Oral History Archive

We interviewed 12 people who had very interesting stories and experience share with us. Some interviewees moved to the UK at early age and have been living in the UK for a long time. Their practices of celebrating different festivals have changed since they left their hometown. Other interviewees are mixed marriage Chinese, and mixed Chinese young people with British upbringing. If you want to know more about how people celebrate cultural festivals, you should not miss the interview archive.

Click the 'Read More' buttons to access each interview. All interviews are in English. There are two versions of the interview archive: short version and full version. You can also read the transcriptions of the interviews.

Dr Cheng Chan


Dr. Cheng Chan is the President of China Re-unification Society in the UK.  Dr. Chan was born in Shanghai; his origin home town is Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province in China.  He graduated from Shanghai Nanyang Model Middle School in 1947 and Shanghai Aurora University in 1951.  He enrolled in Paris University in 1952, and received his ‘Doctor en Droit’ degree in International Law in 1954.



Mrs Sherry Kuei-Chan


Mrs. Sherry Kuei-Chan was born in Nanjing in 1948, her father’s hometown is from Shanghai.  They went to Taiwan in 1949.  She grew up in Taipei.  A strong Chinese culture discipline and influenced by her mother who often took her to the theatre for Chinese operas and plays.  So she has learnt a lot of Chinese history and arts knowledge not only from the school but also a great deal from outside the classroom.  She speaks Mandarin, Taiwanese.



Cllr Thomas Chan

thomaschanCouncillor Thomas Chan is the first mayor with Chinese background in Britain.  Mayor Chan was brought up in Hong Kong and has lived in Britain for over 32 years.  He is a business consultant and has a particular interest in equality in the workplace.  He has served Redbridge as a councillor for four years in the 1990s representing Bridge ward and then, from 2006, Wanstead ward.  He became the mayor of Redbridge Borough in May 2009.


Mrs Hanifah Law


Hanifah Law is a retired Business Director.  Having been involved in manufacturing and export business in the Far East for over 20 years, she has wide experience in managing revenue and cost, strategic planning and overseeing marketing and sales.  She has successfully turned around companies in deficit.







Mr Kam-Sang Law


Kam-Sang Law worked in the public sector throughout his working life and retired as Deputy Secretary General of the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 2004.  He migrated to the United Kingdom with his wife in the same year to join their children.  He keeps himself busy working on the Board of Directors in a number of charities.  He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 2008.  He also teaches taijiquan and Chinese calligraphy.



Miss Melissa Law


Melissa Law is a final year Law student at Cambridge University.  Her mother is from Spain, and her father is from Hong Kong.  She has lived her whole life in the UK, however she visits Spain twice a year, during the summer and for Christmas and she has also visited Hong Kong on four occasions.  Although she has not visited Hong Kong many times her family on her father’s side visit England often.  As a result she has enjoyed an upbringing with influences from both cultures.



Mr George Lee


George Lee was born in a converted pig shed in a poor village in the New Territories of Hong Kong, where he worked in a toy factory aged 5.  George came to the UK aged 10 years unable to speak any English, and, together with his five siblings, lived and worked in their parents’ Chinese take away shop in Portsmouth, and attended a local comprehensive school situated in a council estate.




Dr Frank Lie


Dr Frank Lie is cardiologist working for National Health Service.  He is also Director of registered charity Tzu Chi Foundation UK.  He has a very traditional Chinese up bringing, with Buddhism as his major orientation.  He advises his patient to be a vegetarian on Health ground.  He has lived in many countries in South East Asia, and has some in-sight into traditions and festivals in that part of the world.




Ms Mei-Feng Lin


Mei-Feng lived and grown up near the historical part of Taipei City, Taiwan.  She had very often the chance to observe the traditional festival activities since she was a child.  She was also interested in learning the tradition from the elderly members in the family, and participated in preparing and celebrating the traditional events.




Miss Sarah McDowall


Sarah McDowall is a research analyst at IHS Global Insight, and is responsible for covering political, security and business environment analysis in East Asia.  Having an English father and a Chinese mother, she was born and raised in Hong Kong.  She was sent to boarding school in England at an early age, and eventually went on to gain a Master of Arts in Oriental Studies in Cambridge University, and Master of Science in Asian politics from the London School of Oriental and African Studies.



Ms Sophie Wang

tn_Sophie_ProfileSophie Wang is a senior search consultant with a focus on the global energy market.  She came to London eight years ago and has recruited executives with finance skill sets and very often with diversified cultural or linguistic backgrounds.  She is a frequent traveller between Europe and Asia, and has lived in different countries: Taiwan, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK.  In addition to her native Mandarin and Taiwanese, she speaks fluent English and Spanish.




Mr Abe Tse

We also interviewed Mr Abe Tse who was a Trustee of the Haringey Chinese Centre from 1998 until his appointment as Executive Chief Officer in September 2005.  He has extensive experience in running a psychiatric unit as senior nurse administrator and set up many profitable business enterprises previously.