Street scene, Xian


China has solid stocks of coal, iron ore, and a large steel industry, but it does not have the legacy from the industrial revolution that is available in the West - vast anounts of old iron that is available for recycling. As a result many of the things that would be made from cheap-grade steel in the West, were made from wood. Prams like the one in the picture could be seen on every Chinese street, not just those of Xian.

Today China is one of the biggest importers of old steel. In one northern English town a local 'entrepreneur' removed most of the manhole covers in the town and shipped them to China, at enormous cost to the local council who had to replace them. Many of them dated from the Victorian age and because of their unique dimensions had to be remade. Perhaps one ended up as a pram used by the girl in the photograph for her own children.

 
 
 
 
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