Newcastle: early 20th Century
'Nobby's' is the little island lying just off-shore
And Nobbys now looks much the same as it did in days of yore.
The waterfront, on the other hand, has well and truly changed;
Everything about it has been utterly rearranged!
Gone is the noise and bustle, the shipping and the trains,
The dirt and lack of beauty, the coal-trucks and the cranes.
Newcastle; early 21st century.
Instead we have a boulevard where citizens take their ease,
There are elegant apartments and the shade from planted trees.
Nobbys still stands sentinel and the lighthouse is still there
But the Waterfront's a benefit that all of us can share.
Optimism? Pessimism? Happy smiles or tears?
Will things improve or deteriorate in another hundred years?
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 Somebody had a dream
For 64 Chinchen.
* My son, Greg's, eyes.