author. Bethan Taylor


This talk was definitely one which sparked interest in its audience. It was about Portobello Road, and the area of Notting Hill as a whole. It felt as if the entire postal code had come in attendance. The talk was lead by Julian Mash, who has written a book on the history of Portobello Road from the music to the sense of community and the spike in the prices of housing there, as well as being a manager of the Idler Academy. Gaz Mayall is a DJ who grew up in Notting Hill and still resides there now, and so was invited into the tent to join in with the topic. 

Julian Mash explains that the area started off as a small constituency but drew artists in, partially because of it's proximity to early London recording studios and partially because the area holds a lot of beauty. This led to the area inspiring a lot of music and so more and more people, musical or not, decided to move themselves in as well. The talk itself was very interesting, and Julian's book promises to be just as fulfilling. 

However, the true highlight of this talk was Gaz Mayall. The slightly intoxicated DJ demonstrated to the audience how to 'shuffle', something he learnt in his school days, and so was dancing on the small stage, fell off, turned it into an extension of the shuffle and carried on. He also kept having little memories of Portobello Road that he would interrupt Julian to tell and shared secrets of his friends on the streets that probably should've remained very personal.  It was interesting to witness an insight to the community through both Julian and Gaz's perspectives, and so allowed us to understand what it was that made that little section of London so special.