The Castle Place

Steering Group

Welcome to our steering group – not to be confused with a steering wheel, a different thing entirely. A steering wheel enables a vehicle to adapt, according to the needs and wishes of the occupant, while a steering group enables an organisation to adapt, according to the needs and wishes of the group…. Oh. They are very similar! Anyway. Our group was set up by local residents Karen Chung and Gareth Morris to create a new neighbourhood hub for the Elephant and Castle.

Lamlash Garden is a Community Association, so we have a Constitution (a set of rules governing what we do), and a bank account. We’re not a charity (yet!) and our work on Castle Place was crowdfunded on Spacehive (Summer 2017). Our feasibility study will research, consult, sketch and cost ideas to create a new community hub for the Elephant, with Karen and Gareth, advised by, and reporting to, our steering group (local residents and representatives from local community groups), every six weeks.

We go to the Hayles Tenants and Residents’ Association meetings every month – everyone is welcome, so do come along. And email us at, follow us on Twitter – and keep an eye on the Lamlash Garden noticeboard. The Castle Place feasibility study ends in October 2018. Massive thanks to resident and artist Crispin Hughes for our photos!

Hayles Estate Trustees, 1902

It would be wonderful to see more things like this accessible to people like me!

– Dannielle Fitzgerald

People: Karen Chung

Karen Chung

During the creation of Lamlash Garden, resident and journalist Karen Chung, aka Industry of Chung, harvested worms from local gardens to establish its compost bins – a fact that still mortifies her children.

People: Gareth Morris

Gareth Morris

Resident and architect Gareth Morris develops ideas and strategies for more sustainable urban environments with his practice, what if: projects – and helped create Lamlash Garden. A good egg and a true grafter.

People: Mark Dunhill

Mark Dunhill

Mark Dunhill is our Chair and lives by the sites, so has a view of some of the Elephant’s most colourful anti-social behaviour. He is a former dean of Central Saint Martin’s.

People: Cass Breen

Cass Breen

Our Vice-Chair Cass Breen, is a former deputy principal of Morley College and tends a plot on the Hayles Street allotments, where she produces the most beautiful cut flowers.

Dada Nwafor

We are twice blessed with our Treasurer, resident Dada Nwafor, who in her capacity as Treasurer of Hayles TRA has been advocating for a community centre for 21 years…

People: Andrew Lawton

Andrew Lawton

With his work for Refugee Council, Andrew helps people rebuild their lives. He has set up and run a café/community kitchen project, with links to London food networks. He bakes a mean loaf of bread.

Valerie Beirne

Valerie Beirne

Cool job title: Val is Bankside Urban Forest Manager at Better Bankside – told you! ‘It’s the sharing of spaces like these that make a huge difference to everyone’s quality of life’ she says. We couldn’t agree more!

People: Susanna Lyell

Susanna Lyell

A former artist and teacher, West Square resident Susanna Lyell first lived in the Elephant in the 1980s. She is known to strongly disapprove of speeding traffic – and be exceedingly fond of quince jelly.

People: Lynda Waterhouse

Lynda Waterhouse

Resident and writer Lynda Waterhouse has lived in Elephant for yonks, and has been known to write some rather good poems – click here to read her paean to local legends, the marmalade ladies!

People: Maria Linforth-Hall

Maria Linforth-Hall

As well as being a brilliant councillor and local champion, Maria also heads Su Mano Amiga, a charity that aims to stop domestic violence in Latin American communities. Maria Linforth-Hall, we salute you!

People: Robert Jamieson

Robert Jamieson

Robert Jamieson is the closest Castle Place will get to Game of Thrones. Honestly: look at him! Not only is he Community Engagement officer at Community Southwark – he looks like he’s in the Night’s Watch!

People: Diana Cochrane

Diana Cochrane

Diana teaches architecture, has a passion for great public spaces, and is a key member of Pullens TRA and  Walworth Society. Try one of her local history pub quizzes!

People: Michael Osborne

Michael Osborne

A jolly affable chap, Michael Osborne is a trustee of the award-winning Bankside Open Spaces Trust, a charity that works to make the SE1 area greener and more gorgeous.

People: Tamiko O'Brien

Tamiko O'Brien

Not only is resident and artist Tamiko O’Brien Principal of City and Guilds of London Art School, as you can see, she also works a beret with a panache that puts Che Guevara to shame.