Local Area – Madison House

Madison House is located within the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham City and is steeped in local history.

During the First World War, newly arrived Hong Kong Chinese were an essential element of making up the labour shortage in city factories, due to the bulk of Britain’s male population serving in the armed forces at the time.

After the war, a concentration of Chinese people living in central Birmingham were provided for by Chinese shops and services located just south and west of the Bull Ring. Due to this, the¬†district was then deliberately developed into the Chinese Quarter in the late 1970’s.

The Arcadian Centre was built off Hurst Street in the late 1990’s with emphasis being placed into developing in a way that fitted Chinese culture. There are many Chinese restaurants, supermarkets and shops in the area and it also plays host to an annual parade and festivities celebrating the Chinese New Year.

The Pagoda is an iconic monument which stands in the middle of the Holloway Circus roundabout close to the Chinese Quarter. Standing over 12 metres high, The Pagoda was hand-carved in China out of granite and shows intricate workmanship. It was presented to the city in 1998 by Wing Yip as homage for providing a home and support both during and after the war. Arriving from Hong Kong in 1959, Wing Yip opened a Chinese restaurant in Clacton-on-Sea and moved to Birmingham 11 years later to open a Chinese grocer’s shop in Digbeth which supplied genuine Chinese products to restaurants and families. The business then moved to a larger premises on Coventry Street where it stayed for 17 years until 1992, which is when Wing Yip decided to move to a large purpose-built premises in¬†Nechells.