On Saturday, Dickens came to the Strand – in the ambitious form of Dickensfest! ~ an event co-organised by The Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s (where Strandlines lives) and Westminster Archives. Many thanks to Ruth Richardson and Judith Bottomley for inspiration and organisation. Read more »
I was recently given some beautiful old Strand postcards to scan for the site. All of the postcards were blank. Instead of simply adding these postcards to the site as they were, I thought they might be used for a little life writing. In Strandlines sessions at the Age Concern Day Centre, Odhams Walk - also with the Peabody Life Writing group I've been working with over the past few months - I invited people to think about the postcard as a form of life writing. Read more »
Thanks to all who came to 18th Century Strand Day on March 25th.
Throughout the day participants took note of what key words they thought best represented 18th century Strand. I have turned their suggestions into a word cloud; the largest words denote words used most often by participants.
Strandlines Archives afternoon brought together the various communities we are currently working with: The Connection, a homeless support centre at St Martins; Age UK Westminster; Peabody Wild Street Estate; and St Martins Older Congregation. Members of the recently formed Strandlines Cabinet of Artists also attended; also other interested individuals living/working in the Strand area. Whilst stories from the different communities are placed in close proximity on the website, it was wonderful to see the community realised in one room. Thank you to everyone who attended! Read more »
Last Friday’s creative writing session at the Connection took inspiration from pictures of gargoyles, stone faces and statues that had been added to the Strandlines website. Each writer chose a statue or a face; each wrote a short piece (around 6 lines long) which answered the question: what does the statue see? The idea was to combine each of our musings in a single work, which we could then edit together. We spent 15 minutes writing, and then read what we had written out loud. Read more »
The petition to save the Cleveland Street Workhouse will be submitted to the Government this THURSDAY, and therefore needs as many signatures as possible.
Please help by asking family, friends and colleagues who might be interested in the saving the Workhouse to sign the petition on the following website: http://bit.ly/fZCI3V
If you're on Twitter or any other social networking site like Facebook, please tweet the following message urging family, friends and colleagues to sign up:
Read more »
What would the Strand area look like under 14 metres of water? A pressing question where icebergs are melting and the sea levels rising. Read more »
I copied all the stories submitted to the Strandlines site into a web-based resource called 'Wordle' .Wordle finds which words are used most, and displays them as a cloud. The most commonly used words appear in larger fonts...most are fairly predictable, I think: 'Strand', 'London', 'place', 'local', 'time', 'people', and 'street'. 'One' is a rather interesting choice for a community site though.
‘It’s not for us’, says Louise. Her sense of dissociation from the local area is shared by others at the Age Concern Day Centre in Covent Garden. During the afternoon I spent at the Centre last Wednesday, Louise, Stan, Alma, Jean and Antony remembered local stalls and shops - now lost: their view seems to be that the old places have been replaced or rebuilt to suit the interests of younger people and tourists; those with larger wallets and more expensive tastes. Read more »
This was my second session leading the creative writing group at the Connection at St Martins.
The previous week I met Judith Chernaik, who, with poets, has selected poems for display on London's Underground. Over 300 poems have been displayed on the Tube since the 'Poems on the Underground' programme was launched in 1986. Judith kindly donated some 'Poems on the Underground' leaflets to the Strandlines project; hoping the poems enclosed might provide our communities with some inspiration for writing. Read more »
The aim of today's digital walking tours session at The Connection was to explore online digital resources relating to past Strand lives and to add contemporary life stories to a historical poverty map. Observations of the poor in the Strand area from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries were added to the map below. These were drawn from the Charles Booth on-line archive (http://booth.lse.ac.uk/) and The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/).
Key: Read more »
On Friday 14th January I introduced the Strandlines project to the Creative Writing Group at The Connection at St Martins, a support centre for homeless people in the area. Warmest thanks to all who attended, and to Chris Lampard who regularly leads the group, for being so welcoming; also for allowing me to publish your writing on the Strandlines site. Read more »
David Green and I are making a digital walking tour with a group at The Connection at St Martins. In the first session (www.strandlines.org/blog/walking-tours-connection-session-1) we asked participants to make notes of where they wanted the tour to go on post-it notes. Read more »
On Monday 10th December David Green and I met with a group at the Connection at St Martins: a support centre for homeless people located to the far West of the Strand. Together, we are going to make a digital walking tour that might be added both to the Strandlines and Connection websites. Thank you to all who attended the first session. It was wonderful to meet you, and I look forward to further sessions. Read more »
On December 14th 2010 the Strandlines team hosted a community engagement methodologies workshop in the Strand Building of King's College. We invited participants to bring along objects that reminded them of their local area, home, or place of work. The aim of the final session of the day was to reflect upon the connections between objects, places and life story narratives. The session was generously led by writer and lecturer Cherry Gilchrist. Read more »
The Strandlines team met with a group supported by the Age Concern Day Centre three times this December. Most meetings involved discussions of distant memories: how the local area had changed over the past fifty years, for instance. On Friday 3rd December, however, we decided to take a different tack. Strandlines is not only interested in long-ago happenings, but also recent events and the everyday lives of people living and working in the area. Read more »
On Wednesday last week I was given a new perspective on the Strand area. Certainly I had walked its lines before: I had been to Temple tube station, the arches under the Adelphi, Embankment Park, the Cole Hole, and Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Yet, I shall now look these familiar places and spaces differently: they have been enriched by the stories I heard on Wednesday night. Read more »
Thanks to RunCoCo for organising a very helpful workshop at Leeds yesterday. The workshop was entitled Community Collection Online: Sustainability and Business Models. It brought together people who are currently working on, or wish to set-up, community engagement projects like Strandlines; also digitisation and crowd sourcing initiatives. Projects discussed included AddressingHistory, PaxCat, The Great War Archive, Welsh Voices of the Great War Online, Visualising China, Our Stories, LIFE-Share, and VADS. Read more »
On the 20th October David Green and I held a Strandlines tea at the Age Concern Day Centre. Warmest thanks go to Teresa McFarlane, and to other staff at the Day Centre, for all their support for the project, and for helping us on the day. Thank you also to everyone who attended. Read more »
Last week Dr David Green took his MA students and the Strandlines team on a walking tour around the Strand area.
We stopped at Carriage Hall in Covent Garden; once a hub for manufacturing carriages; then for making cars; now a home to clothes shops and businesses.
We viewed the spot where Samuel Pepys saw the first performance of Punch’s puppet show in 1662.
Torsten and I met last week with Teresa McFarlane, Community Hub Manager of Age Concern Westminster. Our meeting was at the Age Concern Day Centre in Covent Garden. We are very grateful for Teresa’s support and enthusiasm for the Strandlines project and look forward to working with her. We are also very excited about meeting those who attend events at the Day Centre, and to hearing and reading their life-stories. The Centre is based in Odhams Walk estate (pictured), and is located above the vintage clothes shop Rokit. Read more »