This film is part of Free

Hangzhou and a Trip to the Baochu Pagoda

The remarkable Baochu pagoda dominates this film about a visit to the West Lake at Hangzhou.

Amateur film 1930 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This film opens with views of Hangzhou's West Lake and a touring party being carried in traditional Chinese litters called Jiao. A boat trip on the lake is followed by views of the Baochu pagoda which dominates the landscape. The tourists then visit an open-air market accompanied by a parade of curious faces, before another journey by Jiao. A passing monk smiles at the camera. The final scenes show the filmmaker's wife playing with dogs in the garden of their Shanghai home.

William Simpson, who made this film, worked for the Bradford Dyers Association in Shanghai, at Number 1, The Bund. His wife Charlotte was born in China's Lushan mountains and she married William, who originally came from Bradford, in Shanghai's St Ignatius Roman Catholic Cathedral. The couple left Shanghai before the city was overrun by the Japanese Army and by 1938 had left China for good.