Our Traders, known as “The Herd”
Ana Castro, a trader from the Shopping Centre and her daughter Hellen
“Wonderful memories are brought to me by the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, where my mommy has her boutique. Since my mum was pregnant, she tells me that her clients and friends were very happy that I came to bless our home and now it is very nice that they see me and tell me that I have known you since you were in your mommy’s tummy.
Also, I will always remember coming every Sunday to the bingo, my mom took me there to play the children games machines, then go to eat Colombian empanada at La Bodeguita, then go to Tesco shopping, I also could not miss going to the market to see the different businesses that had and crave for something, I can not forget Christmas. It is the most beautiful time for me. All the lights and joy that this gave me and the Christmas trails through the shops. Even more beautiful that I could share with my new sister Ana Victoria, we played, laughed and enjoyed in the shopping, I hope we can return soon when it is bigger and magical to continue enjoying this fantastic place I enjoyed and I hope to continue doing it with much love!”
Diana, from La Bodeguita Restaurant
Diana opened her famous Colombian restaurant, La Bodeguita in 2001. Since then her restaurant has become an important meeting place for the local Latin American community, and an important eating place for diners from all over the world!
Sandra, works in the Shopping Centre
Sandra who works in the shopping centre, used to regularly visit Elephant and Castle to go to the cinema. Sandra is a regular visitor at the Community Hub, enjoying the Silverfit classes. She thinks the changes happening locally are good for the future of the area.
Sharon and Nazart, Visitors of the Community Hub
Sharon and Nazart have lived in Elephant and Castle for 32 years, both moving from Jamaica. They both love the area, and meeting people from Elephant’s friendly community. They both love visiting the Community Hub, enjoying its relaxing and friendly atmosphere.
Danny, long time Shopping Centre visitor (1930 – 2019)
Born in Jamaica, Danny moved to London in the 1960’s, becoming one of what is now called the Windrush Generation. He helped in the build of the shopping centre as one of the project’s steel men, erecting the metal skeleton. Danny was a frequent visitor to the bingo hall when it was open on the top floor and met many of his friends there. Danny visited the shopping centre most days, travelling half a mile from his home on his mobility scooter.
Jim, Shopping Centre Management
Jim first started working at the shopping centre in December 2013, he has enjoyed working at the centre and has had many interesting conversations with customers, vistors and staff over the years.
Trevor, Shopping Centre Security
Trevor is from Jamaica and has been a security guard in the shopping centre since 1992. He has seen lots over the years, including celebrities such as Ian Wright, Chris Eubands and Sol Campbell.
Janet, Loyal Community Member
Janet has written a poem about what Elephant and Castle means to her.
My Home is my Elephant and Castle
by Janet Yatak
I have been coming to the centre for many years
There has been sadness happiness laughter and tears
It is where I like to spend my day collecting memories along the way
People come from all walks of life some may have even found a wife
We have many cultures many races all with different expressions on their faces
For me it is the love the community show there are others places but I don’t want to go
Some people often have a moan but the centre is my second home
There is no place like home and they say a man’s home is his castle
So my home is my Elephant and Castle
Luz, from Lucy’s Hairdressing and Patricia, Community Member
Lucy first moved to London from Colombia in 1985 to improve her hair styling skills, at the time she could not speak any English. Lucy found an opportunity to open a hair dressing salon 28 years ago and her shop was one of the first Latin American stores to open in the shopping centre. Lucy will be moving to Elephant Arcade and will leave with many happy memories.
Patricia has been a visitor of the shopping centre since the 1960’s. She loves the diverse community and meeting people from different countries. Patricia knows many of the traders and used to work in the centre.