On the other side of the road from Plaistow Station is a set of steps down to a park, and a dilapidated cottage.
The cottage was apparently last given a lick of paint in the 1970s, and was rented out ever since, presumably to people with a penchant for 1970s decor.
However, anyone walking past recently might have noticed wooden shutters going up and fencing, for this old cottage is about to get a heritage makeover.
The single-storey gabled cottage was built around 1840, and was the gate house lodge for The Willows, formerly Bedfords, a large house probably built in the early 19th century.
All the fittings inside date from around the 1970s, when the building was last worked on, and most of the heritage removed, as was fairly routine at the time.
The restorers are going to expand the building slightly, and revamp the layout of the interior to make it fit for modern usage.
Originally it had a thatched roof, but this was at some point replaced with slates, and the restoration will see the slates retained. Sadly restoring the thatch would have proven a heritage step too far, and the slates are themselves part of the building’s long history.
While internally therefore the building will be fairly modern, the biggest improvement will be for the many people who pass the dilapidated old building on their way to the train station.
For passersby, a delightful old cottage is coming back to life.