In December last year I shared a short account of Sotiris Polyzopoulos’s experience of pandemic working life. He reflected on how the rhythms of life have changed, from the busy office at the Strand to seeing miniatures of his colleagues on Zoom. Despite important developments such as vaccines being now administered, many of us have…

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Aged parchment paper with a large written heading and several blocks of written text.

Today, the name of London’s most recognizable street, the Strand, evokes images of Trafalgar Square’s lions, the iconic Somerset and Bush houses, and, most of all, busied sidewalks alive with Londoners. Those images, while impressive to locals and tourists alike, are tied rather arbitrarily to their street’s name. What brought the name to the place?…

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A grid of photographs of the Strand taken by reviewers and uploaded to Trip Advisor. The views include Christmas Lights, grand buildings such as the Royal Courts of Justice and Somerset House, and theatre signs.

With lockdown one easing, Londoners and tourists are beginning to explore the city or return to their places of work. Of course, for some essential workers, the Strand has continued to be a part of daily life. As for me, I’m lucky that my job can be done from home, and I am nervous about…

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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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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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In the late 19th century, the Strand Magazine propelled Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings to new heights. This meteoric rise brought wider public attention to some of the issues that plagued London in the 1890s. In the Strand Magazine pieces, complex connections between writing by Doyle and the concerns of the Smoke Abatement Society are apparent.…

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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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