LONDON TALES (http://cspj-londontales.blogspot.com)


LONDON TALES will be closing down soon – however all stories appearing there may be found here along with some new ones.

So please enter the site and enjoy!!!







Looking at your piece about Spurgeon and the Elephant & Castle I have to tell you that my Great grandmother’s maiden name on our English side was Spurgeon. I believe it is an Essex name.

I recently had to get something witnessed and the solicitor’s surname was also Spurgeon.

I had already heard of this minister you have written about. Whether we are all related or not I don’t know, but I could research it.

Maybe it runs in the family – getting into trouble with people over religion!!!

I went to the London College of Printing next door to the church when it was first built and which opened around 1962. It is a pale blue tower block. It had an annex between the building and the church where the practical reprographics studios were housed. I was at the college from when it opened until about 1967. I believe they now call it the London College of Communication or some such name.

Elephant & Castle is derived from the Spanish Infanta di Castile. The shopping centre was opened around 1965. It was hideous even then, but was hailed as the biggest in Europe at the time.

Peter Kurton


I finally got time to take a closer look at your story! I remember those London Transport locomotives at Harrow-on-the-Hill station. I believe there were only about 20-25 of them. They were diesels and were named after famous Englishmen, such as Christopher Wren, John Wycliffe, Isaac Newton, etc., and operated on the Metropolitan Line all the way to Aylesbury. The trains on the same route that were electric, and not pulled by those locomotives, had to have a steam engine attached to them at Rickmansworth (or maybe it was Moor Park). We used to ride them to one of our favourite places, Chorleywood, where we used to wade into the pond on the golf course and fish out lost golf balls.

I must admit that I had never heard of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. But then we were Catholics, which may account for this!

Thanks for the memories.



Interesting article. My two sisters and I were dedicated as opposed to baptised at Shoreditch Tabernacle in Hackney Road. You possibly may remember it.  My older sister some years later lived in Handforth Road at the Oval. She had her two sons dedicated at the Elephant & Castle Tabernacle. I remember going to the services there in the early seventies during rare trips over the water, as we used to say!!!

Brian Hall


I found your story very interesting and some of the photos are fascinating.

In the late 70s-early 80s I worked just off Borough High Street, in an old building full of nooks and crannies and character. Very occasionally in my lunch hour, I would walk to the Elephant Shopping Centre, but it had a very sad and sorry air about it, even then, and to get to it I had to brave the underpass – which might be more colourful these days, but I imagine it’s equally dodgy! So usually I walked in the other direction towards the hustle and bustle of Borough Market and London Bridge.



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