Friday 22 June 2012

Beware the stranger at your Willesden door

Reports are reaching us of a door-to-door campaign in Willesden Green asking people to sign a petition in support of the 'lovely' new Cultural Centre. This follows hundreds of objections to Galliford Try's planning application for the demolition of the 1980s Centre, the bookshop and the Old Willesden Library.

It is enough to move us to poetry:
'Is there anybody there?' said the Developer,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his heart in the silence beat anxiously,
Would they see the fatal flaw?
And a police car sped by a-wailing
Enough to wake the newly dead;
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
'Is there anybody there?' he said.
But no one descended to the Developer;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of determined campaigners;
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Developer's call.
And he felt in his heart their steadfastness,
Their determination answering his cry,
While the petition slipped from his fingers:
No profits for Galliford Try.

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