The History of Sport Played in China's Treaty Ports

The prgramme from the coronation ball in Shanghai in June 1953 held at the French Club!

Francis Richard Burch with his wife Heather and two daughters in Shanghai in 1953. 

Other Artifacts of the month

Programme for the British community's celebration of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953


 This month I include an artifact which post dates the demise of the Shanghai Rugby Football Club by three years. The reason that I include it is that I can place a Shanghai rugby player at the event and it provides an interesting historical insight to what Shanghai was like for foreigners almost three years after the Communists arrived in Shanghai in May 1949. 

 The rugby player in question is 'Uncle' Francis Richard Burch who was working for HSBC. Further details can be found out about him in my book It's a Rough Game but Good Sport. In an interview many years later Burch recalls that '...to celebrate the Queen's coronation. The only club we could use was the French Club which had an enormous ballroom with a sprung floor and everything... we asked every foreigner we knew, and then if there were any foreigners left , you were asked to take one if you didn't know them. And a lot of the expense was paid from Country Club rent.'

Later that year the remaining foreigners had a last 'Hurrah' being allowed to celebrate New Years Eve 1953 at the French Club until the early hours of New Year's Day 1954. After that all the clubs were closed and the parties stopped. Burch, his wife and two daughters finally left Shanghai later that year. 

  



Artifact of the Month Number 7 - September 2014  (for previous artifacts see bottom of page)