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Documenting lives through the Regeneration in Elephant & Castle

Maybe it isn’t surprising that a place called Elephant and Castle should be dominated by large spaces: the shopping centre, the Heygate estate, the two roundabouts; and a regeneration scheme hailed as the largest in Europe. Yet it is on a smaller scale that the Elephant reveals its energy and its identity. It is the individual people, flats, cafes, shops and stalls, and the connections between them, that make the Elephant somewhere people call home.

Home is about family and friends. Home is about feeling connected, necessary, safe, inspired. Home from Home presents a snapshot of the Elephant and Castle, from the heart of the shopping centre to the spaces tucked beneath the railway arches, from the Heygate estate to the homes people have been moved to as the estate is prepared for demolition. It celebrates the rich diversity of the area and unearths the stories and the memories of those who have made the Elephant their home.

The people in this book are just part of the complex web of connections that makes the Elephant so unique. Those pictured know each other through school, through work, because they shop in the same places, sit opposite each other at Bingo each week, drink in the same pub, live near each other. They talk about a sense of community, about knowing their neighbours, about feeling part of something.

Things are changing down the Elephant. Our hope is that this book captures the reality and the magic of the area at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


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Shopping Centre / Heygate Estate /
ESSAY by Sarah Butler