Thursday 19 July 2018

Notting Hill falls silent in memory of Grenfell

Paint-covered revellers take part in the opening parade of the Notting Hill carnival in London. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Paint-covered revellers take part in the opening parade of the Notting Hill carnival in London. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Laura Smith

London's famous Notting Hill Carnival fell silent in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire yesterday.

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

Set against a backdrop of blue sky and sunshine, floats cut off their sound systems as onlookers remembered the dead at the flat complex just a few hundred metres from the carnival.

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

Firefighters led the silence, with onlookers concluding the act of remembrance with applause 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.

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.

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".

Irish Independent

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