According to the ‘Notting Hill Interzone’ issue of International Times from 1968, ‘in Powis Square in the 1920s the first black members of the community settled’ amongst the existing multi-ethnic mix of Russian and Polish Jews, Irish and British migrants from ‘depressed areas':
‘People who made their names folk myths; eccentrics, madmen, political radicals, poets and artists; Chicago Kate (who lived in Basing Road), the Englisher (a British born Jew), the Presser (the quiet communist theoretician), Schmooser, the best dancer in Notting Hill. Stallholders in Portobello Road for generations, many of them still represented; Rosie, an Irish woman who kept a vegetable stall and who spoke fluent Yiddish.’
September 1940-January 1941 At the beginning of the battle of Britain as the Luftwaffe concentrated on the East End docks, west London escaped comparatively unscathed. However, before Hitler postponed his invasion plans there were around 50 bomb fatalities in the Notting Hill area. High explosive bombs fell on Powis Square and All Saints Road.
June After D-Day came ‘the doodlebug summer’ of the V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket ‘robot plane’ attacks. June 19 The first V1 to hit Notting Hill killed 20 people along Westbourne Park Road in Clydesdale Road and Mews, on the site of the obviously post-war housing block at the end of All Saints Road.
This was the highest single incident death toll of the war in North Kensington.