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  1. ITV Report

Notting Hill Carnival: Allyson Williams creates the famous costumes

There are few people more dedicated to the Notting Hill Carnival than Allyson Williams. Her late husband was one of its founders and she hasn't missed a carnival for 44 years. In that time she's sewed and stitched thousands of colourful costumes to help give the carnival its colourful vibe. And she told us how, with a little help from her daughter, she's still going strong.

My name is Allyson Williams and I've been coming to the Notting Hill Carnival for the last 44 years.

I'm one of the founding members of Genesis Mas Band and I make, literally make, all the costumes that have ever been presented on the road for Genesis over the last 40 years.

The word 'Mas' is a shortened version of the word masquerade which means performing and celebrating in public.

The first year that I participated in the carnival was 1975 and we started our own costume band in 1980.

The inspiration for our costumes were historical themes - the history in the world. And so most of our themes were historical. Each year the band is definitely based on a particular theme.

We have made as few as 100 costumes for a particular carnival up to 400 or 500. I've learnt from my daughter who is an amazing designer and her work is really good and easy to interpret.

Working with my mum has been quite fun actually. My mum understands my concepts and she's able to interpret my work.

So that makes it easier for me to trust her with the sewing and making of the costumes.

I'm the boss! But she's the boss! So there's two bosses!

– Symone Williams, daughter of Allyson Williams

I think the Notting Hill Carnival is great because because it's a representation of our culture. Our way of celebrating and it goes far back into our history and legacy.

My message is to come along and have a look at the wonderful creativity and help participate and celebrate with us.