Shops, seasons, buildings, sounds....
Everything special about Strand in Professor Brant's memory.
There is a turning point in my interview with Susan Scott, the in-house archivist at The Savoy, in the moment following my faux-pas of detailing an intricate fact I’d heard about the lamps outside The Savoy circulated about by people in the area. It turns out to be wholly untrue. But she is good-natured about it and laughs me off, stating:“ That’s the thing, it’s not enough to tell good stories, you have to back them up; that’s why you need archiving!” Read more »
Northumberland House was one of the last survivors of the noblemen’s palaces which originally lined the Strand. It stood on the south side of Trafalgar Square at the start of the Strand, and was recognised by its distinctive lion on the top of the roof. This lion is the symbol of the Dukes of Northumberland, and its twin now stands on the gates to Syon Park in West London. It's strange to think that, before the rapid expansion of London, Syon Park would have been considered a country residence in the early nineteenth-century! Read more »
The Following article by Matthew Sweet appeared in the Observer Magazine on 30th October 2011. It's certainly a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of The Savoy (and other London hotels) and experiences on the Strand during the second world war.
Composed by Molly Olguin, winner of the Cosmo Davenport-Hines Poetry Competition, 2011.
You're standing under the Savoy when it starts. Read more »
I found this aerial Hotel Metropole postcard on a stamps auction website. It dates the postcard 1948. The Strand may be found in the top right hand corner.
This is an invoice regarding the Metropole (or Metripole as gt Grandpa spelt it). J Garrod was Joseph Garrod, my great grandfather. The business was carried on by Edward, my grandfather and James & William my father and his brother. It is still going, trading as Garrod Brothers in North London. The owners are still family, albeit not Garrods. Before the advent of Rawlplugs the way to fix carpets to stone floors & staircases was to make a hole and fill it with lead, which was easy to screw into.
My son Cosmo Davenport-Hines was an undergraduate studying English and film at King’s on the Strand from 2005 until 2008. His tutors there have told me that he was a brilliant pupil in his first two years. His zest, his piercing intuitions, his leadership among his contemporaries, his gentle percipience about people, the arresting and precise way he spoke, his wittiness – all these were for a time undiminished in seminars. He was an omnivorous reader, who found joy in many kinds of literature, from Shakespeare’s sonnets down to Bill Burroughs. Read more »