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Elephant & Castle tube station inspires short story for children

London SE1 website team

An American author has published a book of children's stories including a tale inspired by Elephant & Castle tube station.

Elephant & Castle tube station inspires short story for children
The E&C story features this illustration by Catherine Griffiths

New York-based Keith Hayes raised more than $5,000 on crowdfunding website Kickstarter to enable him to self-publish In Mr Handsome's Garden, a collection of whimsical stories for children intended to provide gentle lessons about hopes and dreams and doing one's best.

One of the short stories is titled Elephant & Castle and is illustrated by Catherine Griffiths' depiction of a castle with an elephant shield above the door.

"I was fortunate during university to spend a semester at Wroxton College, near Banbury," said Keith Hayes.

"I spent a lot of time that year travelling in the UK and lots of time exploring London via the Underground.

"I visited Elephant & Castle specifically because the name of the tube stop intrigued me so much and – like my character Mr Handsome – I've never stopped wondering about the derivation of the name.

"Since Mr Handsome is such an imaginative fellow, it seemed natural that Elephant & Castle should be one of the places he speculated about as a storyteller for children."
The book is available on

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