Regular readers will have noticed that I have never covered the Notting Hill Carnival (except once in passing). There are a few reasons for this: I’ve never been to it myself (I’m not a fan of crowds in streets, even happy ones); I don’t know that much about its history, but I do know that there are a lot of people who are experts, who don’t always agree with each other about a number of matters, and I don’t want to get dragged into controversy; and, let’s be honest: I’m a middle aged white man – what do I know? I’ve always tried to make what I write on the blog either historically accurate or (sometimes) drawn from my own experience. Or both. So I’m always a bit circumspect about some topics, (transport is another one) because there are real experts out there. Also, this blog is about pictures, and lots of pictures of Carnival in our collection don’t belong to us, or come from magazines and other sources.
But we do have some pictures that as far as I know (see later) are ours, and when I was looking at some photo albums from the 1980s recently I noticed that some of the pictures in it were losing some of their natural colour, as colour prints from that period are prone to doing, so I thought they should be scanned for preservation purposes if nothing else. And once I’ve scanned a bunch of pictures, it’s only a matter of time before I start to think I should put them on the blog. So this week, it’s a case of letting the pictures speak for themselves.
You can see that the pictures are taking on a brown tone, accntuated by the scanning process I think but are still full of interesting details.
The photographer has taken a little interest in the police officers who were on duty.
But has mostly concentrated on the crowds and the costumes
Oh and one local landmark, North Kensington Library. I wasn’t working there for most of the year.
I was back there the following year. The scaffolding was in place after problems with slates falling from the roof, but it resulted in this covering, which was mostly corrugated iron. It was a little disconcerting from inside.
This year’s pictures have kept their colour quite well.
It seems to have rained the day the photographer went but that doesn’t seem to have deterred anyone.
The many umbrellas show that the rain was pretty determined.
But people carried on.
This looks like a brighter year. I particularly like this picture of a float turning slowly through the crowds.
The many costumes seem brighter too this year.
A modest amount of rubbish in the aftermath of the event.
The question of how the Library came to have these pictures was solved on the final page of the 1980 album.
This is Neville Price, Community Libarian, a colleague and friend who must have taken a group of library staff out into the Carnival crowds.
So thanks to him for all these pictures. If you went to the Carnival this year I hope you had a good time. If you recognize yourself, or anyone you know, please leave a comment. These images have not been seen for many years so it’s good to put hem out on the blog. I hope Neville will approve.