The First Caribbean Carnival in London

During the summers of the mid-1960s, social worker Rhaune Laslett persuaded Russ Henderson and his steelband trio to parade on the streets of

Steelasophical Caribbean

The First Caribbean Carnival in London

The concert line up for the Caribbean Carnival concert in 1955 at the Royal Albert Hall.

During the summers of the mid-1960s, social worker Rhaune Laslett persuaded Russ Henderson and his steelband trio to parade on the streets of Notting Hill at different events she had. The complex history of London’s Notting Hill Carnival is widely understood to evolve from these events. From this humble beginning grew one of the largest Carnivals in the World. Prior to that, Claudia Jones and her newspaper West Indian Gazette had staged a series of annual pre-Lenten Carnival cabarets from 1959 to 1964 at various venues.

Sixty years ago, before Notting Hill, before Claudia Jones, a concert billed as The First Caribbean Carnival in London was held at the Royal Albert Hall on July 31, 1955. It was sponsored by Hugh Scotland. Though little remembered today, music historian Val…

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