History of Rhaune Laslett

On Monday the 11th  of January, the year five class had two special visitors, Mike and Grace Laslett, the son and grand-daughter of Rhaune Laslett , who told us the tale of Notting -Hill Carnival.

Rhaune was half Indian-American and half English. She was a social worker and helped residents get property and gave them advice. She had people her visiting her home at all times of the day, and she was well-known in the local community. One night, she had a vision of all races celebrating, dancing and singing in the street. This was at a time when there was a lot of tension between people of different races.  The next day, she held a meeting in her backyard and this was the beginnings of Notting Hill Carnival.

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These are pictures of Mike and Grace with students of Year 5.

In the first procession, Rhaune hired a small truck for a float and Russ Henderson played the steel pan. It was this, that drew attention to the small gathering of people outside Rhaune’s house on Taverstock Road. Otherwise it would have been more like a tradition English fete. But Russ started moving and people came out of their houses and followed him like the Piped Piper.

This a picture of a student admiring the information about Carnival at the Tabernacle.

After they’ve finished talking, we wrote a plan to organise a mini carnival outside in our school playground. We thought about the music, food/drinks and local businesses who could help us and support us in our mini carnival. We drew a brief picture of what we wanted our carnival to look like.

Below are some photographs that The Web Team found at the Kensington and Chelsea Archives of Carnival through the ages.

In the past, costumes for carnival, were still made out of different materials such as: feathers, plastic, straw, wool and much more. But unlike nowadays, the costumes were traditional and less fancy.

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