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THIS ISSUE

BEYOND 2001 London College of Communication celebrates the groundbreaking work of Stanley Kubrick

THE ELEPHANT

WHAT THE ROMANS DID FOR US Uncovering Elephant and Castle’s ancient Roman roots

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Remembering local people and places in the new street names at Elephant Park

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Cover photo: Irene Hayes, Superarts Dance Academy, Hannah Maule-ffinch

Issue 12 / Winter 2018


THIS IS THE ELEPHANT This is the Elephant. And this is the Elephant Magazine.

T

he Elephant Magazine is the publication dedicated to all things Elephant and Castle. We want to celebrate all that is fabulous about our neighbourhood and our community. We want to look back with fondness on the area’s past and look forward with optimism to the future. The Elephant is changing and the Elephant Magazine will be following every step of the way.

The Elephant Magazine is published by Southwark Council. We welcome your ideas, comments and contributions, so please get in touch. Editor: Richard Wells / Additional copy: Nikki Spencer / Main photography: Hannah Maule-ffinch / Designed by Westco Design and printed by Swiss Post / Enquiries: councilnews@southwark.gov.uk

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THE ELEPHANT


Photography from left to right: Goal Attack, Castle Centre; brewer, Orbit Beer; elephant statue; East Street market sign; paint pots at LCC; Siobhan Davies Dance; bus passenger (Nick Turpin / Hoxton Mini Press); La Luna Pizza; market trader, Cinema Museum; netball players, Castle Centre; burger, Beehive Pub; Luz, hairdresser; Austin Osman Spare; London College of Communication; Antonio, La Luna Pizza; Hotel Elephant; Construction Skills Centre; Castle sign; LCC exhibition; Imperial war Museum; Baldwins Apothecary; swimmer, the Castle Centre; food at Jamyang Cafe

THE ELEPHANT

3


Hatch CEO, Dirk Bischof

GO EAST!


55 East, a new community and enterprise hub for Elephant and Castle, has opened on East Street.

W

e couldn’t have a better location,” enthuses Alberto Bettin, manager of 55 East’s café, right in the heart of East Street’s famous market. “Whenever we need fresh fruit and vegetables, we just open the door and everything we could want is here. The market’s a real treasure trove for us. Everyday we’re greeted by these incredible colours, sights and smells.”

The café is one of three units – Kitchen, Studio and Lounge – which together, comprise 55 East; a new community and enterprise hub which has been part funded by the council and the Greater London Authority and supported by Peabody. The idea is to help small businesses, budding entrepreneurs and the local economy. 55 East provides space for co-working, training and community events as well as access to advice and support for business people. East Street, one of the oldest markets in London, has a long and proud history as a home to small businesses and market traders. 55 East, which opened at the end of November, intends to build on that reputation. The whole project is run by Hatch, a leading community enterprise charity that worked with housing association Peabody, local groups and traders to get it up and running. Peabody has provided the premises (a row of three, previously unused shops) on a peppercorn rent for three years.

a monthly, business social club and provides access to mentoring and financial coaching. Soon, it will start to host training for more than 60 entrepreneurs each year and will run the award-winning, 12-week Hatch Incubator Programme for emerging businesses, on site. Hatch has already helped more than 400 entrepreneurs with their business and social enterprise ideas, throughout Southwark and Lambeth. Their projects include Change, Please (based in Borough) which has received widespread, national press coverage for helping homeless people by training them as baristas. Late last year, Hatch ran a crowdfunding campaign and successfully raised over £20,000 for their enterprise programmes. It means that they can employ a Change, Please barista at 55 East Kitchen for six months. Another barista has come from Well Grounded, a scheme that provides coffee training for those at risk of long-term unemployment. Alberto explains “Our café provides good quality, affordable food and helps people at the same time. The soup is homemade, locally, and we’re creating a range of cakes that reflects the huge variety of cultures in Walworth. I like to think of 55 East Kitchen as a melting pot: just like in cooking, you use different ingredients and mix things together and you get amazing results.”

Hatch CEO, Dirk Bischof is looking forward to helping the small businesses and enterprises in and around East Street. “We understand the struggle that small businesses face and we hope that by offering affordable, co-working space and extensive professional support it won’t be a lonely journey anymore.” Lisa Wilson, 55 East’s Programme and Community Manager, says the response to their work has been very enthusiastic so far. “People love what we’re doing. The café is very popular and we already have lots of people working in our lounge and taking part in our networking events. Local people have come forward with all sorts of ideas for how they might use the studio space, from African drumming and English lessons to yoga classes and mum’s meet ups, as well as exhibitions and talks. And we’re still keen to hear more suggestions for both the studio and the lounge.” 55 East is currently exhibiting photographs of people from Walworth taken by photographer, Sylvie Goy. It runs until 11 February, so if you’re in the area, why not drop in, enjoy the exhibition and take a look around 55 East for yourself? 55 East Kitchen is open Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 5pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm 55 East, 53-63 East Street, SE17 2DJ www.55east.co.uk

The café, at 55 East Kitchen, is sandwiched between 55 East Lounge and 55 East Studio. 55 East Lounge is a community events and retail space for up to 50 people. It’s already hosted everything from a Christmas market to a series of events for Global Enterprise Week. 55 East Studio is an affordable co-working space for 30 people. It offers flexible rents, from £14 a day, including high-speed wifi and unlimited tea and coffee. It also runs THE ELEPHANT

5


HAVEN’T STOPPED

DANCING YET


Tucked away off the Walworth Road, Superarts has been teaching local children dance and performing arts for over 50 years.

L

ook down the cast list of most major West End shows, such as The Lion King, School of Rock or Matilda and chances are you’ll find someone who started out at Superarts Academy of Performing Arts - otherwise known locally as Rene’s after founder and professional dancer, Irene Hayes, who started the school back in 1962.

“It was, and still is, very much a labour of love for my mum,” explains Susan Hayes who took over the day-to-day running of the school from her 85 year old mother, ten years ago, although Rene is still very much involved. “Mum is a bit of a powerhouse!” says Susan, who trained as a professional dancer before moving into choreography. “She had her first dance lesson when she was just three years old at the old Manor Place Baths. Chaperoned by my granddad, she entertained the public by dancing in the Tube station shelters during the Second World War and went on to dance with the stars of the day, such as Tommy Trinder and Bud Flanagan. When I was about five mum decided she wanted to share her love of dance with the children of Southwark by offering classes.” During those early days, Susan says her mother “probably taught in every church hall in the borough. She took her music box from place to place, in a trolley, in all weathers, before she found a permanent home for Superarts in the St John Centre in Larcom Street (more than 45 years ago, now).” What began as a hobby has turned into a thriving non-profit organisation,

with Superarts now offering 23 weekly evening and Saturday classes in everything from street dance and ballet to tap and acrobatics for hundreds of children aged 3-18. And it’s become a much-loved part of the Elephant and Castle community. “It’s a bit like a family,” says Susan, “we’re onto the third generation now; with grandparents who did classes with us when they were little and then brought their own children, now bringing their grandkids.” “Two of our teachers, Karen Willis and James Owen, started as students with us when they were just three or four years old and lots of other past pupils help out too” she adds. Superarts students perform regularly at local community events including the Walworth Festival and every two years they put on a production at the Greenwood Theatre at London Bridge. Rene still designs all the costumes, which parents and carers help to make, and assists with choreography. “Her input is invaluable” says Susan. While some students have gone on to perform in the West End, others have travelled the world. “We have former students working all over. One is now a choreographer in LA while another runs a chain of dance schools in Australia. She recently came back to see us, which was wonderful.” “The other day, we received a very moving email from a past student who choreographs for TV shows, including X Factor. He wanted to tell us what a huge impact we’d had on his life and how much we’d helped him in his career.”

Classes take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays 4.30pm-9pm and all day Saturday 64 Larcom Street, SE17 1NQ 07721 927714 | www.superarts.co.uk

Susan, however, is keen to emphasise that Superarts certainly isn’t just aimed at those who may want to work in the performing arts. “We don’t audition - Superarts is open to everyone” she explains. “Joining our classes gives children life skills. For example we had a nine year old girl who was really shy. Joining our singing classes has given her such confidence, it’s wonderful to watch her. It’s almost like she’s a different person.” Superarts’ home at the St John Centre has recently been refurbished, including the addition of a professional dance studio, with sprung flooring, mirrors and ballet bars. Susan, Rene and their pupils couldn’t be more delighted. “The look on the children’s faces when they saw the new facilities was wonderful and, for the first couple of classes, I just couldn’t stop smiling either” says Susan. The improvements, supported by the council’s Cleaner, Greener, Safer Fund, also delivered new heating and decoration throughout the building. This includes the ground floor hall which is used for Superarts and the local community, and in a smaller hall, which is used for singing lessons and private tuition. “Previously, in winter, the children kept their coats on until the very last moment but now they can have their lessons in comfort” says Susan. Now that they have better facilities, Susan hopes they can expand and offer classes for adults too. “Dancing is great for us all, whatever our age,” she beams.

To find out more about arts and culture events happening in Elephant and Castle visit www.elephantandcastle.org.uk/events

THE ELEPHANT

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NAMING OUR STREETS Local people and places are being celebrated in the names at Elephant Park.

I

n 2014, Lendlease ran a campaign in partnership with Creation Trust called Put it on the Map. The idea

was to encourage local residents to suggest names for the new streets and buildings at the Elephant Park

development. Last month, the first of these newly named streets was officially opened.

O’CALLAGHAN WAY O’Callaghan Way was opened by the Mayor of Southwark, Charlie Smith in a ceremony which took place in December.

2004. He had lived in Swanbourne block on the Heygate estate during his childhood, just a stone’s throw from where the new street is today.

Connecting Wansey Street to Heygate Street, it's part of the first phase of new homes to be completed at Elephant Park. It was named after Private Lee O’Callaghan, a local soldier who died on military service in Iraq.

There was huge support from the community to honour Lee in this way and his family gave the idea their blessing. Lee’s mother, Shirley said “I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people in the local community who wanted to remember Lee in this way. It’s a fitting and lasting tribute to my brave son.”

Private O’Callaghan, a member of 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, died in Basra in

IT’S A FITTING AND LASTING TRIBUTE TO MY BRAVE SON


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For example; the names Walton Heights and Hurlock Heights recall

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With many of the Put it on the Map names harking back to a golden age of retail - when Elephant and Castle was known as the ‘Piccadilly of the South’ - Lendlease is taking the opportunity to remember the area’s trading history at West Grove.

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RECALLING THE PICCADILLY OF THE SOUTH The next phase of Elephant Park, West Grove, is currently under construction. As well as 600 new homes, it includes a large number of the development’s new shops.

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A. Levy and Co (Abraham). 27, 31,51,53 and 55 transfer to 14-18 Walworth Road. Image: PI6661-7 (both images)

two of the grand department stores (Walton & Co and Hurlock’s) for which the Elephant was renowned in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, while several other buildings will invoke smaller but equally well-known businesses. Many locals will remember the Walworth Road tailors, Levy & Co as well as Ferraro & Sons, the fruiterer and ice-cream parlour in London Road. Both will be remembered in two new buildings in the development; the Levy Building and Ferraro House.

Levy & Co

A. Levy and Co (Abraham). 27, 31,51,53 and 55 transfer to 14-18 Walworth Road. Image: PI6661-7 (both images)

THE ELEPHANT

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Clara was a much-loved woman in the neighbourhood. She was poor; with barely enough to feed her own family, yet big-hearted. Local children (hungry and poor, themselves) would regularly be found waiting at her door when Clara was cooking one of her huge pots of stew. The call would go out “Mrs Stock’s got the stew pot on!” and the children would wait outside, never to be disappointed, as Clara shared her food with them. Incredibly, Clara (who married Arthur Stock in 1887) also had 16 children of her own to feed. 3

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Charlie Drake was born in the Elephant in 1925 and was a pupil at Victory Primary School, just around the corner from the apartments that now bear his name. Coincidentally, it was by responding to a call for new talent published in the South London Press, that Drake got his first break in the entertainment industry, at the tender age of eight. PH

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As well as the streets, new buildings have also been named on the basis of suggestions from the campaign. These include blocks named after local people and businesses that the community felt were important to Elephant and Castle’s history and heritage.

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An 1896 map overlaid across the Elephant Park development. Streets such as Sayer Street, Bodley Street, Ash Street, Lion Street and Chatteris Road will all be remembered in the new names at Elephant Park.

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When Lendlease overlaid old maps across the new street design for Elephant Park, it showed that several of the old streets ran along similar configurations. Happily, many of the suggestions from Put it on the Map were also based on the old names and these have been incorporated throughout the development.

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One of the ambitions for Elephant Park is to restore the old Victorian Street pattern of the area.

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Famous for groundbreaking films such as Dr Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick provides the inspiration for the first London College of Communication (LCC) exhibition of 2018.

Beyond 2001: New Horizons runs from 18 January until 16 February and is accompanied by a series of talks, workshops and seminars. Entry is free. London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle SE1 6SB Find out more at arts.ac.uk/lcc/events

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THE ELEPHANT


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eyond 2001: New Horizons is a bold, colourful and interactive exhibition that celebrates the tenth anniversary of the College’s acquisition of the Stanley Kubrick Archive. Rare and unique materials from the acclaimed director’s film productions, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, are on show alongside work created by LCC’s Screen School students in response. Drawing on rich source material, the exhibition explores how ‘activating’ the renowned filmmaker’s archive of artefacts and research materials can inform students’ ideas and enable the development of new, creative work. The show’s co-curator, LCC’s Associate Dean of Screen, Iain McDonald spoke to the Elephant Magazine to explain more. What can we expect from this exhibition? A spectacle! This exhibition is made up of new and exciting work that has been created by researchers, members of staff, filmmakers and students who are responding to the Stanley Kubrick Archive, housed here at our Elephant and Castle campus. What’s the significance of being home to the Stanley Kubrick Archive? Kubrick is arguably one of the most important filmmakers of the late 20th century. To understand his style of filmmaking, to understand his thoroughness and the exhaustive research that was undertaken before each film was made, provides a unique opportunity for filmmakers, students and researchers to investigate his processes. It’s a great privilege for LCC and University of the Arts London to have it situated here in our building. It gives us direct access and our students have been able to explore the amazing multiplicity of different processes used in his filmmaking; all of which has gone on to inform their own work.

What do you mean when you talk about ‘activating’ the archive? The archive isn’t shut away, out of sight, under lock and key. It’s an open resource that members of the public, students, researchers anyone - can access. What we’re celebrating, is how Kubrick’s work (and his way of working) has informed new filmmakers and practitioners in moving image and sound and how it’s provided a springboard for new and unique work. Combined with our programme of special events, this exhibition reveals a multitude of different opportunities and responses; not only within film but also within sound, live experience, illustration and installation. What do you want visitors to take away from the exhibition?

What kind of work is being exhibited? The work on display is really varied and it’s been created from truly diverse perspectives. I’ve really enjoyed being able to set briefs and work alongside our course teams: Film & Television; Live Events & Television and Sound Arts & Design. It’s really important that these students have had the opportunity to go down to the archive and engage with it to create their own responses. The great wealth of material has really inspired them and visitors can expect to see that inspiration reflected in their work. And, of course, it’s not just about 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Shining; Eyes Wide Shut; Full Metal Jacket; Doctor Strangelove – they’re all there. It’s just an incredible, constantly evolving box of delights!

I’d like people to come away from the exhibition having looked at Kubrick’s films with fresh eyes and with an eagerness to investigate more - not only into Kubrick’s way of working - but other filmmakers’ techniques, too. There’s a huge amount we can learn from looking at directors and filmmakers. This exhibition offers an opportunity for new thinking by examining filmmaking in a richer way than usual.

THE ELEPHANT

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Artist's impression of one of the spaces inside the Passmore Centre

SET TO BOOST SOUTHWARK APPRENTICESHIPS

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THE ELEPHANT


Artist's impression of the restored exterior of the Passmore Centre

London South Bank University (LSBU) is launching a new business and training centre which will create thousands of new apprenticeships.

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he Passmore Centre is LSBU’s new business and networking hub for high quality, professional and technical courses. The centre is set to open in the autumn. The university received £5m from Southwark Council to help create the Centre, which will support apprenticeships, skills and training in the borough. A further £3m has come from the Higher Education Funding Council for England along with £4m from LSBU, which will be used to expand the facilities needed to deliver higher and degree apprenticeships.

The Passmore Centre will help the council to realise its aim of creating 2,000 apprenticeships by 2020 and will help to strengthen the local economy. The creation of the new Centre demonstrates the University’s strong commitment to supporting learners and apprenticeships in Southwark. LSBU’s future plans also include a

major transformation of part of its London Road campus into the St Georges Quarter development, which will be a new civic heart for the University, delivering a range of new facilities for students. As with the Clarence Centre, a local Grade II listed Georgian pub and adjacent buildings that the University spent £13m on converting into the Clarence Centre in 2013, this latest project will also help to preserve Elephant and Castle’s heritage. It has entailed the refurbishment of the Passmore Edwards Library on Borough Road, bringing the listed Victorian building back into use after many years on the council’s register of endangered buildings. The Passmore Centre will have a specific focus on employer engagement, providing a ‘one stop shop’ which will help employers to access information about apprenticeships and potential

apprentices. The Centre will also offer space for employer meetings, community engagement and teaching facilities. Together with the University’s proposals for the St George’s Quarter development and London College of Communication’s new campus, planned for Elephant and Castle town centre, local students could soon be benefitting from some of the best facilities and teaching spaces available anywhere in London. LSBU envisages 2,000 students undertaking apprenticeships at the University every year by 2020. Around 600 of these are expected to achieve higher degree apprenticeship qualifications or the equivalent. And by 2023, the aim is to have helped roughly 1,000 Southwark residents to graduate from a high quality apprenticeship programme which will give them the skills demanded to tackle the jobs of the future.

Find out more about the Passmore Centre at www.lsbu.ac.uk and find out more about apprenticeship opportunities in Southwark at www.southwark.gov.uk/apprenticeships THE ELEPHANT

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STRIKING THE RIGHT NOTE

A pioneering music academy on the Peabody estate is giving local children the chance to perform on stages across London.

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conservatoire tradition with a community feeling” is how concert violinist Alda Dizdari describes the unique DEA Music Academy, which she founded in 2013 with support from Southwark Council. The Academy, based at Walworth Central Hall on Rodney Road, runs individual classes in piano, guitar and violin, as well as singing, for dozens of children from as young as three and a half, up to 14. Alda, who lives locally, came up with the idea for the academy when she was forced to take time off from performing after she suffered whiplash in a car crash.

IT’S VERY HARD TO STAND UP IN FRONT OF STRANGERS AND PERFORM, BUT WE HELP OUR STUDENTS LEARN TO DO IT AND IT GIVES THEM HUGE CONFIDENCE.

“I was used to practising and performing eight hours a day and when I couldn’t, I was at a loss. It was my sister, a concert pianist who runs a number of music schools in the US, who suggested that I start something for my local community. The housing association, Peabody helped with premises and it’s just gone from strength to strength - although it’s always a struggle to find funding to subsidise tuition and buy instruments.” “Everyone is welcome and there’s no need to audition,” explains Alda, who started playing the violin in her native Albania when she was just three years old. “Many of our students come from families with no experience of classical music and some have learning difficulties. It’s so wonderful to see how playing music can have such a positive impact on their lives,” she adds. 14

Just like Alda, all of DEA’s music teachers are professional musicians who perform regularly. As well as focusing on music exams (they have an impressive 100 per cent pass rate) DEA puts on a regular programme of free concerts at a variety of venues across Southwark. “DEA isn’t just about musical skills, it’s about life skills” says Alda. “It’s very hard to stand up in front of strangers and perform, but we help our students learn to do it and it gives them huge confidence. Parents are often totally stunned by what their children can achieve.” Over the last four years, numerous local venues, including Ministry of Sound and Backyard Cinema at Mercato Metropolitano, have provided free space for DEA concerts. Future plans include a concert on 17 March at Omeara, the new venue set up by Mumford and Sons’ Ben Lovett on Flat Iron Square, and a concert at Southwark Cathedral in the autumn as well as regular summer concerts in local parks. “It’s always so wonderful to see our students perform” says Alda. “Last summer we played outdoors in Canary Wharf to more than 600 people. The concert was celebrating diversity and we had children from so many different nationalities taking part. I was so proud of them all.”

Call 0781 032 7371 or visit deamusicandart.com To find out more about arts and culture events happening in Elephant and Castle visit www.elephantandcastle.org.uk/events THE ELEPHANT


RESTORING WALWORTH TOWN HALL The council has put out a call for new proposals to restore Walworth Town Hall.

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n 2013, a fire badly damaged the town hall and put the library, next door, out of action.

Newington Library is already back in use as a temporary home for both The Art Academy and Cool Tan Arts and recently played host to Art Angel’s hugely popular exhibition, Natural Selection. Now the council is seeking an organisation to help restore the town hall complex of buildings and bring them back into use for the benefit of the whole community, on a permanent basis.

community for many years to come. The council wants to preserve and celebrate the buildings’ heritage while ensuring the complex plays a central role in the revitalisation of the neighbourhood. Southwark is seeking an organisation that will help to restore the buildings, primarily for arts and culture purposes, and help to ensure they remain open to the public. In order to do so, the council recognises that some additional, commercial use may

be necessary to help support the project, financially. A new website for Walworth Town Hall has been launched that explains what a successful proposal might look like, along with background information about the condition of the site and the history of the buildings.

Find out more at www.walworthtownhall.com

A fixture in the neighbourhood since the 1860s, the Grade II listed Walworth Town Hall has been a beacon for continuity and heritage in an area which has changed more than most over the past 150 years. With the £3bn regeneration of Elephant and Castle bringing new homes, jobs and visitors to the area, there is now a fantastic opportunity for the town hall complex to find new purpose and to continue to serve the THE ELEPHANT

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THE BEST OF THE ELEPHANT:


Named after the classic 50s R&B record, Louie Louie, which opened just over a year ago, is a bustling café by day and a popular bar and restaurant by night.

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’ve lived locally for more than 20 years and I’d always thought it would be great to have somewhere on the Walworth Road where people could pop in for a coffee or lunch, but also get great food in the evening and chill out and listen to DJs and live music too,” explains Chris Greenwood. Chris, who started out as a club DJ in New York in the 80s, has helped to launch numerous bars and restaurants, including Cargo in Shoreditch, The Big Chill Bar in Brick Lane and Camino in Kings Cross. He was a regular customer at Fowlds Café (nearby on Addington Square) and got to know the owners, Jack Wilkinson and Hanne Cole. Together, the three of them came up with the idea of Louie Louie and found the perfect premises in the former Maya Ma restaurant on the corner of Liverpool Grove. They ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, in which people could pledge financial support in return for everything from DJ lessons to dinners, raising £30,000 to help towards the project. “The response from local people was fantastic and we’ve been busy from day one,” says Chris. “Louie Louie is very much a part of the community. We’re right between bus stops; so in the morning we get a lot of people grabbing a coffee on their way to work, then mums and dads with prams, and parents coming with their kids after school. We’ve got high-speed wifi so students and freelancers come to work here during the day. We even get the local vicar coming in to write his sermons.” “We do a special OAP tea and cake for £3 between 3-5pm and 2 for 1 cocktails later,” he adds. Hanne, who previously ran a café at V22 artists’ studios in Bermondsey, is

in charge of the kitchen. Louie Louie’s Modern British menu - with a slight twist features an all-day breakfast, including smoothies, homemade granola and eggs and avocado on toast, as well as hugely popular weekend brunches. During the week, lunch is served from 12-3pm and includes toasties and sandwiches and Hanne’s signature “butch salads” which are piled high with aubergine, broccoli and chick peas.

reviewed by Jay Rayner in The Observer. It really helped Oded to get noticed.”

Nearly everything is sourced locally. The meat, fish, fruit and veg, all comes from suppliers in Bermondsey; they serve Square Mile coffee and stock locally made Jensen’s gin and Orbit beer (which is brewed under the arches just across the road on Fielding Street).

Downstairs at Louie Louie, there’s a small lounge, with retro banquette seating, which is open for cocktails on Friday and Saturday nights. It also also plays host to live music nights (run with support from the Walworth Society) and a writers group every last Saturday of the month.

In the evening, Louie Louie turns into a bar and restaurant with guest chefs taking over the kitchen for a few months at a time. They also host Sunday night pop-up supper clubs and have DJs taking it in turns to spin records on their bespoke, vintage HiFi system.

At Christmas, Louie Louie served ‘Cocktails for Crisis’. They bought glasses from charity shops on the Walworth Road and filled them with Negronis and Old Fashioneds. Customers got to take the glasses home with them afterwards and all the proceeds went to the Crisis at Christmas charity.

The current residency (which runs Tues-Sat) is from chef, Alex Hutton, who used to cook at Caravan. Chris came across Alex’s food at Maltby Street market and this venture, named Elote (after the grilled Mexican street corn) features quesadillas and tacos along with more substantial Mexican inspired food. “Residencies are a great way for chefs to show what they can do without all the huge costs involved in opening their own place,” explains Chris. “Last year, Tel Aviv born chef, Oded Oren’s residency was enthusiastically THE ELEPHANT

“I love Louie Louie during the day, but my favourite time is the evening. That’s when it’s really buzzing,” Chris smiles. “I did start out as a DJ after all.” Open 8am Monday–Friday, 9am Saturday and Sunday. Closes 6pm Sunday and Monday, 11pm Tuesday– Thursday and 1am Friday and Saturday Louie Louie, 347 Walworth Road, SE17 2AL | 020 7450 3223 | www.louielouie.london 17


THEY CAME, THEY SAW,

THEY CONQUERED A fascinating archaeological discovery promises to shine new light on Elephant and Castle’s Roman past. Southwark Council Heritage Service’s Curator, Judy Aitken explains more.

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ast summer, an exceptionally rare Roman sarcophagus was discovered at Harper Road. It has since been excavated, removed from its ancient grave site and taken to the Museum of London, where its contents will soon be carefully exhumed.

Bronze head of Claudius found in Suffolk, British Museum

This is not the first Roman burial to be found here. In 1979, the skeleton of 'Harper Road Woman' was discovered, along with Roman grave goods including a flagon, mirror and necklace. But this latest discovery includes a sarcophagus (which translates as “death eater” in ancient Greek); a form of stone coffin rarely found in London. It adds weight to the idea that Southwark was much more important to the Romans than previously thought. The wealth of Roman material found in London excavations can sometimes obscure the significance of evidence from the original settlers, whose goods and homes did not survive so well. It’s now understood that pre-Roman Britain had more sophisticated settlements, roadways and trading relationships than was often assumed and this may include the northern part of Southwark. The Romans first attempted an invasion of Britain under Julius Caesar, but it wasn’t until 43 AD, under Emperor Claudius, that they successfully conquered the Britons and established themselves here permanently. Despite failing to secure a foothold, Caesar’s forces had managed to scope out a great deal of territory and get a feel for the native populations.

So, by the time of Claudius’ invasion, the south of Britain was already well known to the Romans and trading relationships with the local tribes were already established. Nonetheless, the period between landing and establishing a major garrison city, known as Londinium, roughly seven years later, proved to be a serious challenge for the invaders. At that time, the Thames was wide and marshy and full of inlets and islands. The section of the river around modern Southwark was shallower than most and had already been earmarked for a proper crossing by Caesar’s expedition. Around 43 AD, in order to service this crossing, Claudius’s forces set up major camps on the south as well as the north side of the Thames. The Southwark camp grew and eventually included a major port; garrisons; entertainments; workshops; warehouses; wealthy homes; burial sites and places of worship. The Romans’ main roads from the south coast to Londinium converged at what is now (roughly speaking) Elephant and Castle, making the area between the Elephant and the river an important meeting place for all kinds of travellers (just as it is today). And, of course, people needed something to do while they waited to cross the river to the city and it wasn’t long before the area became less of a troop camp and more of a vibrant small town. As a consequence, northern Southwark emerged as Londinium’s first major suburb.


While it was the upper end of present day Borough High Street that became the major focus of activity, the roads reaching to the south were dotted with small settlements, burial grounds and memorials. Recent research has revealed that this area was primarily used for Roman rituals. The area that incorporates present day Lant Street, Trinity Street, Dickens Square and Harper Road, is now known to form the site of a complex ritual landscape. It contains various religious and funerary monuments and a vast, dispersed Roman cemetery that incorporates a range of burial practices, often with exotic grave goods sourced from across the Roman Empire. For example, the grave of a 4th century 14 year old girl was discovered in Lant Street. It represents one of the richest interments from the Southwark cemetery and is without parallel in Britain. Her chalk-burial contained a bone inlay box and an ivory clasp knife decorated with a leopard design, as well as glassware. Our Roman forebears brought all their 'cultural baggage' with them and left us clues about their attitudes to death, burial and spirituality. It’s evident that Roman London was a multi-cultural city, with a population drawn from across the empire adding to the mix of different religious practices and beliefs. But the local Britons and their Roman occupiers also mixed; through trading, marriage and other relationships. Their beliefs and practices often blended together too, including their ways of burying and remembering the dead. Britons usually buried people in a crouching, upright position in graves. The Romans brought their own practices (such as cremation and burial of the ashes in urns) but in the 2nd century the idea of burying the whole body intact, in lead-lined stone coffins, emerged. The discovery of the Harper Road sarcophagus promises to reveal even more about this practice as well as the local funerary landscape and the Romano-Britons’ approach to death.

Unfortunately, the excavation also revealed that a large robber trench had been dug around the coffin. The lid had been moved, suggesting that it had been discovered and robbed at some point in the past. Archaeologists believe it’s possible that only the precious items were removed, and that the artefacts considered less valuable by the robbers - such as the body itself - still remain in situ.

For more local history visit the Southwark Archives at 211 Borough High St. www.southwark.gov.uk/libraries You can also visit www.heritage. southwark.gov.uk to see the council’s collections online, including those of the Cuming museum and Southwark Archives.

Only two similar sarcophagi have been discovered in their original place of burial in London in recent years (both on the other side of the river) so this represents an exceptional find for London and especially for Southwark. If the skeleton survives, it will make an incredible contribution to our knowledge of Roman London and our borough’s part in its history.

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MY ELEPHANT AND CASTLE

Locals tell us what they love about the Elephant

Alan We like the roast dinners and homemade hamburgers at The Beehive pub. The staff are really friendly there, too. We also like La Luna, where the food’s amazing. They do proper Italian pizza. My wife and I spend a lot of time here looking after our three granddaughters. They’re active kids and there are so many things for them to do. They like riding their bikes in Burgess Park; they enjoy music and they go to classes at Pembroke Academy of Music.

Fiona Southwark is such a brilliant borough to live in as it’s so diverse and hasn’t quite gone hyper-hipster or got too gentrified. There’s a real down-toearth, community feel and it’s so central too. I’m not sure I want to tell everyone, but the charity shops on the Walworth Road are brilliant! I always end up buying something.

Sunil There’s a great ethnic mix around here and people seem relaxed and comfortable with that, which is good. I ride my bike a lot and the local cycle ways are a real bonus. If I’m going out in central London, I like the fact that I can cycle there in ten minutes. I love the local heritage too; there are lots of historic squares and open spaces. Pasley Park (at the bottom of Penrose Street) is a lovely, small local park. Back in the Victorian era, it had its own zoological garden. This area has got so much history and it’s good to see that so many of the old, Georgian buildings have been restored.

Nathan This area is very diverse in every way; entertainment, activities, food. Anything you want is here and the transport links are great too. I’m a big fan of CheeMc, which is a great Korean restaurant, and the carrot salad at Polish restaurant, Mamuska, is the best. Dayna I came here to study at London College of Communication and I’ve never moved away. I love it as everything you need is on your doorstep and it’s so close to central London too. Mama Thai is a great restaurant. It doesn’t look much from the outside but it’s the best Thai I’ve ever had. Also the Athenian at The Artworks does great Greek food and the best souvlaki.

Read more about the regeneration programme at elephantandcastle.org.uk

Dana I’ve lived here for ten years and I still like exploring the area. Every time, I find something new. I grew up in Devon and I’m a country girl at heart so I can’t handle Oxford Street but I do like it around here. I work at Guys and in my time off I like to go swimming at the Castle centre and maybe have a browse in the shopping centre. Walworth Road has the best charity shops and, being a bit of a pound shop bargain hunter, it’s a good place for a wander.

January 2018

The Elephant Magazine is produced by Southwark Council. We would love to hear your feedback and welcome suggestions for future features. Drop us a line at councilnews@southwark.gov.uk

Charlotte Elephant and Castle is always busy and there’s a real buzz about the area. I come from a small village outside Blackpool, so it’s exciting to see so many different people and such a variety of places. Some shops are even open 24 hours; the area never really goes to sleep. My favourite café is Louie Louie, which is just round the corner from my flat. It’s very relaxed, with lots of regulars and a real community feel. It’s the kind of place where they know their customers by name.

Profile for Southwark Council

The Elephant (Issue 12) - Winter 2018  

The Elephant (Issue 12) - Winter 2018