The Women Behind Notting Hill Carnival

Meet the team that make Carnival happen

By Notting Hill Carnival

Mia MaugèNotting Hill Carnival

Mia Maugé

What is it like working behind the scenes of Carnival?

"It's a privilege and an honour. Carnival is so precious to me, and it's a joy to work with a team that consists of people who are equally passionate about Carnival and its significance to our community. Of course, it can be intense, and we sometimes work really long hours"

Tamzyn FrenchNotting Hill Carnival

"...but it is so worth it. We get to carry on a tradition that our parents brought to this country... we get to take advice and guidance from our elders who were there at Carnival's inception and fuse that with today's technology and today's modern day expectations of Carnival."

Mia MaugèNotting Hill Carnival

"We carry a legacy, and keeping that legacy intact for the next generation. In short I love my job!"

Mia MaugèNotting Hill Carnival

What's your favourite memory of Carnival?

"There are so many memories! To narrow it down is difficult. My childhood memories from the 70s of playing mas with my dad and his friends, or proudly following a truck that my dad was playing the drums on"

Mia MaugèNotting Hill Carnival

"or taking my children to their first Carnival, both have only missed one since they were born (they are 21 and 23 now), or simply watching my children enjoying Carnival in the same way I did when I was in my 20s." 

Mia MaugèNotting Hill Carnival

"All of this and of course my own  experiences of just freeing up myself and owning the street in unity with my fellow Carnivalists. There is nothing like it!"

Mia MaugèNotting Hill Carnival

Name a woman who inspires you and why?

"Merle Major. Merle is credited with saving Carnival in 1972. There was no leadership in place that year, and with continued calls from the authorities to axe Carnival, it looked as if it wouldn't happen."

"With no infrastructure in place and no funding, Merle was determined to keep the tradition going and decided to take charge. The Pan Am North Stars from Trinidad happened to be touring in Britain. "

Notting Hill Carnival (2011)Notting Hill Carnival

"They were one of the best steelbands in Trinidad at the time, and as such would have been superstars to a Caribbean community in London missing home."

"Merle managed to hire them just in time, and they brought excitement and energy when they 'made a rounds', bringing Trinidad to the streets of Notting Hill as the only band on the road that year"

Sterling Betancourt by UnknownNotting Hill Carnival

"Merle Major passed away some time ago, but she is very well respected and her contribution to NHC is hugely valued by the generation of local people who knew her"

Notting Hill Carnival (2013)Notting Hill Carnival

"her determination and tenacity, and her desire to selflessly continue the tradition of Carnival inspires me to work hard and do right by Notting Hill Carnival in my job today."

Notting Hill Carnival (2013)Notting Hill Carnival

Anthea HudsonNotting Hill Carnival

Anthea Hudson

What is it like working behind the scenes of Carnival?

"I love it. I think for me, loving carnival and the culture as much as I do all roads really needed to lead here lol. It's a place where you don't watch the clock because everyone that is involved in the team has that same want, the same end goal."

"Which makes the “challenging times” less stressful as they could be.


There are so many of us that come from different backgrounds and skill sets but the same love for the work and I think that's what's cool about it all."

Anthea HudsonNotting Hill Carnival

"It's work of course but really it's a chance to be a part of history to come and when you see it like that it definitely makes all the difficult times worthwhile."

NHC teamNotting Hill Carnival

What's your favourite memory of Carnival?

"I have sooo many! but my favourite memory of carnival was in 1997 (i think!)  I was 7 years old and I played mas (wore costume) with Ebony on carnival Sunday as fancy sailors with all my cousins and family. "

Notting Hill Carnival (2019)Notting Hill Carnival

"My nan had made our costumes and we all left her home in white city together and walked over to the carnival. I just remember feeling really happy to be taking part with all my cousins  and everyone taking pictures. I literally remember it like it was yesterday."


Ebony Steelband at Notting Hill Carnival in the 80's (1988/1988) by Mr LesNotting Hill Carnival

Name a woman who inspires you and why?

My sisters Amenti & Pattrina

World Steelband Festival in 2000 (2000/2000) by UnknwonNotting Hill Carnival

"Pattrina absolutely cares about the community and the wellbeing of the families and children inside of it, constantly raising the bar and creating new ways to help especially during lockdown.I think it's her hardworking and focused trait that inspires me"

Notting Hill Carnival (2019)Notting Hill Carnival

"Amenti is passionate about people and their health but more from a holistic standpoint. She is self employed and has a big family but still finds the time to help others through their own trauma and mental health. I think her capacity for kindness for others is boundless."

Elimu (2013)Notting Hill Carnival

Tara HobsonNotting Hill Carnival

Tara Hobson

"I love working with the team at Notting Hill Carnival, as cliche as it sounds, no day is the same! It's a privilege working on such an iconic event of such cultural importance."

"We are a small and dedicated team, it's certainly not a 9 - 5 job but it's incredibly rewarding being part of the team that helps to deliver the UK's largest event."

"Highlights for me have been meeting the incredible artists and Pioneers such as Carl Gabriel and Sonny Blacks. Not just for the artistry but for the glimpse into history with the stories they have to tell."

Tara HobsonNotting Hill Carnival

What's your favourite memory of Carnival?

"My favorite memory, if not a little fuzzy now, is my very first Carnival in 1988, I was blown away by the costumes, food, and in particular at the time the sound systems. Carnival is everything wonderful about London in one place."

Tara HobsonNotting Hill Carnival

Name a woman who inspires you and why?

"The woman who inspires me is of course my Mum! Always has my back, loves me to the moon and back even when I infuriate her! "

Tara HobsonNotting Hill Carnival

"This past year has been tough and I just can't wait until we can all get back to a Carnival on the streets of West London and spend time with family and friends."

Tara HobsonNotting Hill Carnival

Naomi FitzsimmonsNotting Hill Carnival

Naomi Fitzsimmons

What is it like working behind the scenes of Carnival?

"Working behind the scenes of Carnival is always exciting and varied. I get to work on loads of different types of projects - from filming and creating content, helping with operational planning and working with our strategic partners"

"to supporting and working with the local community, carnivalists and participants. Being part of a small team is great as well as it means we get involved in all areas of planning in a hands on way and support each other throughout the year." 


Naomi FitzsimmonsNotting Hill Carnival

What's your favourite memory of Carnival?

"My favourite memory of Carnival would probably be filming last year's digital Carnival Notting Hill Carnival Access All Areas."

"Although I really missed the on the road event, having just been in lock down for months and with loads of other events being cancelled it was so exciting to be out working with bands again to reimagine Carnival in this way."

Notting Hill Carnival (2019)Notting Hill Carnival

"It was also great filming in all the iconic venues across London (Royal Albert Hall and Abbey Road) and then watching all the amazing performances across Carnival weekend."

Name a woman who inspires you and why?

"my mum - for her patience"

Naomi FitzsimmonsNotting Hill Carnival

Kiana WilliamsNotting Hill Carnival

Kiana Williams

What is it like working behind the scenes of Carnival?

"Working behind the scenes of Carnival is a full time job, which surprises a lot of people. Throughout the year there are relationships to nurture and plans to put in place with the bands, sound systems and our strategic partners."

"The lead up to Carnival is super busy, but Panorama and Carnival weekend is a three day rush of adrenaline. Organising Notting Hill Carnival requires collaborative work with the carnival community, and the development of new and meaningful partnerships; "

"I love that aspect of my job so I consider myself to be very lucky."

Kiana WilliamsNotting Hill Carnival

What's your favourite memory of Carnival?

"I live within the footprint of Carnival, so I have many fond memories of Carnival, and the magic it brings to the area and it's community. I don't have one favoured memory, but since working for Notting Hill Carnival Ltd..."

"I have a moment or a feeling (usually while watching the final practice before Panorama) of total awe and gratitude to be a small part of such an important and monumental event."

Kiana WilliamsNotting Hill Carnival

Name a woman who inspires you and why?

"My friend Cydney Phillip inspires me because of her tenacity and imagination. Cydney working on her PhD, whilst also curating and managing an amazing childrens programme that provides free access to the creative arts."

Kiana WilliamsNotting Hill Carnival

"In addition to this, she is the designer for Mangrove Junior Mas, and in 2019 placed first for Fun Fantasy. Everything that Cydney puts her mind to is met with passion and integrity and that's why she is always brilliant. "


Kiana WilliamsNotting Hill Carnival

NHC teamNotting Hill Carnival

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

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