• Behind the Blue Lamp


A police station and Section House at Notting Hill for then T Division was erected in 1854 at a cost of £1,425 at ‪69 Ladbroke Road, on land leased for 50 years. The building boasted a reserve room, library, charge room, mess, four cells, two WCs, a urinal and ‘pits for dung and dust’.

When the current station at ‪101 Ladbroke Road was opened in 1906, the former police station was converted into married quarters and was used as such from 1907 until 1939.

Kensington and Notting Hill were amalgamated into the Kensington sub-division of F division on 20 August 1939.

Since 1959 Notting Hill has been the scene of the annual the Notting Hill Carnival, intended by Claudia Jones as a positive celebration of black culture. This event gradually increased in size to become the largest regular public order commitment for the Metropolitan Police, attracting over one million people to the streets of Notting Hill on the last Sunday and Monday of each August. Rioting after the 1976 carnival saw police officers trying to protect themselves with dustbin lids, prior to the introduction of public order shields and protective uniform and equipment.

Greater control over the static sound systems, street trading, close-down times and alcohol sales have gradually made the event more manageable and attractive to sponsors. Public safety and street crime remain important issues in terms of policing the event, so that exuberant enjoyment can take place, but with some ability to control things when the need arises.

The scale of the event has long since been taken over by the Metropolitan Police as a whole rather than managed by the local Division.

Information taken from the new book BEHIND THE BLUE LAMP. Click here to learn more.

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© 2020 ADAM WOOD.
Book content ©Mango Books.