6 Things That'll Happen When Elephant And Castle Shopping Centre Is Demolished

6 Things That'll Happen When Elephant And Castle Shopping Centre Is Demolished

It's a question of when, not if. Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre is for the chop. And whether you rightly love it — or very wrongly hate it — the area will never be the same again. Here are six things that'll happen.

1. Palace Superbowl is demolished with a massive bowling ball on a chain

Surely something Southwark Council can get under Section 106? For many, the shopping centre's sticky, rickety Palace Superbowl will be the thing they miss most. It's only fitting that this place goes out with the ultimate strike. Maybe they can find the bowling alley's top scorer of all time, and give them the honours.

2. The people who installed those bubblegum and soft toy vending machines finally count up their earnings

We have never ever ever ever seen anyone put a coin into one of these machines. Ever. Our estimate for total money accrued in just over half a century... £4.32? Some of that may be in old money, mind.

3. Michael Caine gets very lost

He's very lost in this picture. That's Knightsbridge, Michael

The Alfie actor told us that when he visited his former home of Elephant and Castle in 2017, he barely recognised it. At least he'll have been familiar with the shopping centre, which opened in 1965 — the same time Caine's acting career was skyrocketing. But when that's gone, there'll be very little of Maurice Micklewhite's Elephant left. Don't be surprised if an elderly cockney bloke pulls up in a Mini Cooper, to ask for directions.

4. The Elephant and Castle sculpture ends up in the Museum of London...

...Where it stands proudly yet solemnly behind glass — a remnant of pre-gentrification south London. Some kids ask why the elephant's red. Others ask why it's got an actual castle on its back. No one is really sure. People quickly move on to gawp at the Fatberg.  

5. They build an ironic, identical pop-up version of Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre in its place

Artist's impression

It's got bowling for hipsters. Great Colombian food. An alternative outdoor market. Random bubblegum machines. Hell, it's the coolest place for miles around. Of course, everything at the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre identical ironic hipster pop-up costs three times as much. It wasn't cheap to build.

6. People are finally able to find Elephant and Castle train station

So it begins

Not everything about the shopping centre's demise might be negative. It seems its architects took perverse pride in doubling up the mall up into an Escher-esque labyrinth, designed to baffle commuters on their way to the train station, to the point they end up weeping in a crumpled heap, outside Jenny's greasy spoon. Heck, let's bulldoze the bastard now.

Last Updated 25 April 2018

Melvyn Windebank

The shopping centre was originally built with 3 levels but failure to let shops led to the top level becoming part of Hannibal House above the centre which for many years was home to civil servants . In fact you got a good view from Hannibal Hiuse as it was the one place you couldn't see it from !

Finding the station is one thing but then you need to find how to access the platforms !

The Mainline station should be incorporated into the new development in a similar fashion to the DLR Station at Canary Wharf with escalators and lifts to all platforms given this is part of Thameslink with the possibility of a new station being built at Camberwell .

James Pullen

What a fatuous piece, Willy Nobble, no doubt tossed off on a drab Monday morning as you cope with your come down after a hard weekend on the tiles. While nobody in their right mind disagrees that the shopping centre is an eyesore, various elements of the local community have at last come together to demand certain provisions, which the developer is reluctant to concede, and those who oppose Delancey's plan have learned a lot over the past eight years of social cleansing. The lease on the Palace Bingo & Bowl runs until 2024 and its operator, Mr Duffy, is not minded to do any favours for a voracious developer that is based offshore and pays no UK taxes. So, don't hold your breath while waiting for that wrecking ball to start swinging.