Friday, 31 August 2018

150 years of Smithfield Market

Last Saturday I went to Smithfield's meat market where it was celebrating its 150th birthday with a street party.

I arrived early so I could wander around before the crowds started to gather.

Lots of different food stalls were being set up.

I had not heard of this one before but I like the idea behind it.

I opted for breakfast at the Smithfield cafe. Bacon roll and cup of tea for half the price of just a drink in the Costa or Starbuck type cafes.

A stage had been set up in the main entrance to the market for live bands to perform. 

Lots of rides for the children

An area for the children to have fun making their own music.

HRH the King of meat.

A roller skating arena had just opened.

The giant birthday cake.

There was a brass band playing songs from musicals with lots of deck chairs so I could relax and enjoy the music.

By lunch time the crowds were arriving.
Time for me to go home.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival has taken place in London since 1966. With an average of one million visitors each day, it is one of the biggest street festivals in the world. It takes place on the last Sunday and Monday in August which is a bank holiday. I have never visited the Carnival as I would often be away from London and also put off by the numbers of people attending. This year I decided I would go and see it for myself. The carnival takes place throughout a number of roads in the Notting Hill area. Partly in the shadow of the Grenfell tower.  It was a year ago on  the 14th June 2017 that 72 people died when the 24 storey block of flats caught fire. The local community were determined the victims would not be forgotten and there were many reminders on the carnival streets.

 I was there early. Most of the shops were closed and boarded up for the event.

Last minute decorations were still being put up.

 Time for a breather.

 Numerous huge trucks were filled with speakers. The sound just travelled through your whole body. Parents were advised to have ear defenders for their children.

Some people took advantage of the situation. However, there were numerous free blocks of these brightly painted toilets brought in
for the weekend.

Music and dancing was everywhere

Interesting costume.

About an hour before the parade began the rain came down. It wasn't just a shower it was a real downpour that just went on and on.


I only saw a small part of the parade. The carnival goes on for hours and again tomorrow but I was soaked and decided to call it a day. It was interesting to see, but sad, that after all the sunshine we have had this Summer, today was so wet. However, everyone was in high spirits and very friendly. Maybe next time I go, I will choose a sunnier day.