A reprint because it's my favourite metamorphosis.
Long ago, for a sweet young bride,
A house was built, with love and pride,
With other terraces by its side;
It stood staunchly way back then.
And the front was made to create a store,
With the windows wide and a big front door.
It was filled with joy, in the days of yore.
It was 64 Chinchen.*
And the carts and carriages rolled on fast;
Folk came in and folk walked past,
Knowing it was made to last,
By strong Victorian men.
And the house was filled with a family,
And life was all that life should be;
It was fixed for all eternity
At 64 Chinchen.
But the years went by and the house decayed;
The windows cracked and the curtains frayed,
And wrought-iron 'lace' was no longer made,
As it had been way back then.
There was flaking paint and a thousand stains,
And the turgid smell of the ancient drains,
And the losses gave no hope of gains
For 64 Chinchen.
And the front step sagged and the cupboards jammed;
The vandals came and the skateboards rammed!
And, as years went by, it became more damned;
It could never live again.
Then the planners came, with a haughty frown,
Saying 'It's unworthy of our town!
Our only choice is to knock it down!
Old 64 Chinchen.'
But the wheel has turned and the attitide
That the things of old are just rough and crude
Has been changed to quite another mood,
And we yearn for way back then.
The house is seen by the eyes of youth,
Which discern this very treasured truth,
That the gracious homes never were uncouth.
Witness 64 Chinchen
Now the walls are white and the floorboards shine,
The new stained glass has the glow of wine;
On every side there's a hopeful sign
That the house can live again.
Now it stands so proud, with a cared-for gleam,
Strong in its every strut and beam,
All because my son had a dream
For 64 Chinchen.
*So-called because a Chinese Market Garden stood on the site in the 1800s.
Some history from the era here: