The pandemic has undoubtedly emptied out London streets, all its buzzy hangout spots, workplaces and cultural epicentres. As essential workers continue to uphold the skeleton of the city and restaurants endeavour to provide the necessary sustenance (still managing to fit in a hello to the customers, often half in, half out, of alignment with the…

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Maureen Duffy

Join Strandlines editor Katie Webb for a conversation and Q&A with Maureen Duffy, including a presentation of paper settings by lettering artist Liz Mathews This special event launched the Strandlines Maureen Duffy feature – which is now ready for you to explore! Wednesday 25th November 2020 16:00 – 17:30 GMT Book your free ticket on…

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The Strand in John Rocque's Map, 1746, Layers of London/ British Library/ MOLA. With added photos from across the years.

There’s a feeling of ‘new’ in the air. Universities are going ‘back to school’, but there’s a sense that more people than usual are making some sort of re-start: returning to the office after weeks of working from home or furlough; adapting to working from home in the longer term by perfecting new routines; figuring…

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One of the things I’ve missed the most during lockdown is grabbing lunch from one of the small businesses on the Strand. I drop in on Co’m In Vietnamese Cafe at 69 Strand every few weeks for a baguette or soup. Craving a bánh mì, I found myself scrolling on Co’m In’s instagram @comin_vietcafe, and…

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Detail of Matt's Pic Diary Peach @ Heaven, London, 31 March 2007, uploaded to Flickr. Shared via Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

The brick archways drip, flesh drips. The flicker of glitter. Flashes of red and yellow and blue imprint on the back of my eyes. We drip, drip in neon. Hand-shadows on my face, on my body. Foreign hands on my flesh, familiar hands on my skin. No signal. It’s freedom for a night, freedom from…

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Dimly lit Victorian London street

As we entered a new decade, little did we know that three months down the line our bustling thoroughfare would come to be haunted by the shadows of London’s Victorian past. Transforming into a flaneur-like figure in the dead of the night to combat his insomnia, Charles Dickens documented his traversing of London in the…

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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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