Nicky Haslam on the life of the glamorous conman who burst onto the Chelsea scene in his vast Bentley convertible in the Sixties
In July, at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Clapham, Michael George Kimberly Caborn-Waterfield, known to a near-forgotten generation as ‘Dandy Kim’ – adventurer, charmer, trickster, self-created myth and myth-creator – was commemorated in a memorial service attended by friends, enemies, creditors, flashy former crooks and Kray fag-ends, old lags and loving young family members. Kim made his spiritual exit in the same flamboyant manner he played out his whole life: publicly – except when constrained from doing so by several stretches in jail.
Kim first presented himself to an astonished Chelsea Set in the early 1960s: opulently tanned, white polo-necked, caramel suede-jacketed, he would be seen driving a vast pale Bentley convertible along the King’s Road. The car had the earliest mobile telephone, the size of a suitcase and a radio call-sign: ‘HEIRESS’.
It was an alluring signal. Rich girls and actress/models fed up with skinny unwashed aristocrats flocked to the glamour boy. Kim soon lured one, a tycoon’s daughter, to Gretna, but was swiftly put off the union with ‘a considerable sum’ by her panicked papa..
Full article in the November issue, on sale 12th October.