In 1965, over the August bank holiday weekend, three musicians from Trinidad embarked on a 30 minute walk in West London which changed the history of the capital forever!

There was nothing unusual about this walk led by a man named Russell Henderson, who had been invited to attend a week long multi-cultural fayre organised by a local activist named Rhaune Laslette.  The only difference was Henderson, and the two musicians accompanying him, Sterling Betancourt and Ralph Cherrie, were expert steelpan instrumentalists. During their historic walk, from a playground in Tavistock Crescent to Portobello Road and back, people started coming out of their houses to listen to the quality of the music being played by these three calypsonians.

By the time the three of them return back to the playground they looked like what can only be described as pan playing pied pipers.  Unbeknown to them, they had just lit the spark, and led the first processional parade for the phenomenon called the Notting Hill Carnival.

At noon, on 24th August 2018, to kick off the August Bank Holiday Carnival Weekend, an extraordinary blue plaque will be unveiled inside the park of Cambridge Gardens in Ladbroke Grove, before the world’s media. The blue will be the largest ever manufactured anywhere in the world, and will be in honour of Henderson, Betancourt, and Cherry along with 67 other Carnival Pioneers, who helped to create and develop the Notting Hill Carnival.

Where: Cambridge Gardens, London, W10 5UD,

When: 24th August 2018

Time: 12:00 – 3pm

Later in the afternoon another playground in Notting Hill known as the Venture Centre will take centre stage. The venue is the site of Britain’s oldest Pan Yard (built in the 1950s) and will be the temporary home of the Notting Hill Carnival Pioneers Plaque over the carnival weekend, and beyond. Venture Centre, Wornington Road. Faraday House, 103a Wornington Road, London, W10, 5YB.

Organiser: Nubian Jak Community Trust

For more information telephone: 0207 692 4880

Contact Tracey Francis at:

Click here to support Notting Hill Carnival Pioneers organized by Nubian Jak Community Trust


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