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Posts by Francesca Allfrey

An Edible Utopia under your feet: rhubarb, mushrooms, and more

Oyster mushrooms, photograph courtesy of Edible Utopia.

“Have you been down here before?” Jane asks me, jangling a huge bunch of keys. Having met at the entrance to Somerset House, we’ve traversed the courtyard, and, thrillingly, gone through a gate usually locked for visitors. Descending stone steps, the roar of the fountains, tourists’ chatter, and the rumble from the Strand is replaced…

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Can you volunteer for Strandlines and Layers of London?

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? Layers of London is a huge collaborative effort to map…

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Streetkind UK on Southampton Street

‘For several years my sister always came out and gave out little care packages for people sleeping rough’, Ijlal explains, ‘but we had our first outreach in March and then it’s been once a month every month since’. It’s 2:30pm on what, for many visitors to the Strand, is a regular relaxed Sunday. However, for…

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London History Day 2019

Greening Aldwych: A walking tour of lost and future green spaces of Aldwych  31 May 2019 12:30pm – 2:00pm Free! Booking required (link opens Eventbrite booking page). Join the Strandlines editorial team, researchers and archivists at King’s College London, on a tour of past, present, and future green space around Aldwych. We are marking London…

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Layers of the Strand

Today, I have been time travelling. I explored the farm around Trafalgar Square. I squeezed into a tiny top room in Devereaux Court to hear Isaac Newton speak. I paid a ferryman tuppence to take me to the floating coffee house on the Thames to look over the water at Somerset House. This is all…

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Searching for ‘green’

The Northbank Bid have collaborated with Groundwork and King’s College London scientists to suggest ‘Green Walks’ around the Strand area. You can download the map with suggested loops and routes from the Northbank website. The idea is to help Londoners and tourists to avoid the most polluted streets as they travel from A to B:…

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England’s stage

Royal Courts of Justice

Walking down the “Hausmann-like boulevard” that is Aldwych, Alan Read points out the sweeping curve of white buildings, “it looks like it should be in Paris. I sometimes imagine is in Paris when I want to think of myself flâneuring around the city”. The red busses are a reminder, however, that this is very much…

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