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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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There is one 'discrete' area of our City Centre, that I have long felt could well deserve a thread of its own . . . CHINATOWN.

OK, some aspects could be covered on the 'retail' or the 'restaurants' threads . . or they may have a "Project Thread" of their own if needed, but I think it is a sufficiently unique area to warrant a specific thread where issues generally can be discussed, and where (perhaps) 'Chinatown Photos' can be shared?

The below article in todays (23rd Jan 2010) Evening Chronicle, prompted me to start this thread today!



Iconic Chinese archway facing safety repairs
Jan 23 2010 by Tom Mullen, Evening Chronicle.



A LANDMARK at the heart of Newcastle’s Chinese community is being repaired after tiles began to fall down onto a road below.The iconic Chinese archway at the entrance to the city’s Chinatown is today covered in scaffolding after fears for the safety of road users. A section of road at the junction of Gallowgate and St Andrew’s Street was closed for several days this week while council workmen carried out repairs.

The archway is the symbolic entrance of Chinatown – the bustling centre of trade, cuisine and Far East culture in Newcastle.

Thousands are expected to flock to the area for Chinese New Year celebrations next month, when the archway becomes the forefront of the merriment. However, repair work is said to be nearing completion and the cordoned-off stretch of road was reopened yesterday. It is believed natural weather erosion was the cause of damage to the structure. Members of the public yesterday expressed their concern about the state of the archway, which was completed in 2004 to a fanfare of traditional Feng Shui ceremonies.

Business student Sio Hong Cheong, who regularly visits Chinatown, said: “It’s here so everyone knows it’s Chinatown. It’s important to have an archway and Chinese people are proud because there are not many Chinatowns in cities in the UK. “I think it’s one of the landmarks of Central Newcastle.” Part-time bar worker Rachel Lyn, 21, of Wickham, Gateshead, said: “I love coming to Chinatown, we often come for birthday celebrations at some of the restaurants.”

Others, however, were more sceptical about the significance of the archway and suggested taxpayers’ money should not be used to maintain it.

Danny Gallagher, of West Denton, a drinker at the nearby Irish Centre, said: “It’s part and parcel of the culture of Newcastle and the Chinese – more Chinese culture than Newcastle culture if you ask me. That’s not being racist but if there’s a problem with the archway the onus should be on the Chinese and not the man on the street to pay for it.”

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There has been a desire for some time in the Chinese community to accommodate its growth by moving beyond Stowell Street, possibly to land around the brewery. Stowell St would continue to be the focus but the rise in population and growth in business means that they need more "room to grow"
 

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There has been a desire for some time in the Chinese community to accommodate its growth by moving beyond Stowell Street, possibly to land around the brewery. Stowell St would continue to be the focus but the rise in population and growth in business means that they need more "room to grow"
Interesting. I didnt realise that the Chinese population in Newcastle was growing. I would love to see the growth of Chinatown encouraged. Very much so.
 

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I was woundering why their was cones arond the base of the arch as I went by the other day. To be honest China town is a great idea, and one that has worked, but I can no longer go down there anymore, the stench from the open bins is just too much for me, and alot of the food now is pretty rubbish.

Oh by the way, has anyone else seen the giant Jack Daniels sign painted on the back of a pub wall next to the arches?
 

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chinatown definitely needs room to expand. it is a pity the Gate development was a total missed opportunity for new units fronting stowell street, i think there were only 2 new premises created, as opposed to the 3 or 4 service and carpark entries they have on the street. it makes walking that side of the street quite unpleasant. the gate land was also an opportunity to create a new pedestrian thoroughfare through to newgate street that could've been lined with cafes, shops etc. again another missed opportunity.

As it is, chinatown has begun to spill down into low friar street, charlotte square and westgate road, not to mention one or two places on st andrews and gallowgate. The southern end of science city might be a good place for asian themed units, however, these sorts of businesses tend not to occupy expensive new premises, but reinvent older, cheaper buildings (such as the ones on stowell street) so it wouldnt be easy to guarantee that these get taken up. for instance one of the newish units in the gate is not chinese but the Aspers Casino (which is tbf used by the chinese community!). one idea might be to introduce some more themed street furniture - seats, lamps, chinese street signs etc.

I also think the far east communities are now grouping around arthur's hill areas too, a lot of recent immigrants, students from places like malaysia, taiwan, hong kong, and even filipinos etc living there. this creates a natural zone of influence for them stretching from the west city centre.
 

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I was woundering why their was cones arond the base of the arch as I went by the other day. To be honest China town is a great idea, and one that has worked, but I can no longer go down there anymore, the stench from the open bins is just too much for me, and alot of the food now is pretty rubbish.

Oh by the way, has anyone else seen the giant Jack Daniels sign painted on the back of a pub wall next to the arches?
that JD sign is pretty old.

i walked under there today too, might've seen you.

also, to the poster who recommended jasmine bakery to me, i went there today but it was closed, so went to breadpoint instead.
 

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The Chinese community is definitely growing - it must be in part down to the massive influx of Chinese students at the universities (well, Newcastle at least). At times it really does feel like a good quarter of the students are from China. Speaking of which, does anyone know if all of these overseas students take up additional spaces created for them?
 

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The Legend
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Thats great, I hope though those courses are able to be done with the first 2 years there aswell for those over there who are not in a position to come here.

It would be great if we could do more student exchange programmes with places like Canada and Austrailia aswell.
 

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The Chinese Archway & the maintenance

I am pleased to see the City Council ensures quality repairs are effected as soon as practicable for obvious public safety reason.
While I understand some folks, such as Danny in the City might feel the Chinese should foot the bill, it remains the City Council's responsibility once such an artifice has been adopted by the City.
By way of illustration, the local Chinese commmunity took over six years to raise some £65,000 to part fund the building of the Archway, and by making it a part of the City's attraction, it does generate a lot more businese and pride to Newcastle.
 

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Danny Gallagher, of West Denton, a drinker at the nearby Irish Centre, said: “It’s part and parcel of the culture of Newcastle and the Chinese – more Chinese culture than Newcastle culture if you ask me.

That’s not being racist but if there’s a problem with the archway the onus should be on the Chinese and not the man on the street to pay for it.”
I love Chinatown, and even though I don't visit it that often these days, I think it's a really important part of the city's culture. However, people saying things like this idiot quoted in the paper make me so annoyed - he's stating that the Chinese people aren't part of the city, and that Chinese people in Newcastle are somehow different from "the man on the street". As Syct said, the Chinese community did raise money for it, but the Council has a duty to provide for the full range of its community, and the more it does to promote the kind of multi-cultural society the better as far as I'm concerned. The fact that there is such an area as Chinatown in the city means that is is intractably a part of Newcastle culture.

Anything that starts with "I'm not racist but" just automatically triggers something in me that pisses me right off.
 

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What a mong - I dont go to Chinatown (not keen on chinese food) BUT i have no problems with the council paying for the repairs. Its great that newcastle has a chinatown and it is something we all should be proud of
 
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