Londoners sleeping in the Underground during a German bombing raid, 1940. Bombs were dropped on London nightly from August 1940 - May 1941. One million London houses were destroyed and more than 40,000 civilians were killed.
When German bombers struck London on 29 December 1940 it was the 114th night of the Blitz. As searchlights lit up the sky searching for enemy aircraft, the Daily Mail’s chief photographer Herbert Mason was on top of the roof of his newspaper’s building off Fleet Street. German bombs destroyed hundreds of buildings that night and thick black smoke filled the air. Mason wanted to get a clear shot of St Paul’s and waited hours for the smoke to clear sufficiently. Then the wind picked up just enough for Mason to take what would become one of the most iconic shots of the Blitz.
Boy George & Marilyn photographed by
Derek Ridgers, 1980.
There was a time Boy George didn’t wear frocks and jewellery. Just a pretty kimono. This was how he looked nearly four years ago. Alongside him is his pal Marilyn. Behind them is the house in Couburton Street, central London which they shared with fellow squatters. Marilyn remembers the squat fondly. “ I discovered the amazing clubs in London and realised there were other freaky people like me. It was George O'Dowd and me against everybody else, going to parties and seeing who could look the prettiest.” Both have come a long way and gone their separate ways, since those days, Yet their steps aren’t that for apart.
It is really surreal to think about London getting bombed. You are always aware of it, with the tell tell patterns of new builds among semis built in the 30s and the shrapnel marks on some old buildings, but to think of bombs raining on London is so far removed from what “real life” feels like.