A Bowie Bust for Beckenham

A Bowie Bust for Beckenham

Italian architect and sculptor, Maria Primolan, is donating her latest sculpture, a life size bust of David Bowie, to Beckenham to help raise awareness and funds for the restoration of the bandstand in Croydon Road Recreation Ground.

At 2 pm on Saturday, August 12th, Maria will be on the bandstand, where she will be introduced to the many hundreds of fans attending the 5th Bowie themed concert, by the Mayor of Bromley, Kathy Bance.

The bust has been hand carved in lime wood and the face is that of the young Bowie who was living in Beckenham when his Hunky Dory album was released in 1971. This album, Maria’s favourite, was rehearsed in the nearby Azelia Hall.  On the album was Life on Mars – another of Maria’s favourite tracks – which Bowie had written on a lovely sunny summer’s day in 1971 seated on the bandstand steps.

In particular, Maria has asked the Mayor “to permanently expose this sculpture in a public area – either inside or outside – on Beckenham territory, in order to make it visible to people and visitors.”

Maria has requested  that “the sculpture must not be sold or given to others in the future: it is a gift I am giving to your community from my heart.“

The title of the sculpture is “GOODBYE MR BOWIE”.

For more information, please contact:

Maria: primolanmaria@gmail.com, site: www.mariaprimolan.it

Cliff Watkins: cliffwatkins61@gmail.com

Wendy Faulkner: bowiesbeckenhamoddity@gmail.com

Professional photo by Antonio Sandro Crisà https://it-it.facebook.com/antonio.s.crisa

Bowie at the V & A 2013

Victoria_&_Albert_Museum_Entrance,_London,_UK_-_Diliff

 

Between 23 March to 11 August 2013. The Victoria & Albert Museum staged the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie.

David Bowie was featured in  more than 300 objects that include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs and Bowie’s own instruments.

Because of the Beckenham connection, my wife and I attended the exhibition and were just ‘blown away’ by the extraordinary range of Bowie’s talents and his influence on so many fields other than popular music.

David Bowie Plaque

bowieplaque

 

Foxgrove Road was David’s first home in Beckenham in 1969 before he moved later that year to Haddon Hall, an Edwardian mansion in Southend Road, where he lived until 1973. 

With friends from Foxgrove Road, David founded a Folk Club in the Three Tuns in 1969. This developed into the Arts Lab which attracted all types of artistic talent from all over London.

The anthem to the 1960’s, Space Oddity, became a hit in 1969 and in 1972 David launched his career with the mega hit  Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

The plaque is not blue.  Blue plaques commemorate the departed.  This plaque is red (Ziggy Stardust’s hair) and gold (which glitters) in celebration of the living legend of Bowie and all those who performed in the Arts Lab and were with him during those Beckenham Years.

The plaque was unveiled by Mary Finnigan and Christina Ostrom at the Three Tuns, then called The Rat & Parrot, on December 6th, 2001.

Thanks are due to the family business of Ridgequest Foundry for the manufacture of the plaque which was funded and erected by the Copers Cope Area Residents Association (CCARA) and the Noble House Pub Company.  The plaque was designed by CCARA member Cliff Watkins who, with Paul Kinder of bowiewonderworld.com, organised the day’s events.

 Design:  Cliff Watkins

Manufacture:  Ridgequest Foundry

Paint:  Bolloms

 The Plaque was funded and erected by Beckenham’s Copers Cope Area Residents Association and Noble House Pub Company.

 

David Bowie

David Bowie – Memory of a Free Festival 2014
Following the success of the concert on 15th September last year (see here) planning is well advanced for a similar Free Festival to take place on Saturday 16th August 2014, exactly 45 years to the day after the Beckenham Free Festival on the bandstand at which David Bowie appeared in 1969.

Entry will cost £5 (under 10s go free) and all proceeds will once again go towards the restoration of the bandstand. Watch out for the latest news on facebook.com/beckenham.bowie and on http://www.becrec.net/.

Article in News Shopper

 

Memory of a free festival

David Bowie Concert 2016

Concert 05

Last Saturday, 13th August 2016, a thousand Bowie fans arrived in Croydon Road Recreation Ground in Beckenham from all over the World.  (Photo by Cliff Watkins)

They were in the park to enjoy the third concert to raise funds to restore the Bandstand made famous by David Bowie’s Free Festival  in 1969.  This year’s  giant gig  began at noon and the crowds were still in the park at 7 pm and well over £10,000 was raised towards the restoration of Bowie’s bandstand which ,we were told, needed £100k to restore.  Including the previous two concerts in 2013 and 2014, The ‘Friends of the Bandstand’ have now raised some £25k.

This year the fans refused to go home and were treated to an evocative rendering of vintage Bowie songs sang by his music colleagues who been with him on the bandstand in 1969.  This was followed by an auction of donated Bowie memorabilia and signed photos, and a message from Tony Visconti thanking Wendy Faulkner for organising the event.

Meanwhile, cash strapped Bromley Council has just launched a Crowd Funding appeal for funds.

Here is some video of the 2016 event filmed by Cliff Watkins.