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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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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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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Lockdown in London was announced on 23rd March 2020, but many folks had been social distancing for a week or more before. It’s been heartening to see that the – very few – photos that are being posted on social media with the Strand tagged as the location are showing this main artery emptied of…

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In 1796 Mary Wollstonecraft reflected in print on her travels in Scandinavia. One topic she addressed was quietness. She alludes to the ‘stupid stillness’ of London on a Sunday… which came to mind as I walked along the Strand on a spring morning, 17 March 2020, the day before London lock-down because of coronavirus Covid-19.…

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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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