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1910s British Engineer's Home in Shenyang, China

Discussion in 'Links' started by BWAXN, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. BWAXN

    BWAXN Guest

    Hello all!

    I'm not sure if this is the right website to post to, but as it could also be British railway history I thought someone here might be able to help.

    I am currently working with a historical society in Shenyang, China to document the history of the city's increasingly vanishing treasure trove of 20th century buildings.

    One such building that we recently found is a home reported to have been built in the 1910s by and for British engineers working on the Peking-Mukden Railway expansion. Evidently, the home has not been forgotten, as nearby residents informed us that foreigners claiming to be relatives of the original engineers had once been by to visit. Much to our dismay, though not unusual, the building has no historical recognition and we were unable to find any official records listing the building's history, having to rely on local accounts.

    We are therefore reaching out to rail sites such as this one in the hopes of finding someone who may know more about this building's history, such as the people involved or when it was built and by/for whom. Any information, or a recommendation of where we might look, would be greatly appreciated.

    Pictures of the home are viewable here: http://www.bwaxn.com/shenyang/2017/3/23/1910eng

    Thank you for your time.
    flaman and The Saggin' Dragon like this.
  2. flaman

    flaman Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Semi-retired farmer, railway & museum owner
    Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex
    I'm afraid that I have no information on the house or those who lived there, but what attracted my attention was the mention of the Peking-Mukden Railway.

    Some years ago I visited a friend who has an antique shop in Winnipeg, Canada. He showed me an enamel sign, in mint condition and showing, in gory detail and full colour, two Chinese gentlemen, presumably farmers, being run-over by a train headed by a British-looking 2-6-0 engine. The engine driver looked distinctly European, there was no number or other identification on the engine but there was a caption in Chinese characters at the bottom which, according to my friend's local Chinese take-away proprietor, said "Went on railway carelessly, died painfully!" The only other inscription was the sign-makers name, Stockal of Burton on Trent. My Canadian friend had bought the sign from an elderly Scotsman who had found it in a shed in Scotland many years earlier. The price required was a bit steep, my friend being confident that he would get a good profit from the Chinese market, which indeed he eventually did!

    Some time later, an old railway enthusiast friend died and I was invited to look over his railwayana collection with a view to purchasing it from his widow. The collection included several foreign items, mostly French and Irish but also, to my surprise, another Chinese "trespass" sign. This one was similar to the Winnipeg example, but significantly different. Whilst it was the same size and showed the same gory scene, the loco now had a number, 150, the tender carried the initials P.M.R, repeated (presumably) in Chinese and the leading carriage now had a veranda. Moreover, this example had obviously seen some service, with a few dings and dents caused by stone throwers- the engine driver had been completely obliterated!- but it was clear that the two signs were for, or were intended for, the Peking-Mukden Railway.

    I bought the second sign and displayed it in the Mangapps museum, whereupon a visitor who had spent several years working in Hong Kong spotted it and pointed out that when visiting Datong he had seen a loco of the same type dumped behind the works. I believe that it is now in Beijing Railway Museum.

    A picture of the sign can be seen by visiting the Mangapps Railway website gallery, page 4, pic no. 21.
    The Saggin' Dragon likes this.
  3. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 15, 2006
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    1012 / 60158
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    There look to be a few documents in the National Archives, but not online (ie a visit would be required to view them).
  4. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

    May 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Peter Crush in Hong Kong is probably your best bet for further info - there is reference on your site to an old article he wrote on the HKRS site. Presumably you have his book on the PMR? Do you have his email address?

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