Can you volunteer for Strandlines and Layers of London?

Map of the Strand area showing Bomb Damage 1945 via London Metropolitan Archives, and the Layers of London site.
Map of the Strand area showing Bomb Damage 1945 via London Metropolitan Archives, and the Layers of London site.

If you’re reading this on our website, we hope that you already know that Strandlines collects and shares histories and stories of this most central of London’s streets. Why not browse some of our existing ‘strands’ to see what our contributors have preserved so far?

Faithorne Newcourt and Tudor Map layered together

Aldwych and the eastern edge of the Strand on the 1520 Tudor Map, courtesy the Historic Towns Trust, layered with the 1658 Faithorne and Newcourt Map, courtesy of London Metropolitan Archives, via Layers of London.

Layers of London is a huge collaborative effort to map London’s history in a visual and interactive way, developed by the Institute of Historical Research. Anyone can access free historic maps of London and contribute stories, memories and histories to create a social history resource about your local area, or places you have visited or researched. Layers of London lets anyone browse around maps of the city and click on pins to reveal more images and information.

We at Strandlines are very excited to launch another collaboration with Layers of London, following our successful pilot in 2019 which resulted in 21 records added to Layers of London, and several Strandlines posts (with more in the pipeline to mark special dates through 2020). The Strand is such an important road with a complex history, we are determined to fill the Layers of London maps with many more well-researched, creative, historical and present-day pins!

This is where you come in!

We are now recruiting new volunteers to help bring stories about the Strand to a wide audience, by sharing histories, research, memories, or creative work, with information discovered in archives or collected from people living or working on the Strand.

You might be interested in historical research, social history, culture, literature, theatre, architecture, politics, or be looking to develop your journalistic skills and focus on lives on the Strand today, or the more recent past.

Volunteers will work closely with both the Strandlines and Layers of London teams to delve into archival research or journalistic investigation into places on the Strand, and fill the Layers of London maps with pins. You’ll accompany your posts with engravings, paintings, documents, videos, or anything other media you find or create. You’ll get access to various archives, support from Strandlines editors, and travel expenses reimbursed by Layers of London.

We won’t prescribe set hours, and you can volunteer flexibly around other committments you have. We can also offer training to help you make the most of your time as a volunteer.

Take a look at our Strandlines and Layers of London Volunteer Role Description, and if you would like to be involved, or would just like to find out more, don’t hesitate to be in touch.

To apply, please send an email of no more than 500 words to francesca.allfrey[at] by 9pm on 7 February proposing a topic/s that you would like to work on, the sort of stories you are interested in researching and telling, and relevant skills/experience (or outline your desire to learn new skills), with reference to the volunteer role description.

Applicants will be contacted on Monday 10 February if successful and invited to a two-hour induction workshop on Thursday 20 February in central London, location and time tba. Please do confirm in your application that you can make this event.

Download the role description here. If download doesn’t start immediately, right click and select ‘save’ or ‘save link as’.


A screenshot of the existing Strandlines collection on Layers of London.

Francesca Allfrey

Francesca Allfrey

Fran Allfrey was Assistant Editor of Strandlines. She has been walking and cycling the Strand for over a decade looking for the best places to eat, lamp-posts to chain a bike to, and patches of greenery.

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