My mom mailed me to let me know that my granddad - Guy Todd - wasn’t born in Hong Kong, but in Tienstin, in the diplomatic area, as the city wasn’t open to foreigners.
If you wiki that, the reference that comes up as the Second Opium War. Acc to my uncles my poor great-granny died of opium addiction. They’ve also said that the family imported tea and opium, and that the opium went under the boards of the ship. So that all makes sense, doesn’t it.
The city is now called Tianjin.
“The British concession, in which the trade centres, was situated on the right bank of the river Haihe below the native city, occupying some 200 acres. It was held on a lease in perpetuity granted by the Chinese government to the British Crown, which sublet plots to private owners. The seat of government was the stately Gordon Hall, situated on Victoria Road (now Jiefang Lu).”
This is Gordon Hall, in 1907. Pretty awesome picture, but frightfully English.
Last night I dreamt of funeral pyres, ghosts piled like Jenga. If you pulled one ghost - they were solid - the pyre collapsed.