Are there any oldtimers out there who remember the Elephant and Castle as it used to be? My wife's grandfather had a huge hat shop at the Elephant, and signs below in the underground station pointed to "Uptons Hatters". This was all back in the 1920s/30s, when a man could safely read his newspaper whilst crossing the main road! Sadly, hats fell out of fashion, and the mighty shop had to close down, leaving my wife's father, who ran one of the branches, out of a job!
Burtons eventually took over the premises, but no doubt they have disappeared as well. Ah well, I suppose nothing lasts forever....
There are plenty of people around who remember pre-War Elephant & Castle. In our Tenants & Residents Association, which covers the area just north west of the E&C, we're going to start work on an oral history project of the area later in the year. Maybe if there is sufficient outside interest this could be widened to cover the whole of the Elephant - an area woefully underserved by the existing histories of south-east London. Maybe, with all this redevelopment money that's sloshing around, we could work towards a publication in the next couple of years.
If anyone's interested, let me know through this forum, or email me!
I was born at 142 Blacfriars Rd in 1923 and lived in Peabody Sq until 1953 when I moved to Stevenage New Town, My Mother and Sister lived in peabody's until their deaths in 1978 and 1984 respectively.
I remember quite vividly the opening of the Trocadero, as a kid we could get in there on a Saturday morning for a penny, could somebody tell me what happened to the old Troc.
Of course anybody of my vintage must remember May 10 of 1941when the whole darn place nearly got wiped out ,I was 17 at the time and was in the arp wardens post #6 at the time, the wardens post was in a basement underneath the Sons Of Temperence building, almost next door to The Kings Head Pub and across the road from the Crown, I wonder if those old watering holes still exist.
I now live in S West Florida and since leaving the U K in1965 I have lived in Australia for a few years and 25years in California, we have now been in Florida for 8 yr's and have reached the ripe old age of 77.If anybody over there remembers me I'd love to hear from you George Kalotta
In the London College of Printing library there is a complete set of Picture Post which contains many photos by the acclaimed Bert Hardy who was born in the area.
Certainly he took pictures of local people during the blitz and there is at least one major photo feature of his there. He was in recent years still connected with the college and regularly lectured to photography students there.
There are also other memories of the Elephant in the Library I am sure.
retired Senior Lecturer, London College of Printing.
PS I believe the college is one of the very few buildings whose address is Elephant and Castle. I believe on the the Tabernacle and the Sports Centre have that address.