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Centuries

Next steps for the India Club

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 most interesting street in the world’

The first ever issue of the Strand Magazine was published in January 1891. Its opening sentence informs the reader: ‘The Editor of the Strand Magazine respectfully places his first number in the hands of the public’. In its inaugural issue, the magazine plays on the place of London’s Strand in the popular imagination as a…

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Pedestrianising the Strand south of Aldwych

Cherry blossom

A new public consultation, initiated by the City of Westminster, is currently  exploring the feasibility of pedestrianising the Strand south of Aldwych. The project, if approved, would create a new public space linking King’s College London, Somerset House and the historic church of St Mary le Strand, currently islanded in a sea of often slow moving traffic. It…

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The Future’s Yellow?

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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“In the Bush… in the Strand”

Isn’t it suggestive? Just the very name makes one wish to know more. Why was a house named like that in central London, in the midst of the Strand? Perhaps a Mr. Bush ordered it built? Perhaps, mysteriously, there is a link to the nearby Australia House… That would be fascinating! When I was studying…

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The Strand is ready for Christmas

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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Life (and Death) beneath the Virtual Strand

Since its retirement from public service in 1994 Aldwych tube station (née Strand) has been busily pursuing a second career in showbusiness. Scoring a part in The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ video (1996) before going on to star in films like V for Vendetta (2005), Atonement (2007) and Fast and Furious 6 (2013), it’s also broken into…

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Strandlions

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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Anthony Heap’s Strand

Anthony Heap (1910-1985) kept a daily diary for nearly 57 years – from just before his 18th birthday in 1928 until 36 hours before his death in University College Hospital in October 1985. He was a Londoner who lived until 1932 with is parents in Gray’s Inn Road. Anthony attended St Clement Danes Grammar School…

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‘I’d Rather Be an American Girl at the Savoy Hotel…’ — sponsored content, early-20th Century style

Sponsored content might sound like a development of the internet age, but far from it. On television and in the print media, companies have been managing their brands, shaping their public images and enticing consumers this way for years. Often called advertorials, these pieces blurred the lines between advertising or entertainment and objective journalism. They…

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