Posts Tagged ‘Notting Hill’

Carnaby St show

Monday, November 25th, 2019

A few years ago as I was walking down Regent Street, a German tourist stopped me and asked me the way to Carnaby St. I told him he needed a time machine to go back 40 years before more helpfully pointing out the right direction.

But last Saturday I went back there for a quick look at a celebration of an event only 30 years ago, on the windows of a shop called Size?

This is a temporary display, for one week only, tracing a little of the history of a trainer, the apparently iconic Nike Air Max 90 introduced in 1990 and since with many variations, and back in 1990 I made a picture in Notting Hill in which the trainer can be clearly seen.

You can see that picture, along with two others from Notting Hill on the shop front, and also on a large screen inside the store.

My favourite of the three images is this line of girls beside a sound system on a lorry going down Ladbroke Grove. You can see these two and others in my contribution to the 2008 show, English Carnival.

The third of my images – in the picture above both on the store front and rather blue on a screen inside – is one that didn’t feture either in the 2008 show or in my recent Café Royal Book on Notting Hill, and I think may not have been published before.

All three images I think embody something of the spirit of carnival, and I was pleased to see them being used – also in some online posts and a printed catalogue from Size?.

Readers of this post who have access to academic journals on line may like to read the article Notting Hill in Carnival which features 20 of my Notting Hill pictures with text by George Mentore them (including one of those here) as well as a more general article.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


Carnival Time

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Today is the first day of Carnival, but I’m almost resigned to not going. My legs really won’t take it any more and I’m only just getting over a few hours slow walking last Wednesday, though I was out taking pictures again yesterday. This year I got as far as planning my route, complicated by rail closures today on two lines that I would normally use, but I’m not going to make it. The nearest I’m likely to get is a can of Red Stripe.

It took me 25 years to get to Notting Hill Carnival for the first time in 1990, partly because for the first few years it was a relatively small and poorly publicised event but later because of the demonisation it suffered in our largely racist press.

By 1990 I was becoming increasingly interested in documenting London as a multicultural city and knew I had to photograph carnival, so set out still with some trepidation and anxious warnings from friends. I loved the noise and the atmosphere and the colour, so of course I photographed it in black and white!

I continued to go back for the next 20 or so years, usually going for both days, and it became one of the highlights of my photographic year. I think there was perhaps a year or two when I was out of the country at August Bank holiday, and in 2005 I was suffering from a knee problem. I packed my photographic bag – always a small one for carnival – and dragged myself the 500 yards to the station, climbed up the bridge to get to the right platform and collapsed to the ground in pain. It was only then I realised that there was no way I was going to make it, rested for a few minutes and then hobbled my way slowly home.

I did allow myself to photograph in colour some years, but I found it a distraction and I think my best pictures are black and white. Some years too I took a panoramic camera too, loaded with colour film, and I felt its wide sweep enabled me to capture more of the atmosphere of the carnival procession. One of those images ended up being printed huge with a doorway people could walk through as an entrance to a museum exhibition; I was delighted to see it used but felt it didn’t improve the picture.

Rather to my surprise I find it’s 7 years since I last went to carnival, and on My London Diary I then wrote:

But either I’m getting too old for it, or perhaps carnival is changing, and this year I found it a little difficult. So I went on the Sunday, stayed around three hours and didn’t really want to return for the big day. So I didn’t.

But I am thinking about Notting Hill today, and about North Kensington in particular. Although I haven’t been to carnival I have made quite a few visits there over the past couple of years, and I’ve set an alarm and like carnival I will stop at 3pm for a period of silence to remember Grenfell.

You can see more pictures from several years at Carnival on My London Diary, but my favourite selection of the black and white work is a set of 20 pictures from the show English Carnival with three friends at the Juggler in Hoxton in 2008 from which the black and white images above come.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.