The Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre closed its doors for the final time yesterday (September 24).
The closure will make way for “a new town centre”, which is part of a £4bn development that will totally overhaul the area. The shopping centre, which has been around for 55 years, will be demolished and replaced with shiny new retail units, and fancy high-rise apartments.
Sure, it wasn’t the most beautiful of buildings, but it had a special place in the hearts of many, not least its loyal traders. To show their affection for the centre, as well as their disappointment about its closure, hordes of people joined together last night (September 24) to say goodbye.
As the shopping centre awaits demolition, some retailers will relocate to a temporary location in Castle Square, along with the famous elephant statue. The makeshift retail park, which you’ll find on Elephant Road, will open this weekend.
Developers and councils have been trying to make this happen for years, but have always been met with deputations and general push back from the local community. They put up a grand old fight and were winning! Well, until now. Southwark Council actually held the first public meeting on the matter back in 1989.
The shopping centre may have needed a little love in the looks department, but that didn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. In fact, many Londoners took to Twitter to share their fond memories of the place:
Featured image: Shutterstock
Also published on Medium.