Stan Todd, helmsman on the RNLI Tower pier.

Anyone who has crossed the Waterloo bridge might have noticed the Royal National Lifeboat Institution Pier, on the north side of the Thames. This is the busiest lifeboat station in the United-Kingdom. I spoke to Stan Todd, a full-time helmsman on the station, and looked over archive materials, to find out more about how the…

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Image: Laurie Wiegler with her mother, Kathleen Leonard

This is where Samuel Johnson first inspired me Where I discovered the Queen Victoria statue unexpectedly Devoured small tuna sandwiches with cucumber And realized one night, mournfully, I was too old to join the fun at the pub. It’s where I left my laptop at a café while eating lunch one day, Scurrying back to…

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Strand Series (40) Dan Kirmatzis 2020

The Strandlines team periodically check in on photos tagged to the Strand (and surrounding areas) on Instagram and Twitter. We came across Dan Kirmatzis’s work on Instagram. A huge thanks to Dan for so generously sharing his photographs and insights into his inspiration and processes.   “Although I take many photos in the street genre…

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A common epithet to describe the coronavirus has been “the invisible enemy”. Not only does the use of the chosen adjective, ‘invisible’, hint at the nature of a biological threat, but it also perpetuates an understanding of the virus as an abstraction, this other-worldly description questions its reality. In a swift four and a half…

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In the 18th century, the Philosophical Transactions journal (then a relatively new publication) preserved several accounts of astronomical events as observed from the Strand. The Royal Society of London provided James Short, “from the College at Edinburgh”, this platform to publish his observations. In the Philosophical Transactions database Short’s name appears thirty-four times. Of these,…

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The Strand Magazine, most popularly known as home to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, launched in 1891. However, dwindling circulation coupled with inflating costs eventually led to the closure of the publication in March 1950. Eleven years buried, Ernest Kay and crime novelist, John Creasey, came together as joint proprietors to revive the literary magazine.…

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Jonathan Sisson established a scientific instrument making business at the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand, London. The attic rooms included an observatory, the exterior visible in a drawing by the freemason, Thomas Sandby.[1] Sandby was the architect of the first Freemasons’ Hall on Great Queen Street, which was completed in 1766. For many…

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Editor’s Note: Motherland to Fatherland, an exhibition, is set to open at the India Club at 143, Strand, on the 29th March 2020, 5pm to 9pm. Strandlines invited the project’s creator, Shrutika Jain, to explain how the project came about, and to give an insight into the stories the exhibition will explore. What is Motherland…

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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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Photograph and poem by Godelieve De Bree   *   12:26 I start, step onto the assigned street am struck by neon nails brought up to split of the lip then the orbs of sandwich in the cheeks of a crouching man, scornful of the city, he swallows. Conscious that every motion renders reality into…

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