John Bailey is looking for families he photographed from 1980-1995

John Bailey, who was police officer for the Metropolitan and Buckinghamshire Police Force is looking for people he photographed during the late 80s through to 1995 at his studio in the town Centre.

By Thomas Bamford
Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 10:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 10:37 am
John Bailey is looking for families he photographed from 1980-1995
John Bailey is looking for families he photographed from 1980-1995

John, who is 85 years old has long since retired has amassed a huge collection of wedding portraits, people portraits amongst other photographs he snapped during his time as a photographer in Aylesbury.

He now is looking for their owners!

John started his career in the 50s, as a police officer in the Metropolitan Police Force.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

He later moved to Buckinghamshire Constabulary, which preceded the amalgamation of several police forces to form the modern day Thames Valley Police.

He worked the beat in Linslade, stationed in Wing Road between 1956 and 1959, where he became familiar with the countryside and surrounding areas.

After a stint on the beat, John combined his hobby for photography with his job, and became the official police photographer.

John Bailey said: “I was very interested in photography, camera clubs and that sort of thing when I was in the Met. I got my own camera and I was away!

“I formed a camera club in Bucks, I was president of the local club.In my spare time I studied at college and took my associate ship with the Royal Photographic Society, then moved across full time to the scenes of crime department in fingerprints, photography and forensics. Sometimes we did explosives.

“In 1956 I transferred to Bucks on the beat and In 1959 I went into the photography department at Buckinghamshire Constabulary. I photographed murders, bodies in the mortuary - anywhere where there was bodies.

After he finished in the police force after 26 years, he took up his great passion full time.

“I had a room in Aylesbury in the old bowling club, Jardines which has now been demolished - right in the centre of town. I did weddings every weekend and portraits then I thought well, I’ve got all these displays I had in my studio and I’d love to find the owners. It would be a huge shame to put them in a dustbin, they look great and I’d love for people to have them up in their own houses.”

During his time in the force John covered many high profile cases including the infamous Great Train Robbery, where he photographed all the evidence including a huge stash of money and did the prison mugshots of all the famous robbers, including the notorious Ronnie Biggs.

Bailey, who then worked in the fledgling field of forensics was one of the first officers on the scene, as he was called out in the middle of the night to photograph the proceeds of the heist and to take fingerprints.

He was the man behind the camera at the scene of countless crimes in a 26-year-career and eventually had his life story published in ‘photocop’.

John added: “I’ve got a huge backlog of photographs I’ve taken from people from Aylesbury from across the years, and I think it would be nice to see those returned to their owners, or at least family members.

“I’ve got everything from wedding photos, to portraits, to pictures of their dogs - I’d really like to see them returned to their owners.

“They might provoke some special memories because of the images they contain.

““we’re talking about a long time ago from about 1980 to 1995 was when all these photographs were taken - so if you had photos taken by me I’d love to get in touch.

“I don’t want money for them, I just want people to enjoy these photographs. That the best part of photography is seeing people happy with the results.”

If you think that John has snapped you or a family member over the years, please email thom[email protected] to arrange a viewing.