London is fascinating place to visit. The enormous wealth of the old “Empire” is on display at every corner. The grand historical edifices of the past - the monuments, the palaces and gardens and famous names – are everywhere. The City’s Old World street layout, combined with its modern elaborate transportation system make it perfect for walking and exploring. Now all you need is a debit or credit card to swipe when you board the subway and buses. Not far from the swanky Kensington area in central London is Notting Hill, where the famous Notting Hill Carnival takes place in late July. The Tabernacle is an arts and entertainment venue located in Notting Hill. It includes a theatre, meeting rooms, music studio, art gallery, bar and kitchen, conservatory and a garden courtyard. It is run by the Carnival Village Trust (CVT) which manages two sites - The Tabernacle, and the YAA Centre in nearby Maida Vale. The CVT also the organizes Notting Hill Carnival.
On October 1-3 The Tabernacle hosted the 8thInternational Biennial Conference of the Carnival Arts. I presented a paper on Rhythm in Calypso and performed in the evening concerts. The following I got to sing with the stellar Tabernacle resident band of veteran musicians who play calypso jazz every Tuesday night.
Haroun Shah, along with his family, are staunch backers and participants
in the Notting Hill Carnival. He's also an award-winning scientist who has done ground-
breaking work. http://icons.niherst.gov.tt/icon/haroun-shah-tt4/
I spent a couple of days after sightseeing with Haroun and on Wednesday Alex D Great and
wife Wilhelmina took me out to the scenic Richmond Park, a nature reserve.
Alex & Wil Photo by R. Gibbs
On the morning of the final day of my visit, I had a breakfast meeting with Tony Thompson, a Bajan-Brit writer/researcher who heads up Sweet Patootee, a London-based documentary
production company, http://www.sweetpatootee.co.uk/about-us/
Later that afternoon I travelled to Reading – an hour drive west of London – to enjoy the warm hospitality of the “12th Parish of Barbados”.
L-R. Alex D Great. RG, Anne Fridal, Jeff Hinds, Haroun Shah Photo by Tyrone Roach.
Opera singer Anne Fridal came out from London and did a guest appearance, capturing the
audience’s heart with her unique operatic rendition of ‘Day Oh’.
Alex is a remarkably gifted composer, singer and musician who conducts calypso music
workshops in schools and various organizations across Greater London.
Jeffrey “De Admiral” Hinds, who runs a calypso tent each summer, organized and hosted an
evening concert at the Atrium Health Club. The restaurant
has some of the finest Bajan food
you could want.