Posts Tagged ‘dancing’

Notting Hill Carnival 2003

Monday, August 30th, 2021

Notting Hill 2003

2003 was the first year I photographed Notting Hill Carnival using a DSLR, a Nikon D100. It was primitive by current standards with a small, dim viewfinder image and on 6.1Mp with a half-frame size sensor. Nikon at the time swore that what they called the APS-C sensor was all that you needed for a professional digital camera, and although they were right, later brought out ‘full-frame’ cameras to keep up with the Canons and others in what was really a marketing rather than technology led decision.

Notting Hill 2003

I’d switched to Nikon for the D100 but was still also using various Leica mount film cameras as well as occasionally my pair of Olympus OM4 cameras for both of which I still had a range of lenses from 15mm to 90mm for Leica and 21 to 200mm for Olympus. But for the Nikon all I had was a 24-80 zoom, bought largely because it was one of the cheapest Nikon lenses available. On the smaller sensor this was equivalent to 36-120mm full-frame, so meant I was working with no really wide lens.

Notting Hill 2003

The colour quality of these images is also rather limited, not by the camera but mainly by the raw processing software then available and also by my relative inexperience in using it. If I have time one day I will find the raw files from my backup disks and reprocess them. But although I think they are a little drab I think they still show the carnival spirit.

Notting Hill 2003
Notting Hill 2003
Notting Hill 2003
Notting Hill 2003

And here’s just one I rather like from the following year – by which time I and the processing software had improved a little.

Notting Hill 2004

More at the bottom of the August 2003 My London Diary Diary page
And for those from August 2004.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Hoxton 1948 Street Party

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

No, I wasn’t taking pictures in 1948, nor was Hoxton’s 1948 street party taking place in 1948, but on Saturday 24th August 2008, the date marking the handover of the Olympics to London from Beijing where the 2008 Olympics had recently finished.

Hackney was one of the three boroughs – along with Tower Hamlets and Newham at the centre of the London 2012 Olympics, coming to London for the first time since 1948. The London Olympics then were very much run on a shoe-string in 1948, with a total budget of well under a million pounds – allowing for inflation probably rather less than a hundredth of the budget for 2012.

People in Hackney had decided to mark the event with a ‘1948 Street Party’ in Hoxton in the area of Hoxton Road where the market takes place (confusingly around half a mile from a street named Hoxton Market) and there were shops, museums and various local organisations taking part and putting on events and displays. And appropriately for a celebration of 1948 they organised their own ‘Austerity Olympics’ on the street, as well as some more serious boxing.

Hackney Council, being doctrinaire New Labour were of course appalled by the idea of a community initiative such as this. Their idea of politics was for people to put an X in the Labour box of the ballot paper and then sit back and let those they elected get on with running things to their advantage – without the people getting in the way of their schemes. So instead of backing a community initiative which might display what people thought about the forthcoming Olympics they snootily set up their own rival event in a park a few minutes walk away, with a giant screen relaying the events from Beijing.

There were two men waving Union Flags at the Hackney Council event.

I went to both, though most of the hour and a half I spent at the council event was an hour and a half of my life lost, tedious in the extreme, except for a short performance by a local kids group. There was a Chinese group with flags and a lion, but they seemed to be deliberately hidden away in a corner.

Back on Hoxton St, things were much more interesting, and very much a reminder of my own youth in the 1950s. I enjoyed a very nice cup of tea served in 1948 style china by a “nippy”, and in the street were tea parties (with free cakes) and displays of boxing, jitterbugging and various objects from the 1940s kitchen (almost all of which we still use at home, including a pastry blender – and no, it isn’t used to make bread.) Pearlies came in force and had a sing-song round the joanna.

And then there was the ‘Free Hackney Movement’ (aka Space Hijackers) who brought some serious politics to the event along with a ‘tank’. Here’s what I wrote about them in 2008:

The Free Hackney protest sees London 2012 as a great opportunity for property developers to rip us off and make obscene profits building luxury flats in the area, while at the same time restricting public access, closing down the existing free facilities and demolishing social housing and local businesses. So far its hard to argue against their case given the closure of local sports facilities including the closure of the Temple Mills cycle circuit and the removal of the Manor Gardens allotments and the wholesale clearance of small local firms which were based on Stratford Marsh

In 2008 I commented “The Olympic development has so far been something of a catastrophe for the area, and a lot has to be done to recover from this, let alone produce a positive outcome for the area.” Unfortunately most of what has been done since has borne out the fears and predictions that were made by the Free Hackney Movement and others back in 2008. London 2012 was a bonanza for the few but disrupted the lives of many in the three boroughs.

More at:
Hoxton Handover – 1948 Street party
Free Hackney Movement
Hackney Council Hoxton Handover


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Notting Hill in colour – 1997 Part 3

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

Another set of pictures from the 1997 Notting Hill Carnival.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-075_2400

Various organisations take part in carnival, including religious groups, notably The Nation of Islam,

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-091_2400

and some trade unions who show a little more of the carnival spirit.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-099_2400

It’s a time for dancing on the streets, and at times its difficult to hold the camera steady, with music you don’t just hear but which sets your internal organs vibrating and even the tarmac under your feet.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-101_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-109_2400

It’s hard to capture the intensity of the event, and a kind of glorious disorder on the streets.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-113_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-126_2400

Some people are insistent that I take their picture – and of course I oblige.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-131_2400

But it all gets a bit too much for some. And after some hours I get to feel rather like this and decide to go home and rest. Because after the Children’s Day on the Sunday comes the main day on Monday when the streets are more crowded and the dancing more frenetic.

More carnival pictures:

Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s
Notting Hill Panoramas – 1992


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Notting Hill in colour – 1997 Part 2

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Here are a few more from Ladbroke Grove in 1997, I think all from the first day of the event, the Children’s Day on the Sunday.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-040_2400

I think all of these pictures were taken with a 28mm or 35mm lens, probably on a Minolta CLE (the improved successor to the Leica CL) using Fuji Super G 400 colour negative film.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-047_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-056_2400

I did take more photographs of the children, but while the costumes may be cute and sometimes very colourful (though not in this example) they generally lack the exhuberance of older revellers and I found them of less interest. There are more of the children in the album on Flickr.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-058_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-066_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-072_2400

I took several pictures of this young woman holding a child as she danced beside one of the floats pumping out fairly deafening music, and this one I think shows her and the child both enjoying the moment.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1997 97c8-nh-073_2400

But the second frame puts her better into the whole siuation, part of the crowd moving down the street with the lorry.

All these pictures were taken within a few minutes of each other, and I made many more during the two days of carnival – and will post more another day. As usual you can see any of them larger in the album by clicking on them – and can then continue to view more if you wish.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Notting Hill 1998

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

1997 I again photographed Notting Hill in colour, and I have yet to digitise any of the roughly 600 frames I took over the two days. I also have some more colour work from previous years I have yet to add to my Flickr album, and I will share some of those also at a later date.

On the way to Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-817-46_2400
En route to carnival, 1988 Peter Marshall

But in 1988 I was busy with both black and white and colour – and again there are very few of the colour images I have yet printed or digitised, including some more colour panoramic work. I have so far only scanned or digitised around 15 of the several hundreds of black and white pictures I took, some of which have appeared in the several publications and exhibitions of my carnival pictures, including the ‘The English Carnival‘ exhibition in 2008. I’ve uploaded these to the Flickr album, Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s, but I think there are probably quite a few more pictures worth digitising when I find time

Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-822-24_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-822-12_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-818-642_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-815-63_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1998. Peter Marshall 98-812-54_2400

More on page 3 of my Notting Hill album.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


More from the XR Garden Bridge

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

On my next visit to London two days after XR had occupied Waterloo Bridge to make it into a ‘garden bridge’ I found myself needing to cross the Thames to get to an event I wanted to photograph, and the obvious way to get there was to walk through the garden.

There had been reports of arrests by police trying to clear the bridge, but things were still happening there, and for the half hour or so I had given myself to cross it the police were simply standing and watching.

The protesters seemed well settled in, though there were still new people arriving, with an induction session taking place. People were drumming and others simply sitting and chatting around, with a small library being pushed around to offer books to those who wanted to read.

And there was singing, poetry and story-telling on the lorry that was there as a stage, though there were also people locked on underneath it to prevent it being moved, with others sitting on the roof, probably just to get a good view and so that they caught a little more of the breeze coming up the river, as it was a hot morning.

Some people were keeping busy keeping the site running and others were enjoying the sun and a rest. It seemed a very calm place and it was good to be away from traffic and fumes, and I was sorry I had to leave.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


XR’s Garden Bridge

Monday, July 29th, 2019

While Boris Johnson wasted many millions of public money as London Mayor on a crazy project for a garden bridge across the Thames where no-one wanted it and it fortunately came to nothing, Extinction Rebellion provided one for free for a few days .

It helped that they didn’t actually have to build a bridge, but just took over an existing one, Waterloo Bridge, closing it to traffic. This did cause a certain amount of disruption, and doubtless inconvenienced some people, but it, together with their other actions around London, did serve to put the issue of climate catastrophe – and the very real threat of human extinction unless people across the world take radical action – into public consciousness.

It was a minor inconvenience for me, as found myself having to walk around London rather than sit on a bus rather often during the week, though fortunately the tube was still working. But were I a transport planner for London, I think that at least one of London’s bridges – though probably not this one – would be permanently pedestrianised. We have far too much traffic in central London, causing far too much pollution – and thousands of early deaths – and the congestion charge hasn’t solved the problem.

It was very pleasant to be able to walk across the bridge past the trees and plants, or to sit for a few minutes in the sun and listen and watch the activities taking place on the bridge. And the air there certainly felt cleaner, once you were on the bridge and away from the traffic jam south of the river.

Many of those on the bridge had travelled up from the country, and had brought a little of it with them. Some had even walked all the way from Cornwall. Extinction Rebellion has certainly gained a great deal of support, if largely from the kind of people who will go to public meetings and listen to their speakers. Most could be labelled middle class, though not mainly the comfortable and affluent high-consuming middle class, but largely those in low-paid occupations; teachers, social workers, health workers were I’m sure all over-represented.

XR has developed from the activities of groups like ‘Stop Killing Londoners’ whose protests against air pollution in the city I’ve photographed from their start, working on the ideas of Roger Hallam on non-violent protests and people being prepared to be arrested (as I photographed him being arrested at the LSE in a protest for the cleaners there.)

There were arrests at the ‘garden bridge’ but on the couple of occasions I visited police just watched and occasionally took notes. XR’s attitude to the police and their policy of encouraging people to be arrested has been much criticised by others, and they appear to have little regard for the problems it may cause and have under-estimated the support needed. But these are desperate times and rather than carping perhaps the critics should be showing an example by launching their own, more effective actions – but there is little sign of that happening. XR certainly isn’t a perfect game, but it has little competition.

More at Extinction Rebellion Garden Bridge


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.