Claudia Jones WALK

HINDSITES Claudia Jones Walk Led by Jacqui Charles with special guest Rudolph Walker OBE

Did you know that the first ever UK Carnival took place in St Pancras Town Hall, Euston (now the Camden Centre) in 1959, organised by the woman known as the Mother of Carnival, Claudia Jones. Founder of Britain’s 1st Black newspaper the West Indian Gazette. A charismatic speaker and brilliant organiser Claudia played a dazzling role in the anti-racist struggles of 1950s England.

The Mayor of Camden was joined by actor Rudolph Walker OBE on Sunday, for a walk around Camden celebrating the history of carnival.

The walk was the latest in the Hindsites series and honoured Claudia Jones, the equality and human rights campaigner who started the world famous Notting Hill Carnival.

Claudia was played by actress Jacqui Charles. She and Rudolph told the story of carnival and described the life of immigrants in the UK around the time of the first carnival, which was held in the Camden Centre in 1959.

Claudia Jones Walk
The walk took in the British Library, the old African Caribbean Organisation headquarters in Grays Inn Road, and the Camden Centre.

It ended with a reception at the Camden Centre, with some rum punch and Caribbean canapés.

Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jonathan Simpson, said:

“This walk was incredibly interesting, and the stories told by Rudolph Walker really brought to life what life was like for new immigrants to London in the 50s and 60s. I am proud that such a colourful and famous event as the Notting Hill Carnival started in Camden and has now grown to be one of the biggest annual events in the country. Claudia Jones was an inspiring woman and I’m sure everyone on the walk was as fascinated as I was to hear her story being told.”

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