Bowie Bandstand Historic England Release

Here is the wording of the press release from Historic England regarding the granting of listed status on the bandstand.

Bowie Bandstand, Croydon Road Recreation Ground

Overview
Heritage Category: Listed Building
Grade: II
List Entry Number: 1465007
Date first listed: 08-Aug-2019
Statutory Address: Croydon Road, Beckenham, London, BR3 3PR

Location

Statutory Address: Croydon Road, Beckenham, London, BR3 3PR

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:Greater London Authority

District:Bromley (London Borough)

Parish:Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference:TQ3680469000

Summary

Bandstand. Erected in 1905 to the design of the McCallum and Hope Iron Foundry, Glasgow.

Reasons for Designation

The Bowie Bandstand, erected in 1905 at Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham, by the McCallum and Hope Iron Foundry, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a rare and substantial example of cast-iron work by the McCallum and Hope Iron Foundry, Glasgow, and the only bandstand by this foundry known to survive in Britain; * for the high quality of the design and the execution of the cast-iron work and casting, which survives well;

Historic interest:

* for its historic association with David Bowie, one of the most influential musicians of the C20, who played, compered and co-organised the Growth Summer Festival at the bandstand during his rise to fame in 1969; arguably the first festival in England of its kind, and immortalised by his song “Memory of a Free Festival” on “the ecstasy that swept that afternoon”.

History

The first bandstands in England were built in the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens, Kensington, London, which opened in 1861. They were designed by Captain Francis Fowke of the Royal Engineers (best known as architect of the Royal Albert Hall) as circular structures with domed roofs supported on cast-iron columns. Captain Fowke may have seen a similar pavilion displayed at the Paris Industrial Exhibition in May 1855 when he was working in the city. Bandstands provided a focus for music, serving as the venue for regular concerts, and became widespread by the end of the C19. Some manufacturers, such as Walter Macfarlane of Glasgow, provided catalogues from which a choice of bandstand designs could be chosen.

Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham, was purchased by the Beckenham Local Board and laid out by Reid and Bornemann of Sydenham in 1890. It formally opened on 23 September 1891 following a local campaign to secure public open space. On 30 January 1905 Beckenham Urban District Council commissioned a surveyor to obtain designs and prices for two bandstands after examining 25 designs from 16 contractors. On 6 May a sub-committee recommended the award of the tender for the two bandstands costing £135 each to the McCallum and Hope Iron Foundry provided that the work was executed within 10 weeks. The foundry was based at the Ruchill Iron Works, Glasgow, where the firm also produced gates, railings, rainwater goods, and ironwork for porches and glasshouses. The second bandstand was erected in Alexandra Park, Penge, but no longer survives. The Beckenham example is now the only bandstand from the foundry surviving in Britain according to a recent gazetteer (Rabbitts 2018). It is illustrated in a 1909 advertisement for the firm.

Croydon Road Recreation Ground has hosted celebrations for coronations, jubilees, hospital fetes, Empire days, May Queen festivals, as well as commemoration services to servicemen of the First and Second World War and formerly a major annual flower show (once rivalling Chelsea). In 1902 Britain’s first public air mail balloon left the park, dropping post at three points in Kent before crossing the Channel and landing near Calais. Three years later, Harold Bride, a radio operator on the Titanic, was carried round the park and spoke from the bandstand after surviving the disaster. In 1935 the Mayor of London presented Beckenham with a Charter of Incorporation as a borough within the grounds.

The musician David Bowie (1947-2016) had several associations with Beckenham and the bandstand. Born in Brixton, he moved to Plaistow Grove, Bromley, with his family at the age of eight and went to Burnt Ash Primary School and then Bromley Technical High School (now Ravens Wood School). In April 1969 he began lodging on Foxgrove Road, Beckenham, with Mary Finnigan, his landlady, and subsequently lover and co-founder of the Beckenham Arts Lab. During this particular year spent in Beckenham Bowie continued to advance rapidly on a musical level, working very hard at perfecting and improving his natural talent for writing songs and, working with the other musicians of the Arts Lab played at the Three Tuns (now (2019) Zizzi on Beckenham High Street). The Arts Lab (with Bowie’s close involvement) subsequently organised the Growth Summer Festival, a free one-day festival playing from the Beckenham bandstand on 16 August 1969, which has been described as ‘the first of its kind in the UK’ (Goddard 2019, 92). According to Finnigan, the intention was to set a similar kind of free agenda for artists and musicians as seen at Woodstock. The Beckenham festival followed the release of Bowie’s first ever hit single Space Oddity in July that previous month. One of Bowie’s signature tunes the song told the tale of an abandoned astronaut, Major Tom, marooned in space. It was released in the same year as the first Moon landing and is thought to have been one of the songs Bowie performed that day on the Beckenham bandstand. Although Space Oddity is considered by many to be about the Moon landing Bowie himself said it wasn’t. He explained the song – and Major Tom – as a metaphor for our sense of isolation after having seen and been amazed by Stanley Kubrick’s epic mystery 2001: A Space Odyssey several times on its release in 1968, the year before the Moon landing. The Beckenham festival clearly had an impact on Bowie as it inspired him to write a song about “the ecstasy that swept that afternoon” – ‘Memory of a Free Festival’; a long seven-minute closing piece for his second self-titled album recorded in September 1969 which was later released in 1970 as a carefully re-worked two-part single in homage to the festival. It has been suggested that Bowie may also have penned the lyrics to the song Life on Mars from the steps of the bandstand (May, 2017). In 2013, a new commemorative Memory of a Free Festival was held on the bandstand to raise money for its restoration. It was repeated in 2014 before being replaced by a new event called ‘Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity’ since 2016. The bandstand has now become known as the ‘Bowie Bandstand’ (London Borough of Bromley, 2019).

The bow fencing around the bandstand is thought to be a replacement of 1990. It is not of special architectural and historic interest, and is excluded from the listing.

Details

Bandstand. Erected in 1905 to the design of the McCallum and Hope Iron Foundry, Glasgow.

MATERIALS: a cast-iron structure on a brick and granolithic concrete plinth with a timber felt-covered roof.

DESCRIPTION: an octagonal bandstand with eight slender cast-iron columns standing on a brick and granolithic concrete plinth approached by steps. Between the columns is a cast-iron railing decorated with ornamental foliage work. Between the railings there are fluted columns but above it are plain columns with Corinthian capitals. The columns support decorative cast-iron brackets and elaborate fretwork beneath the roof. The bandstand has a felt-covered tented roof crowned by an open cupola enriched with scroll and leaf decoration and other ornamental pattern work, which is surmounted by a finial. The roof has an iron structural frame and a ribbed and boarded ceiling.

Sources

Books and journals
Conway, H, Public Parks, (1996)
Finnigan, M, Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab, (2016)
Rabbitts, P, Bandstands: Pavilions for music, entertainment and leisure, (2018)
Websites
London Borough of Bromley: Bowie Bandstand, accessed 10 April 2019 from https://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200073/parks_and_open_spaces/1076/bowie_bandstand_restoration_appeal
The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground: History of the park, accessed 10 April 2019 from http://www.turnipnet.com/becrec/history.htm
The Scottish Ironwork Foundation database: London Beckenham bandstand, accessed 10 April 2019 from https://ironworks.scran.ac.uk/database/record.php?usi=000-002-000-262-C&scache=1irdgf8mb6&searchdb=ironworks_scran
Other
Goddard, S, ‘The Starman Cometh’ in Record Collector, Issue 490 (March 2019), 84-91
May, L, ‘Nine David Bowie landmarks in Bromley every fan can visit in just over an hour’ in Bromley Times (4 August 2017). Available online at https://www.bromleytimes.co.uk/news/nine-david-bowie-landmarks-in-bromley-every-fan-can-visit-in-just-over-an-hour-1-5135589
Personal Communication, Brian Blandford: historical information on the bandstand (June 2019)

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed building is shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.

End of official listing

 

David Bowie Festival 2018

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY is an annual fundraiser, supported by David Bowie when he provided signed items for auction at the event.

Money raised goes to the Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund.

More below…

 

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY/BANDSTAND DAY 2018
Saturday, 11th August – 12 noon to 8.30pm
Croydon Road Recreation Centre, Beckenham, BR3 3PR

“Someone passed some bliss among the crowd…”

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity continues…..

 

Tickets: http://bowiesbeckenhamoddity.com/tickets
Email: bowiesbeckenhamoddity@gmail.com
Mobile: 07538 984631

 

David Bowie Festival 2019

Maybe I should announce it? Should I?…”

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity is an annual fundraiser, supported by David Bowie when he provided signed items for auction at the event.

This year the Bowie Archive has donated another item signed by him, more details of which will follow before the festival in August.

Money raised goes to the Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund. Meanwhile here’s the press release from Wendy Faulkner, with ticket links, etc…

More below…

“Oh, to capture just one drop of all the ecstasy that swept that afternoon”

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity Celebrates…

The 50th Anniversary of The Growth Summer Festival of 1969

Music lovers and fans worldwide will again be invited to come together in Beckenham, South London on Saturday 17th August to celebrate:

DAVID BOWIE★ THE GROWTH SUMMER FESTIVAL OF 1969,★ THE SPIDERS FROM MARS, ★ THE ARTS LAB and beyond…

The fourth Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity will take place at Croydon Road Recreation Ground, centred around the same iconic bandstand where Bowie and his friends from the Beckenham Arts Lab held their Growth Summer Festival and Free Concert back in 1969. The festival coincided with the release of Bowie’s first hit single, Space Oddity, and the day was later immortalised with another song, Memory of a Free Festival.

This year’s event kicks off at noon and we’re pleased to announce the return of some of the Growth Festival line up, reuniting for the first time in 50 years. These include Keith Christmas, Bridget St John, David Cousins (The Strawbs), Amory Kane and Bill Liesegang.

The event will also see the return of Maggi Ronson and her band. The full line up will be available on the Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity Facebook page shortly.

We also have the pleasure of announcing that Kevin Cann and Phil Lancaster will be at this year’s Oddity. They will be signing copies of their books; Any Day Now and At the Birth of Bowie – Life with the Man who Became a Legend.

Other attractions on the day will include food and drink by local vendors, memorabilia stalls, face painting, kids’ rides, raffle and of course the auction of Bowie related items (including a signed David Bowie item kindly donated by davidbowie.com /David Bowie Archives.)

Tickets:
£15 adults, although we have a limited amount of Early Bird tickets priced at £10 *available online only*
£5 for ages 10 to 16, , under 10’s go free!

Tickets are available online in advance from:
https://www.wegottickets.com/sct/uhqqwyAj2K

Tickets will also be available at the gate on the day of the event.

Just over £71,000 has been raised via the Festival, brick sales and donations, the H.L.F (Heritage Lottery Fund) grant application failed for the second time and because of that the council has put in £83,000 into the bandstand fund. The restoration cost is at present £191,000, so we’re not that far away from the work being started now.

Fans can also support the event via the personalised brick sales, which will be laid in their name (or a loved one etc) around the bandstand on its restoration. They can also donate to the Bowie Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund, that will honour not only David Bowie, but everyone that took part in the initial 1969 festival.

https://www.bromley.gov.uk/…/bowie_bandstand_restoration_ap…

B.B.O. Organiser Wendy Faulkner

“We are so close now to reaching our target to finally be able to get this iconic bandstand restored and this is down to the Bowie fans worldwide uniting and getting this done! Beckenham has never been on the main Bowie related map of places to visit – let’s hope that changes when the bandstand’s finally restored!

I hope to continue with the Festival but when the work on the bandstand has been completed, we can move on to raising funds for other Bowie related projects etc., only time will tell.
A massive thank you to everyone that has supported the Festivals to date. To quote a certain Bowie song lyric – I bless you madly.

I’d like to give a special mention to Vernon Dewhurst and thank him for kindly allowing us to use his iconic Space Oddity album image of David Bowie for this year’s event. and of course to Mark Adams, davidbowie.com, Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey for all their support”

“To paint that love upon a white balloon”

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity is supported by the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground, idverde, Bromley Parks and the London Borough of Bromley, who have named the bandstand The Bowie Bandstand in his honour. For further information go here: Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity

Photograph by Vernon Dewhurst.

 

 

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

David Bowie Festival 2017

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY is an annual fundraiser, supported by David Bowie when he provided signed items for auction at the event.

This year the Bowie Archive has donated another item signed by him, more details of which will follow before the festival in August.

Money raised goes to the Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund.

More below…

flyer image 1

 

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY/BANDSTAND DAY 2017
Saturday, 12th August – 12 noon to 8pm
Croydon Road Recreation Centre, Beckenham, BR3 3PR

“Someone passed some bliss among the crowd…”

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity continues…..

In 1969 a young curly haired man who went by the name of David Bowie co-organised a festival at Croydon Road Recreation Ground, South London. He even later went on to immortalise that day in his song ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’, which also appeared on his Space Oddity album. Bowie fans worldwide – join us in celebrating the life and musical legacy of David Bowie, The Growth Summer Festival of 1969, The Arts Lab, The Spiders From Mars and beyond….

Our celebratory day promises to be better than ever with food and drink, market stalls, merchandise, face painting plus a Bowie themed raffle and auction. This year’s festival kicks off at midday. Our line-up will be announced shortly, so watch this space: http://smarturl.it/BowieBandStand

Tickets are £10 (under 10’s free) and all money raised will go to the Bandstand Restoration and Plaque Fund.

At last year’s event Bowie fans united from around the world and helped raise over £17,250 for the project. The Edwardian bandstand in Beckenham (now named the Bowie Bandstand), will always be the ideal place to honour his memory (especially in the Beckenham/Bromley area), as well as being an important part of local history.

This is the first Festival anniversary year without Bowie. In 2016 we were all shocked by the news of his death as for many of us he was the soundtrack to our lives. His musical legacy continues and will gain new generations of fans around the globe for many years to come. The Oddity event organiser, Wendy Faulkner, had this to say:

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“Aylesbury will soon have a Bowie statue as a lasting tribute to the great man, Brixton also has its mural. And so we need the Bowie Bandstand in Beckenham fully restored in his honour and for all the other musicians that performed at that original event of 1969.

Bowie will always be loved and sadly missed by millions of people worldwide, so let’s get this bandstand restored!”

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Tickets: http://smarturl.it/BowieBandStand
Email: bowiesbeckenhamoddity@gmail.com
Mobile: 07538 984631

The event is supported by London Borough of Bromley Council and sponsored by Lollipop Events

“We’re gonna have a party…”

David Bowie Festival 2013

MEMORY OF A FREE FESTIVAL

“…The Sun machine is Coming Down, and we’re Gonna Have a Party…” 

Bowie It raineth 01

CELEBRATING DAVID BOWIE AND THE BECKENHAM ARTS LAB.

Sunday afternoon in the park in the residential south London town of Beckenham may not conjure up visions of youthful exuberance and rock music – but on Sunday September 15th, 2013  in Croydon Road Recreation Ground hundreds of people enjoyed typical Glastonbury style rain to celebrate David Bowie – Beckenham’s most famous former resident, the legacy of the Arts Laboratory he co-founded, and the sensational Free Festival that he and Arts Lab members staged on the Bandstand in the park in 1969.

The Festival was “free” as the modest entry fee of £5 plus donations were collected to raise funds to restore the historic bandstand which:

  • was opened in 1891 by Beckenham’s recently celebrated Tom Thornton
  • 21 years later, was used by Beckenham’s Harold Bride – the hero of the Titanic – to address cheering crowds in the park.
  • and for most of the 20th Century, witnessed civic and royal ceremonies, balloon flights and flower shows which rivalled Chelsea in popularity.

Today in an age of austerity there are not council funds to pay for repairs and it was left to Natasha Ryzhova, a Bowie fan from Russia, to galvanise the Friends of Croydon Road Rec into action. In her room in Moscow, Natasha kept a copy of the iconic photo of the young curly headed Bowie on her wall. When she moved to Beckenham a few years ago, she was surprised and delighted to find that, virtually on her doorstep, was Bowie’s bandstand; but aghast at its condition. So she persuaded the Friends to stage an event similar to the original Free Festival.

Members of the Arts Lab some 40 years ago were encouraged to do their own thing and this ethos underlined the 2013 event. As well Bowie classics created and performed during  Bowie’s five years in Beckenham from 1969 to 1973, the seven groups taking part (some 70 musicians in total) played much of their own original music.

All the performers  quoted David Bowie as their inspiration to take up music and they played for free. As a result over £900 was raised to repair the roof on the bandstand.

The 2013 Free Festival provided over 3 hours of live music from 3 to 6.30 pm. The performers taking part included:

The Thin White Duke a Bowie tribute group which played 5 Bowie numbers including Life on Mars and Space Oddity – both of which have links to the band stand.

Bill Liesegang  Bowie’ s own tribute to the 1969 event song – Memory of a Free Festival

Amory Kane who flew in from the USA to reprise some of the songs he performed in the 1969 Free festival.

Others taking part were  Raf and O, Keval, Low Rent Tractors, Scott Fuller and John Aldington.

Have a look at the picture gallery here

and some video here

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.

 

This is an excerpt from the unveiling of the David Bowie Plaque unveiling video. The original video includes interviews with various figures from The Arts Lab days.

Video ©2001 EditPoint  www.editpoint.co.uk.

Bowie Plaque Day, 6th December 2001. Report on Paul Kinder’s Website 7.12.2001

Yesterday 6th December 2001, Beckenham celebrated their famous former resident DAVID BOWIE with a plaque hung at The Rat & Parrot (formerly The Three Tuns) to celebrate and recognise David’s involvement in their town with The Arts Laboratory he co-founded at the pub.

Some people like to arrive fashionably late, we arrived an unfashionable 4 hours late! And unfortunately missed the unveiling, Steve Harley’s performance and at least 8 pints necking down time. Motorway traffic was horrendous, and chauffeur for the day poor Stephen K drove for a record 7 hours non stop. The journey should of been 4 hours at the most but having arrived in Beckenham via the scenic route we unfortunately didn’t arrive until gone 2 o’clock. Aren’t traffic jams wonderful?

I felt worse for the DJ Craig (aka Tony Day), he’s probably Steve Harley’s biggest fan and sadly missed it all. Craig got his set up, set up in record time and started spinning his discs and doing his thing. He did a grand job. As a special thank you to Craig I had a word with Kevin Cann and explained the situation and he kindly promised he’d sort him out next time Steve performs and get some autographed items. Thanks Kevin 🙂

Pictured here (courtesy of Total Blam Blam and Eddie Harris) are Mary Finnigan and Christina Ostrom who unveiled the plaque, with Mary giving her speech followed by recollections from Christina.

Stephen Roberts says he just watched the the video footage he shot through the day and the evening. There were loads of police there because they were training some new police officers in crowd control, so there were about 10-14 of them. This started a rumour that David was going to turn up which in turn brought more crowds.

Everyone I spoke to said Steve Harley gave a great 30 minutes along with his brilliant guitarist Robbie Gladwell. He performed classics such as ‘Judy Teen’, ‘Sebastian’, ‘Star For A Week’, ‘Mr Soft’ and ‘Make Me Smile’ (Come Up And See Me).

Stephen Roberts performed one song with his acoustic guitar, which went down really well. After speaking with sore-throated Stephen today I get the feeling he’s got some of the old taste back for performing. Go for it son!

Mark Carr Pritchett brought along his Hagstrom 12-string acoustic guitar that formerly belonged to David. Comment from someone in the crowd: “I can’t believe that’s THE actual guitar!”

Paul Henderson and Rob Storm both played great sets and went down really well. How on earth they’ve got the bottle to perform live in front of 150 or so hardcore Bowie fans is beyond me. I think it just goes to show how good they actually are.

Seven piece band Little Wonder performed a great tight set, playing a bag full of Bowie songs. The sound of 7 musicians playing in a very small venue was overwhelmingly wonderful. They sounded absolutely brilliant. For me ‘Scary Monsters’ did it – brilliant! Then to top it all, the encore at the end, Paul and Rob joined in with the band and got the crowd going ape.

A lot of the credit for the excellent sound with all the musicians goes to all the sound engineers. Brilliant job done guys.

Band member Craig from Little Wonder said: “U lot rock! What a great crowd in Beckenham! Thanks to everyone who came – we had a great time. Good to meet everyone. Faces to names and all that.You all know far too much about Bowie, far too much about the songs, and I think you’re all mad as hat stands, but to use the cliche… you certainly know how to party. I know the band loved it, as did all of the other acts. Thanks for a great night.”

The auctions and raffle went down rather well. Big thanks you to everyone who bought tickets and bid on items. All the money raised goes directly to the childrens charity. You’re a generous lot 🙂 All in all, with the collection boxes, raffle, auctions, barstaff charity events, and with the forthcoming DB and Visconti signed photos to be auctioned online – we estimate it will easily reach a thousand pounds raised for the childrens charity 🙂

Apart from this amount there is also the donations to be added from the forthcoming “photo packs” as well as donations from every video sold by Brett. If you saw the photos behind the bar on the large white board, which later raised over £50 each in the auction, these will be part of the special limited edition ‘Three Tuns’ photo pack along with recently written contributions from people who were directly involved in the Arts Lab, will be available to order. Proceeds from the ‘packs’ are to help raise money for the Chernobyl Children Life Line Charity of which Stephen is heavily involved with. Exclusively written contributions from David Bowie, Mary Finnigan, Ken ‘Wild Man’ Simmons, Stephen Roberts, The Diary of Steve Hippy, Mark Carr Pritchett, as well as extracts and information about The Arts Lab taken from various sources. Watch this space for full details in the next few days.

The video shot by Brett Allen to produce a professional record of the daytime events. Brett captured people recalling their own memories of the Arts Lab days. Along with this, Brett is to film various places relating to David Bowie in the Beckenham and Bromley areas. Brett has very kindly offered to donate money to the children’s charity on each video sold. Again, watch this space for full details in the next few days.

Landlord Alan and Tammy did a absolutely marvellous job of pulling all this together. Their generosity in ‘sponsoring’ the children’s charity before and after the event helping raise money is more than we ever wished to hope for. Many thanks from us all.

A big thank you to the barstaff who did an absolutely wonderful job. Dressed in their Bowie T-shirts and Aladdin Sane lightning bolts across the faces, they collected money and sold raffle tickets above and beyond the call of duty.

I emailed David this morning and sent him the above photograph of the plaque. I’m sure he won’t mind me informing everyone that he responded immediately with the comment: “It’s so swishy.” I think you can safely take from that he’s well chuffed about it.

On behalf of everyone involved in this event I would like to personally send a huge thank you to everyone on behalf of the Chernobyl Children Life Line charity who contributed, helped, donated, sung, sang, played, attended, supported, gave money, gave time, gave effort, wrote, reported, filmed, drove friends, travelled, gave encouragement and signed stuff – it was an absolutely marvellous event and fingers crossed it will renamed back to The Three Tuns and turned into an annual event.

 

A big thank you also goes out to Matthew Fisher who made The Three Tuns a subject of national importance when he nominated its inclusion in the BBC History Magazine Domesday project. *

 

Last but not least, on behalf of all David Bowie fans everywhere the biggest thank you goes to Mr. Cliff Watkins of the CCARA, who has spent the last six months organising this whole overall event, including a video made by Brett Allen. We Bowie fans salute you… you did the boy proud!

Rednik.

7th December 2001.

BW MB Profile…

 

*  In the March 2001 of the BBC HISTORY magazine  the winners for their ‘new Domesday Book for the new Millennium’ were featured. In second place was the The Rat and Parrot Pub (aka The Three Tuns), Beckenham, Kent. Nominated by Mr. Matthew Fisher.

This was the venue for Sunday evening meetings of David Bowie’s ‘Beckenham Arts Lab’ in 1969 – an informal gathering of musicians and artists. In the face of local opposition, The Three Tuns was renamed The Rat and Parrot in 1995 and is now part of a chain of similarly branded pubs. The judges were enthused by this nomination and its importance for the history of popular culture, unrecorded at present. It also highlighted the familiar issue of changes to historic pub names. CDW , although the brewery tell us it is not inconceivable that the pub could one day be renamed The Three Tuns. ‘What’s in a name? A lot when you look into it,’

 

 

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/.

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Memory of a free festival