research will be then be archived in Birkenhead Library. The project has culminated in this exhibition at the Williamson Art Gallery, where the local people were invited to share their stories of the Liverpool Eurasian community. Chinese seamen began to settle in Liverpool from the end of the 1880s and by the start of the 20th century Liverpool had the largest settlement of Chinese in the UK. The exhibition  features the iconic photographs taken at the time by acclaimed documentary photography Bert Hardy .

The project and this event is aimed to help participants to find out and speak of the stories behind their fathers’ disappearance and educate the wider community about the shocking events of 1946.