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21st Century

Three Poems for Strandlines by Ruth O’Callaghan

Ruth O’Callaghan starred in Strandlines 1.0’s ‘Cabinet of Artists’. She is an acclaimed poet, mentor, reviewer, adjudicator and workshop leader: see ruthocallaghan.wordpress.com for further details of her published poems and poetry-related activities. Her next collection of poems will be published by Shoestring Press in 2020. We are delighted to have three of her poems written…

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Fruity Wordplay and Weird Forests: Now Play This 2019

The Now Play This festival of experimental game design returned to Somerset House this weekend, bringing another smorgasbord of games and playful artworks, digital and otherwise, to the Strand. This year the theme is community. In many cases, this means works designed to spur competition and collaboration – works like Patrick LeMieux’s Octopad, in which…

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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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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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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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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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