As his 1982 book ‘NW1’ is reprinted, photographer David Bailey recalls the childhood trauma that inspired him to ditch It-girls for brick walls
Born in Leytonstone, east London, in 1938, David Bailey made his name photographing the most iconic figures of Sixties London, from Michael Caine to Twiggy. Among his celebrity portraits and fashion shoots, ‘NW1’, named after the postcode of the London neighbourhood it depicts, reveals another side to him.
I was six years old when London was bombed nightly by the Luftwaffe. The air raid shelter in the backyard was full of water; many were, some people kept ducks in them. My mother thought the next safest place to hide from the bombs was the coal cellar. I must have spent about four years in that coal cellar.
At the time I had repeated nightmares of buildings falling on top of me. I would wake up shouting, with my mother’s scary face and piercing...
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