Location: Central Fengxian
Google Earth view of location:
GPS co-ordinates: N33 54.814 E106 31.459
Cost: No cost to view
Access: The school gate is on the pedestrian market street, which runs parallel between the waterfront (on the true left of the river) and Baoji Street.
The pedestrian street has bronze sculptures for each animal of the Chinese calendar – the school is beside the Rabbit.
The school backs onto the waterfront, from the other side of the river a photo shows how it would once have been a riverside complex.
In the 1940s, during the second world war and China’s War of attrition with Japan, Rewi Alley first set up a Bailie School in Shuangshipu (now Fengxian). At the time Shuangshipu was nothing more than a small farmers’ village, a collection of small houses, sheds and cave dwellings hidden away in a hollow in the mountains of Shaanxi.
Fengxian has grown into a small provincial town in the west of Shaanxi Province. It is located south of Baoji City on the Gansu Province border and the edge of the Qingling Mountains.
Rewi and George Hogg (who was the first headmaster of the school) lived in a cave dwelling on the outskirts of Shuangshipu. Rewi Alley and George Hogg’s cave houses are now a substantial memorial to them and the Gung Ho organisation.
The Gung Ho school was more than a primary school (as suggested by the plaque). It educated young men as well.
There is nothing left of the original Gung Ho school, but a commemorative plaque at the gate to the replacement Primary School, marks its location.
For extracts from Rewi Alley’s Autobiography which give his comments about Shuangshipu and the Gung Ho Schools, click HERE.
This article is based on a report by Jane Furkert of her work: ‘An Independent Travellers’ Guide to Rewi Alley Locations in China, 2016’, that was funded by the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund.