Notting Hill Carnival

  Kate B 11:14 28 Aug 2006

I'm off to the Carnival this afternoon - and if some of the debate about its future comes to fruition it might be one of the last to take place in Notting Hill.

Is this a good thing? Is it so far from its roots, with the sponsorship, heavy regulation and adoption by the middle classes that there would be little lost if it moved out of the area to, say, Hyde Park, as is being suggested?

Or should it remain where it was born and from where it takes its character: the small streets of Notting Hill, regardless of the bleats of the chattering classes who would rather nasty plebs didn't play loud music in the streets one night a year?

  wolfie3000 11:50 28 Aug 2006

Have a good day out Kate b wish i could go but its to far :(

  Forum Editor 11:52 28 Aug 2006

are among the 'chattering classes' who live in Notting Hill, and some of them decamp to pastures new (usually abroad) for the whole carnival weekend.

I've never fully understood it, but then I don't live there and have people urinating/vomiting on my front garden, and see crowds of them sitting on my steps, dumping food refuse everywhere. Neither do I have to explain to my young children why they can't get to sleep until the early hours of the morning for two nights running. Anyone who has walked the streets the morning after the last carnival night (as I have) would be pretty horrified at the state of the pavements/roads, and the shopkeepers who board up their windows might prefer not to have to do that - but they do.

All builders' skips have by law to be removed from the streets in the week before carnival - whether full or not, and at £150 a time I imagine this causes a certain amount of irritation.

The carnival is an amazing spectacle, and I think it should continue - whether or not it should take place in the confined space of a densely populated area is something for debate. I don't live in the area, so I'm not really qualified to judge.

  anskyber 12:03 28 Aug 2006

I do not have the carnival so I am reluctant to judge. I do have the Appleby horse fair which I assure you is no mean event. Thousands of travellers (and hangers on ) descend on Appleby for a week each June. The place is full of horses caravans and people from all over the country. My local area is the subject of sporadic horse racing with carriages and various other attachments down the road!

Here is a sample click here

Yes it can be annoying but it goes as quickly as it came and we recver ready for next year.

  spuds 12:10 28 Aug 2006

Like all good intentions, when strict authoritarian rules take over, things can and usually go badly wrong.

Where I live, there is a number of old established carnival and religious festival type event, and by all accounts, these events will cease to exist over the next few years. Each year the organizers are finding it more difficult to get sponsorship or backing from authority.This year, one of the major carnival's was suspended at the last moment, due to sudden increased costs of insurance, policing, medic requirements and health and safety issues.

All these events have been very well attended with crowds in there thousands, people even travel from many countries abroad to attend these events. The local economy is boosted by leaps and bounds,and some rich pickings are to be made by certain concerns and individuals. But as the organizers (most work voluntary) have stated, they cannot carry on, unless they get more support from the commercial sector and authority.Even downscaling as been suggested, but by doing this, the atmosphere would never be the same.

  johndere 14:28 28 Aug 2006

Security has been stepped up in recent years mainly due to the high crime rate associated with the carnival. All items that could be used as missiles against the police are removed, not just skips (and what they contain) but also some litter bins.

In the past some have been used to light fires in and when the fire brigade arrive they are attacked.

As for friends living in notting hill, most see the whole thing as beeing a bit boring, or not their sort of thing. It is however interesting watching it from such a good advantage spot.

  Kate B 14:44 28 Aug 2006

The crime rate at the Carnival is very low these days, it's one of the successes of it. It's only two nights a year - I'm a fan and think it should stay in the area that gave birth to it. It's a link to London's past: it reflects the community that settled there.

  Forum Editor 15:44 28 Aug 2006

which has, to a large extent, changed quite a bit over the past five or six years.

I totally agree that the carnival should carry on, but in a location that is more accessible to the crowds who come to watch. Many carnival visitors don't see as much as they would like to see, because they're jammed into streets that aren't able to cope.

Hyde park would be ideal.

  €dstowe 15:54 28 Aug 2006

"Hyde park would be ideal."

There used to be a 'no alcohol' rule in Hyde Park. Don't know if it still applies but it would upset a lot of the revellers if it did.

  sunny staines 16:13 28 Aug 2006

moving it off the street might cut down the high levels of street crime there & help prevent any return of the 70's riots that spoilt the event.

  wee eddie 16:24 28 Aug 2006

It will be interesting to see how New Orleans handles the renewal of it's Carnival.

They have they advantage of reasonable weather during the carnival (one has to ignore "THAT" disaster) so that folk can carouse outside. The economics of theirs must be mind bending, I know that the Hotel Groups benefit but whether the locals see any of it is another matter.

Notting Hill has gentrified since the days of Peter Rachman, which is no bad thing, but has the "raison d'etre" for the carnival moved to another suburb.

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