Opinion\From the Readers

Shanghai then and now: Changes through the lens

By Bruce Connolly | | Updated: 2017-02-16 15:25

Shanghai has long been a trans-shipment port where goods transfer from boat to canal barge. Suzhou Creek (Wusong River) joins the Huangpu at the historic, metal Garden Bridge. Today much of the river banks have been landscaped and the waters closed to the dense mass of barge traffic that would move to Suzhou, Taihu Lake or right up the Grand Canal.

‘Suzhou Creek was bustling with long lines of barges tied up, three or four abreast. Loaded barges, water splashing onto their low decks, chugged upstream. Families sat on stools outside the wheelhouses - talking, eating or preparing food. Bicycles lay on deck alongside washing and a muddle of red plastic buckets, basins and hose pipes. Men using bamboo shoulder poles carried large clay amphoras of pickled vegetables up narrow wooden planks from stationary barges to the concrete flood walls.’

Shanghai then and now: Changes through the lens

A photo taken in 1996 shows people sitting outdoors along the buildings around Suzhou Creek, the major route for barges between Shanghai and Taihu Lake. [Photo taken by Bruce Connolly]

Shanghai then and now: Changes through the lens

Suzhou Creek in 1996 - a bustling canal scene. [Photo taken by Bruce Connolly]

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