Birmingham Chinatown is a relatively small Chinatown covering three streets; Hurst Street, Ladywell Walk and Pershore Street. The street signs in the area refer to it as a Chinese quater.
Founded 1950s: Birmingham Chinatown
It was founded in the 1950s by Chinese migrants from Hong Kong, a British Colony at that time. From the original Hurst Street, it slowly spread over to the next few streets and by the 1980s, it was officially recognized as a Chinatown.
This Chinatown is immediately recognized by its Chinese style architecture unique to the few streets in the area.
In the 1990s, the Arcadian Shopping center was constructed and in some ways, it is the “center” of Birmingham Chinatown.
There are Chinese restaurants, supermarkets, cafés and Chinese pastry shops located in the shopping center.
The annual Chinese New Year celebration is hosted in the Arcadian Shopping Center and is the main center for official celebrations.
Apart from this official event, there is also Lion dance, dragon dance as well as the less often seen Kirin dance going from door to door bringing good wishes and luck to Chinese businesses around the Chinatown.
While many Chinatowns have an archway, Birmingham Chinatown has a stone pagoda donated by a local Chinese business. It is located a short distance away from the Chinatown at the Holloway Circus roundabout on the Inner Ring Road and considered a major landmark in the area.
Small but unique
Although it is the smallest of the official Chinatowns in UK, Birmingham Chinatown is unique in its own right especially the pagoda that is a unique feature not found in other Chinatowns.