Uncovering Elephant and Castle's Treasure

Elephant and Castle. A place of vibrancy and change. A place where neighbours, professionals, students and tourists walk on the same street, enjoying all that the area has to offer. 

But Elephant and Castle has seen a lot of change – especially in the last decade. And so much of its heritage and history is hidden – buried not only beneath new high rise flats and trendy offices, but also in the people who have lived in Elephant and Castle for 60, 70 or 80 years. 

Which is why during the summer, we held a Treasure Hunt to uncover some of the rich community fabric.

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Over the course of a morning, teams of young Londoners orienteered themselves between nine famous landmarks in Elephant and Castle, listening to the memories of older neighbours who shared their stories of mischief and misadventure over the decades. 

At each point, the teams were given a task to complete based on each of our older neighbours' memories shared. 

Points were won for each task completed, with bonus points for creativity!

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And at the end of the Treasure Hunt, older and younger neighbours came together for a big party. James, Amber and other younger neighbours hung out with Rene, Peter and Frances, whose stories they had uncovered during the Treasure Hunt. And in turn, they shared their own personal history of the borough.

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The Treasure Hunt allows younger neighbours to uncover their city's past, helps our older neighbours to feel part of London's present, and through sharing stories, all can move forward together. 

As Alice said, "Invariably you meet new people, but you also see the same faces again. And there's that sense of connection to something better and bigger than you are."

Now, you can do the Treasure Hunt too! For a donation to South London Cares, the map, memories and task cards are available so that you can do it at any time. Team up with with friends, colleagues or friends and discover London's past through the older neighbours who have helped to make Elephant and Castle the wonderful place it is. 

To find out more, or to get your hands on a copy of the Treasure Hunt, please email Johanna at [email protected] 

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Thank you to the Big Lottery  for making this event possible, and to Dorothy for making this cracking film about the Treasure Hunt, which you can see below. 

Emily Clarke

Posted by Emily Clarke on Monday 30th October 2017

Emily is SLC's Head of Development.

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