If you look across to the south side of the Strand, you can see the entrance to the original Strand Campus of King's College London.
The College was founded in 1829, and subsequently joined the University of London. The original entrance looked very different; it was a small, undemonstrative gateway off the busy nineteenth-century Strand.
This is my sister, Kate, eating ice cream (or is it yoghurt?) on a September day in 1982. This was a few years before I was born, but it's evocative of my own childhood memories of the Strand.
Dr. Jones, who has worked on the Strand for more than twenty years, tells stories of people and animals on this street in the past and nowadays.
To me, Charing Cross Station is such a fixture of the western end of the Strand that is difficult to think that it is not yet 150 years old. I pass the station often when I leave the tube at Embankment on my way to King's College. In the nineteenth-century, Charing Cross was an example of industrial modernity overwriting the old city.
Charing Cross Station opened in 1864, and the hotel opened a year later. The Illustrated London News portrayed it as both a glowing symbol of modernity, and a gothic monster, lowering in the heart of the city.
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I was talking with my 85 year old Grand mother Dolly Rose Noel nee Julier, who grew up on Austin street Shoreditch.I mentioned that I was surprised to see tram- lines on old maps of Kingsland and Hackney Road.
"Oh yes" she said," we used to get on them (the trams) for a penny and stay on all day. The conductor would not chuck us off if we good, and we used to turn the seats for around for him, at the end of the journey, so they'd be pointing the other way at the end of the line."
"So where did you go?" Read more »
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 »
As the streets that lead from the Strand to the Embankment are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm. If you persist, lawyers' clerks will have to make flying leaps into the mud; young lady typists will have to fidget behind you. In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, eccentricity must pay the penalty, and it is better not to be very tall, to wear a long blue cloak, or to beat the air with your left hand. Read more »