We were so busy in the last week of September with Local History Week at North Kensington Library. The Carnival Mas and Mayhem banners exhibition was very popular and it was good to see local residents gather in the hallway to read the testimonials from people reminiscing about late 1950s and the birth of Notting Hill Carnival.
On Monday there was a talk by our own member of staff and famous soca artist John David with his guests Pepe Francis – a man who has dedicated more than 50 years to the steel band art form and Symone Williams – the manager of the mas band Genesis whose late father Vernon Williams was one of the founding members of Notting Hill Carnival in 1964.They talked about history of steel bands, local community support of young people through own experience, costume and mask making and the importance of Notting Hill Carnival to the local community and wider.
I could have listened to them forever…
We had film screening Carnival 73 , featuring Leslie Palmer, the first organiser of Notting Hill Carnival as we know it today. 58 Riot Tour films by Tony Auguste followed by the discussion hat featured Sister Monica Tywang, who presented the Mas and Mayhem exhibition.
On Thursday, our guest was Local author Blanche Girouard whose latest book Portobello Voices was published in early September. She took us on an audio visual journey through hidden gems of Portobello Market. We listened to the recorded interviews with local traders who were talking about their experiences from the market from past and present.
The copy of the book is available to loam from all Kensington and Chelsea Libraries.
The last day of the North Kensington Local History week was fun, fun, fun!!! There was a carnival mask making workshop in North Kensington Children’s Library.
We had colourful paper, glitter and feathers and we created some beautiful masks (that can now be seen on display in North Kensington Children’s Library) while we chatted about the Carnival, colours, shapes and….oh…. ok…..and we had a bit of girly fashion chat as well…..
And here are some of our masks!
Customer Services Manager
North Kensington, Kensal and Notting Hill Gate Libraries