"The idea for a book on the East End formed sometime in the 1980s. The London Docks had already closed down or were starting to. I chose to shoot mainly in the districts of Silvertown and Canning Town. I have over the years spent many weekends shooting whatever took my fancy. The other two times I had bursts of photographic energy in the East End were in the 1960s and from about 2004 to 2010. These were my three key periods to draw pictures from, instead of just trolling through the last fifty years of archives. In the late 1940s and early 1950s I heard a quote on the radio, Go west, young man. At the time I didn't give it much thought. Later I assumed it was from America and that it went back to the middle of the nineteenth century, when Americas west coast was opening up to great wealth and opportunities. The cockneys should have listened, but they didnt. They went east like their ancestors before them. The ones that moved east out of Old Nichol went to Whitechapel, then on to Stepney and Bow, then to what is now called Newham and later to Barking, Dagenham and onto Essex." David Bailey
Born in London in 1938, David Bailey is a self-taught photographer of celebrities and the first, along with Terence Donovan, to capture and create the swinging scene of London in the 60s. Having served with the Royal Air Force in 1957 he became a photographic assistant at the John French studio in 1959 and started to associate with celebrated figures in high fashion, music, politics, art and film.
Bailey is also known for producing books and album sleeve art, and directing commercials and documentaries. Goodbye Baby and Amen is the comprehensive record of his work and is well known alongside David Bailey’s Box of Pin-ups, David Bailey’s Rock and Roll Heroes and David Bailey, Archive One 1957-1969.