I grew up in Herne Hill and my dad would take us out to Covent Garden, or my mum to Waterloo on the 68 bus. My brother and I used to look out for the elephant statue, especially on the way home because it was on that side of the road!
We also used to go swimming with primary school at the old leisure centre in the 80s!! I remember when it was painted bright pink with a whole mixture of fonts telling you what you could buy inside!
I moved to Kennington when I had my children, and that’s when I started using the shopping centre. I used to take them for trips to Woolworths <3 the Clarks retail outlet, the tiny food shop, and also the market holders, who were really friendly.
I always found it a bit of a sad place, but endearing in a strange way, it was definitely for the locals, and part of the furniture as we say! it’s a shame that it was left to run down because it could have been so much more of a hub of activity, instead it got really dated and felt like a time warp when you walked in!
My daughter went there recently and we were talking about it yesterday, she said it felt like a dream, so many quirky shops!
While I understand the need for change, there are always people who suffer and that’s a shame, especially for the Latin community for whom it was a central point of connection, and people who lost their business, I wish them good luck in the future, and hope the change works for the community.