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‘Going there was an adventure for us’ – South Londoners remember the Elephant and Castle shopping centre as it’s demolished – Claire Hubble

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Some considered it as a South London icon, others a vivid pink eyesore: both manner, the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre has formally been pulled down.

The 55-12 months-previous shopping centre, together with the 100-12 months-previous Coronet subsequent door, was demolished in favour of a £1 billion growth, its trademark vivid pink partitions turned to rubble.

The patch of actual property simply south of the river was lengthy neglected by property builders, permitting unbiased companies to name a Zone 1 shopping centre residence till 2020.

A shiny new ‘city centre’ full with 979 new houses and 175,000 sq. foot of latest retailers, cafes and eating places will take its place.

We requested our followers on the My South London Facebook web page to share their recollections of the iconic native landmark.

“Gutted,” wrote Laura Mac Crábhagáin. “My childhood has simply had one other bodily chunk destroyed. Back in the day there was a lot life and vibrancy ‘up the Elephant’. Plus, submit-pink, it was trackable by NASA.”

Marie Marlene Jacques stated, “End of an period. I’ve solely been in the shopping centre just a few instances. Iconic place with the pink elephant statue.”

The one saving grace of the centre’s demolition is that the iconic pink elephant was eliminated earlier than work started. The beloved pink statue will likely be displayed elsewhere in the native space.

‘I at all times stated hi there to the elephant’

Samantha Thornton remembers greeting the notorious pink mascot each time she visited.

“[I remember] strolling there from Guy’s hospital and at all times saying hi there to the elephant, and consuming pizza at the greatest pizza restaurant on the town, Pizzeria Castella.”

Jacqui Stuart seemed again on the days when the Elephant was a South London shopping hub.

“In the 70s, Elephant & Castle was the solely place you could possibly purchase sarsaparilla, all West Indians at the time had this of their cabinets,” she commented.

“My mum would ship my sister and me to purchase, we lived in North London, we’d look out for the elephant. This was an adventure for us.”

Others recalled working in and round the centre.

“So unhappy to see it’s now being pulled down, stated Michelle Johnson. “I labored at Rileys snooker corridor in 2001. I met some pretty individuals there, Ruby’s nightclub we used to go to after an evening shift. Good recollections.”

‘My sister requested if the Queen lived there’

Harking again three a long time, Helena Ferris recalled working in the centre, which she loved regardless of the vibrant characters.

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“I used to work in Boots there. I was the dispenser from 1990 to Dec 1995 after I left to have my child,” she stated.

“I remember working with a younger lad known as Danny and a few ladies known as Wendy and Inga. I used to chase the junky shoplifters away. Loved it there although the journey was terrible from the place I lived in Croydon.”

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Tracy Angelo stated, “When my sister was slightly woman we drove handed & she requested if the Queen lived there.”

While the constructing won’t have been match for royalty, it was actually a beloved South London icon.

What are your favorite recollections of the shopping centre? Let us know in the feedback right here.