#MyStrand: Brian, Platform Staff at Charing Cross
My name is Brian and my job on the Strand is Platform Staff at London Charing Cross.
I have been working on the railway since July 2010, so almost 10 years.
My time of work varies each week. I do a 3 shift work pattern doing 6am – 2pm, 2pm – 10pm, or 10pm – 6am so it can be exhausting.
I haven’t noticed too much change in the last few years in the Strand visually, but have notice a big rise in the amount of homeless people on the street.
The most underrated part of the Strand would be the Stamp Centre shop: there’s always amazing stuff in there and often a fair few bargains about.
I enjoy sometimes popping down to Wasabi near the Embankment Tube station for lunch, and sometimes if something special has been planned ‘The Lord Moon of the Mall’ can be quite a nice place to have a meal and drink, and celebrate a milestone.
The best part of my job is getting people from A to B, and knowing and assisting those in need. The most difficult part is when delays or trains break down in and out of the rush hour periods.
Since lockdown, the biggest changes that have really happened day to day have been very empty trains, and loads of British Transport Police, Armed Police Officers and Paramedics being a lot more visible.
I do feel worried a lot being in central London, especially it has started getting a little busier. I have kept myself positive by keeping away from COVID-19 news, and just concentrating on projects like building myself a new a PC.
I have noticed a higher number of homeless people hitting the streets a lot more while it’s been quiet and vastly dead.
I don’t really know what’s the future has in store for us but I hope what ever happens we all can move forward regardless and progress through these darkest times.
Best message I could really say to Londoners and everyone who comes in and out through London is ‘please be safe’. But the main thing is not to ignore the warnings that are given even if you disagree with them.
Thank you Brian for generously sharing your story and pictures!
The Strandlines editors got to know each other either through working together on events for the first iteration of Strandines, or through related research interests. The group includes expertise in medieval, digital and eighteenth-century matters; in hair work and memorial culture, authors’ rights and churchyards; in drones and undergrounds; in soundscapes and life writing. We share different forms of fascination with London, and can occasionally be found discovering more common interests in one of the Strand’s pubs.