Morecambe Bay cockling tragedy: A lasting memorial to the Chinese cocklers

The memorial left at Red Bank Farm for the 23 victims of the Chinese cockling tragedy.

The memorial left at Red Bank Farm for the 23 victims of the Chinese cockling tragedy.

Some members of the Chinese community have advocated a lasting memorial to the victims of the Morecambe Bay cockling disaster.

At present there is a plaque with a poem on display in the memorial garden near Morecambe lifeboat launching station. But ten years on from the disaster, the vice-chair of the Lancaster and Morecambe Bay Chinese Community Association, speaking on behalf of members, says it would be good to have a lasting memorial in Morecambe. James Liu, vice-chairman of the LMBCCA, said: “To victim’s families, it would be arelief to know that there will be a place for them to come to pay their respects whenever they come to England.Hopefully it would help to release the sadness which has been trapped in their hearts for all these years.”

Shortly after the cockling disaster a memorial to the 23 Chinese cocklers was erected by the local Chinese community at Red Bank Farm. Incense, Chinese inscriptions on a plaque, and offerings of food and drink were left at the shrine for the dead. A cross was erected in Morecambe Bay soon after the disaster by local fishermen and people in memory of the 23 victims, but that was removed after two months for safety reasons.

In Chinese culture, death is always regarded as a negative life event, except for a ‘good’ death due to natural causes or ageing. Death as a subject is one of the taboos in Chinese culture.

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