Kingsway’s Ghost Station: London’s first underground tramway

For seventy years now, the once-bustling environment on the platforms of Kingsway Tram Tunnel has been displaced by darkness and disuse. Previously a key transit point connecting north and south London, the tunnel now fades into the backdrop of Kingsway’s ceaseless motor and pedestrian traffic. Opened in 1906, Kingsway’s Tunnel was fully operative for only…

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India Club continues their fight for survival

Wedding Day of Joeseph Gyanapraksan (head waiter at the India Club). India Club. 17th September 1966. Courtesy of David Joeseph. Via National Trust.

The India Club, at 143 Strand, is in trouble. And it’s not for the first time. First, for those who have not experienced its wonders, quick history lesson. The India Club was established in 1951, moving to its 143 Strand premises in 1964. It was the base of the India League (who organised for British…

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The Strand in film: a story of change and eternity

Introduction In my earliest posts on Strandlines, I focused heavily on a bastion of Strand history: The Savoy. Over time I diversified my interests and desired to find the more niche and hidden stories of this great viaduct. Unsurprisingly, however, when I decided to look into depictions of the Strand in film over time the…

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The Strand as photographed by Anthony Frank Kersting

Detail of H01915 London Trafalgar Square, 27 Aug 1939, by Anthony Kersting, The Courtauld Institute of Art, CC-BY-NC.

Anthony Frank Kersting was a prolific (and under-celebrated!) photographer of the 20th century. His collection of thousands of photographic prints and negatives, including glass plates, have been held at the Conway Library at the Courtauld Institute of Art since his death in 2008. The collection is being digitised as part of a huge project that…

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#MyStrand: Justin Sherin, playwright and screenwriter

Wych Street looking towards the Strand, c. 1890, from 'Lost London' by Hermione Hobhouse. Shared by @WychStreet, 10 December 2017.

I often scour Instagram for gorgeous, strange, or mysterious looking photographs of the Strand, historical and contemporary. @WychStreet, an account run by Justin Sherin, is an account I return to again and again, as the photographs – and generous evocative captions – instantly transport me into the past. Justin was kind enough to share some…

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Arundel Great Court: between redevelopment and conservation

Sectional perspective showing the court of 180 Strand as a roof garden, Frederick Gibberd and Partners, London, AJ Buildings Library (1976)

180 Strand, the remaining part of the former Arundel Great Court, is located between Somerset House and the Inner Temple. Constructed between 1971 and 1976 the building stands as a brutalist landmark in the heart of the Strand. Once a multi-use office space, now an art and fashion hub, the site will soon be redeveloped…

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Aldwych: a not so abandoned station just below us

Detail of the 1963 London Underground map, showing Aldwych tube station as a branch of the Piccadilly Line.

The Aldwych underground station on the junction between the Strand and Surrey Street has been closed for nearly thirty years. This lonely station, that stands at the place of the former Royal Strand Theatre, was part of a one-station branch of the Piccadilly line that connected to Holborn station.  This short back-and-forth shuttle service to…

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