This film is part of Free

Trip to Guandong aboard the Lion steamer with friends

We’re all aboard the steamer Lion, cruising towards the bustling city of Guanzhou. We also see Chinese workers in traditional headgear toiling in the scorching countryside.

Amateur film 1929 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


In this remarkable film we see the Simpson's onboard the steamer Lion, heading towards Guanzhou, once known as Canton. After passing a variety of river traffic we next see panoramas and street-scenes of the bustling city before driving into the countryside where farm workers are seen harvesting crops. Wearing large hats or using umbrellas all seek shade from the searing heat of the sun. The film ends with scenes showing Chinese passengers disembarking from the Lion.

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.