Celebrating 150 years of Portobello and Golborne Market

Andy Norton, North Kensington library, writes:

Library Market stall at Portobello Rd
The Library Market Stall

Last Friday we spent an afternoon at Portobello Road Market, celebrating 150 years of local markets and promoting our own markets-inspired writing competition (more on that, below).

Despite the cold, the market was bustling and many residents stopped by to look at our photos, which showed the market from its early days.

Portobello Road began life in the 1860s as a humble country lane where farmers sold produce to local people. In 1864 the area was transformed by the opening of the Metropolitan Railway Notting Hill station – now known as Ladbroke Grove Station.

Painting of Portobello Rd from 1860s
A humble country lane…

During the 1920s and 30s, Portobello and Golborne Road Market further expanded with discharged soldiers and sailors, Spanish immigrants fleeing the civil war adding to the area’s diversity. By this time, second hand clothes, shoes and ornament stalls had joined the traditional fruit, vegetables, salad, meat, fish and flowers. After the Second World War, Portuguese people settled in the area, opening several specialist shops which are still trading in Golborne Road.

Picture of Marks & Spencer taken 1931
Portobello Road 1931

Antiques started to appear in the 1940s and 50s. Most antique stalls are open only on Saturday, which has always been the market’s busiest day.

Antique market at Portobello Road
Early morning antiquing

The 1940s and 50s also saw the arrival of Caribbean immigrants who came in response to post-war labour shortages.

An aerial view of Portobello Road, taken in 1951
An aerial view, 1951

The market has also featured in films such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), Notting Hill (1999), and Paddington Bear (2014), as well as many television programmes, popular songs and literary works. Each has sparked the curiosity of a new generation of visitors and traders. We are hoping residents will be similarly inspired and take part in our short story competition which offers the opportunity to become a published author.

Portobello and Golborne Market is so big, so diverse, and so fast-changing, that chances are – even if you’re a frequent visitor – there’ll be stalls you’ve never discovered; arcades, nooks and crannies that you’ve never explored.

Promoting our Short Story Competition at Portobello Road Market, 2015
Promoting our Short Story Competition at Portobello Road Market, 2015

150 Years of Portobello & Golborne Market Short Story Competition!

Join RBKC Libraries & Markets for a unique literary collaboration, inspired by the rich history of our local markets.

Your short story can be written against any setting and from any period, including modern day.  The only necessary link is that your inspiration should come from your thoughts about Portobello or Golborne Market.

All winning entries will be published in an anthology that will be added to the library collection.

 Deadline for submissions 30th June

To register your interest and for full Terms and Conditions please email libris@rbkc.gov.uk

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Celebrating 150 years of Portobello and Golborne Market

  1. Great article and fascinating to see the images through the years – so much has changed and in a way so little. There are Literary Walks to celebrate 150 years of the market – one on 26 June (Fri) afternoon and I think they are also running some weekend dates. Check the usual social media for details but looks worth joining.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s