Here's one that'll rile you right up. The Elephant & Castle pub – an establishment that's been around in some shape or form for a whopping 250 years – is going to be knocked down, with a Foxtons estate agent built in its place.
The pub is famous for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's the establishment that gave the south London area its name. Secondly, it's credited by many as the building that birthed UK garage. Speaking to RBMA, UKG don Matt Jam Lamont recalled the time he played "the first-ever UK garage record" in the building.
"When I played 'Feel My Love' at the Elephant & Castle, that was it, the track shook the windows," he said. "The owner of the pub ran up to me and was suddenly telling me to turn the bass down. That was the first-ever British garage record."
The pub lost its licence in March of this year after a punter was stabbed in the head with a pen, the Evening Standard reports. With no plans to get it back, Foxtons has stepped in to open yet another branch and darken London with its presence. There's a reason that protesters in Brixton bricked Foxtons' windows last month, mainly it's because people just don't like it very much. The estate agent, which specialises in high-end real estate, has become just as much a symbol as a shop, an ugly representation of insane rents and unaffordable housing, a totem for London's relentless price war on existence.
Yes, we all know that parts of London's historic past are being demolished in favour of buildings that are decidedly anti-culture, but this situation – alienatingly expensive estate agents replaces cultural landmark – is just so perfectly emblematic of the city's regurgitative cycle that it's near impossible not to chuckle knowingly about how you've successfully recognised the metaphor before going back to feeling sad.
For something more uplifting watch "Brandy and Coke", our documentary about UK garage, with a cameo appearance from the Elephant & Castle.