150 years of Portobello and Golborne Markets

150 years of Portobello and Golborne Markets

Portobello and Golborne Road Market are not only celebrating Love Your Local Market but 150 years of trading as a market, started by nuns selling milk and potatoes from Portobello Farm.

Now recognised as one of London’s iconic market, the celebrations will be marked with monthly themes reflecting its rich history. To mark the anniversary there is a special 150-year edition of the Notting Hill Shopping Bag.   Visitors to the markets can win a bag if they tweet a photograph with the hashtag #pogo150 that reflects that month’s theme, which started in  with fashion reflecting the fact that over the years many famous fashion names have a connection with the area such as Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Cath Kidston.

Following February’s fashion theme, the spotlight was on books and literature for March and music for April.  Other themes include arts and culture in June, community in July, Carnival in August and antiques in November.

Portobello Market

Portobello Market


Over the past three years of Love Your Local Market, Portobello and Golborne have celebrated with us in style.  In 2013 the launch for LYLM was held outside The Electric Cinema in the Portobello Road, where we met traders both new and old, some as many as fourth generation having worked on the market.  In 2013-2014 the markets took responsibility for 10% of the campaign’s target to attract 3,000 new businesses into the markets industry across the country, by offering 300 subsidised pitches.  In celebration of their 150 years as a market, the focus is on the hidden side of the markets, with staff conduction guided shopping tours, entitled:

  • Brilliant Bargains
  • Fabulous Fashions
  • Extraordinary Edibles
  • Awesome Antiques

To find out more or book a place go to Eventbrite

Small Business Saturday are joining in the fun

On Saturday May 16th the National Association of British Market Authorities came to Portobello Market with Small Business Saturday to celebrate Love Your Local Market fortnight and 150 years of Portobello and Golborne Markets.

Small business experts and entrepreneurs a lead a workshop, entitled the ‘Inspire Series’, open to existing and aspiring small businesses and entrepreneurs.  One of the key elements of the day was to encourage traders to sign up this year to become one of the Small Biz 100 and you can find out more about why you should and what it entails in our interview with Michelle Ovens, National Campaign Director for Small Business Saturday UK.

In the 1860s Portobello Road was a simple country lane where farmers sold their produce to local people. All that changed in 1864 with the opening of the Metropolitan Railway Notting Hill station – now known as Ladbroke Grove Station. It transformed the area and bringing new customers to the local farmers.

Portobello and Golborne Road Market further expanded in the 1920s, with discharged soldiers and sailors from World War I seeking to earn a living by trading throughout the week. Spanish immigrants fleeing the civil war in their country added to the area’s diversity in the 1930s, by which time second hand clothes, shoes and ornament stalls had joined the traditional fruit, vegetables, salad, meat, fish and flowers. Portuguese people settled in the area after the Second World War, with several specialist shops still trading in Golborne Road.

Antiques started to appear in the 1940s and 50s when Islington’s Caledonian market closed and traders needed to find a new home. Most antique stalls are open only on Saturday, which has always been the market’s busiest day.

The 1940s and 50s also saw the arrival of Caribbean immigrants who came in response to post-war labour shortages.

The market kicked off the celebrations on Monday 23 February with the focus of the month firmly on vintage fashion, Speaking at the launch the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Mayor Cllr Maighread Condon-Simmonds said:  “We are delighted to celebrate Portobello and Golborne Road Market’s 150th year. It has evolved over the years from stalls selling milk, fresh fruit and vegetables to second hand clothes, fashion, literature, antiques, street food and leisure goods.”

“We’re looking forward to next 150 years’ trading and to ensure it is on a sound footing going forward the Council has invested in the area including adding new market pitches and improving the public realm. Our markets team work with traders and local suppliers to promote Road Food events to showcase the importance of food to the market and we are working with our local schools to introduce the next generation of traders.”

The market has also featured in films such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), Notting Hill (1999), and Paddington Bear (2014), as well as many television programmes, popular songs and literary works. Each has sparked the curiosity of a new generation of visitors and traders.