Notting Hill Carnival: Revellers hold minute's silence to honour Grenfell Tower fire victims

Members of local community bow heads in solemn reflection to remember the at least 80 people who died

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Sunday 27 August 2017 16:26
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Minute's silence for Grenfell victims held at Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival fell silent in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Revellers bowed their heads in quiet reflection to honour the at least 80 people who died in June's devastating blaze.

Set against a backdrop of blue sky and blazing sunshine, floats lining Ladbroke Grove lowered their sound systems as onlookers remembered the dead.

The moment was concluded with a spontaneous round of applause and cheers from the hundreds of thousands celebrating over the bank holiday weekend.

Elsewhere, firefighters on Westbourne Avenue led the silence, with onlookers concluding the act of remembrance with applauds for their efforts on the night and shouts of "justice for Grenfell."

Nicholas Burton, a 19th floor resident of the tower, said the carnival meant "everything" to those that survived.

"This is what the community is all about. Notting Hill Carnival has been going on since before I was born and it's built up layers and layers and layers of importance as it's gone," he said.

But he warned deep divisions still remain between Kensington council and the local community.

"This has left 150 families without homes, but if this was a Japanese tsunami (the council) would be in real trouble," he said.

"I'm an optimist so I'm always hopeful, but the time it's taken - 10 weeks to home 150 families in the borough - that's awful."

Hundreds of people dressed in green T-shirts, scarves and accessories lined the surrounding pavements, with "Green For Grenfell" signs dotted along the official parade route.

The colour had been chosen by local primary school children to commemorate the disaster alongside the celebratory multi-national flags that pay tribute to Notting Hill's diverse community.

Earlier in the day, survivors of the fire released dozens of white doves as community leaders urged attendees to "come in the spirit of peace".

The opening address saw faith leaders take part in the “small act of remembrance” to mark the tragedy, one of many efforts to put those who died at the centre of the celebrations.

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