In 1796 Mary Wollstonecraft reflected in print on her travels in Scandinavia. One topic she addressed was quietness. She alludes to the ‘stupid stillness’ of London on a Sunday… which came to mind as I walked along the Strand on a spring morning, 17 March 2020, the day before London lock-down because of coronavirus Covid-19.…

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India Club interior courtesy of the India Club

The much-loved India Club at 143 Strand is facing a second planning application. The Club’s importance was recently celebrated in an on-site exhibition organised by The National Trust, ‘A Home Away From Home’. Yadgar Marker who currently runs The India Club tells Strandlines: ‘Westminster Council are currently accepting comments from the public and they especially…

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The new outdoor gym in the Embankment Gardens

Walking through Embankment Gardens at the end of January, I was half hopeful of seeing signs of the crocuses under the plane tree near the tube station: they normally appear as an early sign of spring. But lo, no crocus! An outdoor gym has sprung up instead. Meanwhile, remarkably early, at the other end of the…

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Plaster cast, death mask of Thomas Lawrence RA (1769-1830). © Jane Wildgoose, The Wildgoose Memorial Library

Following the success of Dialogues of the Dead: A Day of Explorations of Life Writing and Death, presented by the Centre for Life-Writing Research last year, The Wildgoose Memorial Library is hosting a series of events in association with CLWR as part of the Arts & Humanities Research Institute’s pop-up research studios, taking place in…

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The 2018 Christmas tree at Somerset House

The Strand is ready for Christmas: thanks to the Northbank Association, strung with stars to brighten the cold skies. Looking along the street, however, is a less starry affair. A theme emerges, of the housed and the unhoused, picked up in the big window display of Coutts Bank, where paper houses press home the point…

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Es Devlin’s Poetic Lion, by Clare Brant

The 2018 London Design Biennale had as its theme ‘Emotional States’. From Argentina to Vietnam, a large group of countries presented ideas, constructions and installations interpreting that theme, mostly in material forms. One distinct work, sponsored by Google Arts & Culture, was Es Devlin’s poetry-roaring lion, installed alongside…

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‘Oranges and lemons Say the bells of St Clements’ …is or used to be well-known as the first couplet of a nursery rhyme which featured seven churches close to the City of London. The bells of St Clement Danes ring out the tune every day. The Danes built a church at Aldwych, hence the name…

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The Strand has been home to innumerable protests over the years, with the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler, creating perhaps the most enduring folk memory. Strandlines could encompass the Stop the War march of 2003 which was variously estimated to be between one and three million people, still the largest political demonstration in…

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Paris-based artist Léo Caillard, known for styling classical statues in contemporary attire, has dressed the two figures above the grand travertine marble entrance to Bush House as hipsters. Made by American artist Malvina Hoffman in 1925 to symbolise the friendship between Britain and America, the statues were each hewn from a 20-ton piece of stone.…

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The Christmas tree goes up in Somerset House courtyard

A set of photographs taken by Clare Brant, showing the Christmas tree being assembled in Somerset House courtyard, and remembrance poppies on display in the window of Coutts bank. The Christmas tree goes up in Somerset House courtyard The Christmas tree goes up in Somerset House courtyard The Christmas tree goes up in Somerset House…

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