A week of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre ended in high tension as a crowd gathered to watch the prize draw for a car.
Pink elephants adorn a new mural on the first floor of the centre
The centre's birthday cake
Appropriately, perhaps, the big prize was a City Rover. But the plight of MG Rover didn't impinge on the enthusiasm of the winner, Nicola Heaton.
Rover winner Nicola Heaton, left, with deputy Mayor of Southwark Cllr Linda Manchester.
To ratchet up the tension there were eight finalists to win the car – one was picked each day during the eight days of the birthday celebrations. The finalists were called forward and asked to pick an envelope containing a car key. In turn they were each invited to open their envelope and try the key in the door of the car. If the key didn't turn, a consolation prize of a bottle of champagne was presented.
No-one seemed to notice the irony of a competition to win a car when in a few years the centre will be torn down to create a new town centre that is less car-centric and more pedestrian-friendly.
The regeneration of the Elephant and Castle moved a step closer this week with announcement of the shortlist for Southwark Council's commercial development partner.
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