Portobello Road Market holds many fond memories for us Frockers who lived and worked in the area back in the early 80s - well before Notting Hill metamorphosed into its present gentrified state with the help of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
We loved to shop on Portobello Road, dined regularly at the Star of Bombay on Westbourne Grove (still there, thankfully, and still good!) and thoroughly enjoyed the cosmopolitan atmosphere and social mix of this vibrant part of west London. Portobello Road remains a favourite haunt of ours, albeit less regularly now that we live 400 miles away, but big changes are afoot which threaten the very future of one of the world’s most famous and best loved markets.
It is undoubtedly a measure of just how disturbing the locals and not-so-locals find these changes that Save the Portobello Road Market’s Facebook page currently boasts more than 36000 members, all of whom share a passion for preserving its special, unique character and support the feisty local campaigners who are battling for its survival in the face of invasion, and takeover, by retail clones and property developers.
Nicole Harvey has made this mini-documentary focusing on the antiques trade in the Portobello Road Market and the highly controversial planning policies of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Watch it and weep, then please consider adding your support to the campaign to save this national treasure.