Smiles and coracles, 1938

This snapshot of (I think) some boatside begging, was taken or acquired by Edgar Taylor, who served in the British Royal Navy, and was possibly taken at Hankow (Hankou, Wuhan) on the Yangzi. We do not know much about the small collection of photographs from which it comes (several of which feature the port). Taylor served on the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, which was on the China Station from c.1933 to 1937. A few of the snaphots are gruesome — very much an occupational hazard for those of us exploring the photograph albums of foreign visitors to China or residents there. So coming across this was a blessed relief: it has charm, and it has coracles.

Smiles on the Yangzi, Special Collections, University of Bristol Library (reference: DM1973), Ta01-17, © 2012 Debbie Frampton.

Smiles on the Yangzi, Special Collections, University of Bristol Library (reference: DM1973), Ta01-17, © 2012 Debbie Frampton.

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