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Legendary photographer David Bailey returned to Newham today to launch his latest showcase.

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The eagerly awaited ‘East End’ exhibition is made up of previously unseen pictures of the borough’s streets through the 1960s, 80s and recent years.

Opening at Compressor House at the Royal Docks on Friday, it will be free for Newham people showing proof of residence.

“I think it will be good for the kids,” David said. “Newham does have a reputation but then everywhere has a bad reputation.

“I don’t have a favourite collection, but I liked showing the changes because change is good.”

He added: “I’m glad it’s free for Newham residents - it should be free for people to come and see it.”

The exhibition has been funded by Newham Council, which was approached by David Bailey when he was looking for a venue to stage his work.

The 60s collection features unpublished pictures of the Krays, and images from inside East End pubs and clubs. In the 80s, David returned to the docks to record it before most of it was levelled off for redevelopment.

And most recently, he captured Stratford and all its changes as the area prepares for the Olympic Games.

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said David’s return to the borough showed how Newham was capable of attracting the best talent.

He added: “These kinds of exhibitions are usually in Greenwich Village or New York and nobody would know about it.

“If 20 or 30 kids are inspired and go on to make a life out of it then we’ve achieved. There are so many things going on here and we just keep plugging away.”

The exhibition will be open from 11am to 7pm Tuesday to Sunday, and late night until 9.30pm Thursday and Friday. Entry costs £6 (£4 for concessions) for non-Newham residents.

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