Londonist In Your Living Room 25 March: Bringing You The Best Of London

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Yes and yes. Original images: Shutterstock and Hackney Brewery

In place of our daily event listings, we're compiling the latest coronavirus news, views and resources for Londoners — as well as things you can do, and the ways you can enjoy this great city — without the usual access you have to it.

We also want to flag up all the positive ways that Londoners are finding to deal with the crisis, from good deeds to witty photographs. Please email hello@londonist.com with any contributions.

Ideas to be helpful and reasons to be cheerful

One Canada Square goes blue for the NHS. Image @CanaryWharfGrp
  • NHS responders: A quarter of a million people signed up to be NHS Volunteer Responders in the first 24 hours. You can add to their number via the GoodSam website. Volunteer Responders help out by transporting food and medicine to the most vulnerable, helping to move NHS equipment and supplies around, or by providing telephone support to those who are lonely because of isolation
  • Free rides for NHS: London's cabbies may also be losing trade, but that hasn't stopped them offering a helping hand. Some are now offering free rides to NHS staff, as spotted outside King's Cross St Pancras. There have been further calls on Twitter for the government to use black cabs to transport key workers to work.  
  • Food help: Zoe's Ghana Kitchen in Hackney is crowdfunding to "help supply and deliver hot meals and mini-well being kits to as many vulnerable people as possible in the local community of Hackney Wick & Bow whilst also employing those who are well and fit to work and have lost vital income due to this on-going crisis". Donate here.
Head to the Royal Geographical Society website for all manner of microlectures.
  • Beer + bog roll: Hackney's Paper Dress Vintage is also crowdfunding to keep itself afloat, but has come up with some unusual rewards. For a £30 pledge, they'll send you a 12-pack of Hackney Brewery beer... and a toilet roll. What more could you need?
  • Learn at home: The Royal Geographical Society is the latest organisation open up its archive of lectures to online streaming. The range of topics is impressive, and includes talks on microplastics, the effect hurricanes have on turtles and a race against the sun along Hadrian's Wall. All free, and an excellent way to keep wanderlust at bay while learning a thing or two.
Explore London's history through the London Topographical Society newsletters.
  • Stream Alan Bennett: The Original Theatre Company's production of The Habit of Art was set to reopen in the UK, but got nixed by coronavirus. This Thursday at 8.15pm, you can watch a previously recorded performance of the show for free (although a £2.50 donation is encouraged). A stream of The Croft follows on Friday.
  • Delve into London history: The London Topographical Society has just made its entire back catalog of newsletters freely available online. As Diamond Geezer notes, this is an absolute goldmine for anyone interested in the quirkier corners of London history. You can (and we will) spend days working through this motherlode.
  • Singalong: Fancy a Cockney singalong round the old Johanna? Musician Tom Carradine will be live-streaming a performance from his home tomorrow (Thursday) at 8.30pm. Request a song in advance, download the lyrics, and join him here.
Tom Carradine is offering a Self-Isolation Singalong every Thursday
  • Bear hunt: Residents of West Hampstead are placing bears in their windows as a bit of fun for any children out for their daily exercise. Something we could all do?
  • Illuminating tributes: The pyramid at the top of One Canada Square glows blue "in recognition and appreciation of the work of NHS staff during this challenging time". Other illuminating landmarks include Tower 42, BT Tower and Wembley Park.

Latest London coronavirus news

No more gigs at Union Chapel for now — here's what it's doing instead. Image: Daniela Sbrisny
  • The UK sees its largest daily rise in deaths so far, up 87 to 422. As the Guardian notes, about a quarter of yesterday's deaths occurred at Northwick Park hospital in north-west London.
  • Prince Charles becomes the most high-profile person in the UK to test positive for the virus. His symptoms are described as mild, and he is now self-isolating at Balmoral.
  • Arts Council England has announced a £160 million emergency fund to help cultural organisations. Grants of up to £2,500 will also be available for "freelance artists and creative practitioners", who may be struggling more than most at the moment.
Read the latest on coronavirus and the tube. Image: Shutterstock
  • Tube ridership is down 88% on the norm, says Sadiq Khan. The mayor remains concerned, however, that too many people are still using the tube. Among other measures, he has announced that down escalators will be turned off to reduce the flow of people to platforms. Meanwhile, we've published an updated guide to how coronavirus has affected the tube.
  • Calls for the Government to ban construction work are getting more urgent. The sector employs large numbers who cannot work from home, and must use public transport to get to work sites. Exemptions for key buildings such as hospitals would need to be made.
  • A doctor working 12-13-hour shifts pleads for the return of the bicycle she uses to get to work, which was stolen on Monday night.
No, that's not BBC1's new Saturday night lineup.

And in other news

  • Another public roof garden is coming to the St Paul's area, says Ian Visits. The sky-high park would be part of a major overhaul of the BT headquarters building, which now has new owners.
  • Ian also tells us that the Regent's Canal may become infested with sharks later this year (coronavirus permitting). It's not some bizarre side effect of global warming, but an art installation by the Architecture Foundation.
  • The marvellous Mr Tim Dunn reminds us of this early, eccentric plan for BBC Television Centre.

Fact of the day

The Royal Geographical Society, now streaming lectures for free, can be found in South Kensington, where Exhibition Road meets Kensington Gore. The junction was traditionally known as 'Hot and Cold Corner' by cab drivers. The reason? Prominent statues of African explorer David Livingstone and Antarctic adventurer Ernest Shackleton.