What’s in a name?

Guest post by Charlotte Benstead – Creation Trust

Earlier this month, we kicked off Put It On The Map – Elephant Park. This is a series of events run in partnership with Lend Lease, which will give local residents the opportunity to explore the Elephant and Castle’s heritage, and then come up with name suggestions for the new buildings, streets and public spaces on the new Elephant Park site.

By drawing inspiration from the area’s rich history, we are encouraging those taking part to choose names that reveal the people, events or places that have shaped Elephant & Castle. We’re expecting some interesting ideas, perhaps as wonderfully wacky as the name Elephant & Castle itself; a name shrouded in mystery, most likely based on an old London pub but argued by some to be connected to Spanish royalty. Or maybe we’ll find out stories that extend beyond the Elephant & Castle and into Walworth. We know that many people would argue that the Elephant Park site is, in fact, in Walworth!

At Creation Trust we first ran Put It On The Map to come up with names for the Aylesbury Estate. The project really captured the imagination of local people and we now have names like Arments Place, named after the famous local pie and mash shop that has been trading since 1914 and Totters Court, commemorating the original re-cyclers – Totters were the rag and bone men who made a living collecting and reselling peoples unwanted items on Westmoreland Rd where the first new development stands.  Name suggestions were bought right up to date by honouring Dr John Crane who was a GP on the Aylesbury and went on to be the doctor for both Arsenal and the England Football squad.

We now can’t wait to get more names like this for Elephant Park, and the series of events we are now running are designed to really get the creative juices flowing. The programme offers something for everyone and includes walking tours, photography displays and even an outdoor festival in Burgess Park. The first event took place on Monday 16 June at Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, with a talk from local historian Stephen Humphrey on his new book Elephant and Castle: A History.

For a full schedule of events, go to www.putitonthemap.org.image

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