Portobello Road is London’ s most iconic street and a unique place to live and visit. Despite the waves of gentrification, soaring rents and the recent arrival of High Street chains, its Bohemian, anarchic, creative spirit still survives. Julian Mash, a former bookseller at the famous Travel Bookshop, meets the traders and shopkeepers, film-makers and fashionistas, punks, promoters and poets who make Portobello what it is. From his encounters with famous residents like Damon Albarn and life-long market traders like Peter Cain there emerges a vivid and sometimes surprising picture of one of Britain’ s most famous neighbourhoods.
This fascinatingly illustrated book explores how Portobello Road has been at the centre of trends as diverse as racial integration, health food, vintage fashion, the property boom and the life and death of record shops.
Julian Mash graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing in 2011. He spent much of his twenties running a record label and playing in a band before becoming a bookseller. He has lived and worked in and around Portobello Road for the last ten years, half of which was spent working at the Travel Bookshop, a local institution and the inspiration for the bookshop in the film Notting Hill. He is currently manager of the Idler Academy and literary events manager for End of the Road Festival. He was a recipient of a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction in 2013.