Bandstand where David Bowie once performed crowned

A much-loved bandstand where David Bowie once performed has been reunited with its crown after restoration works.

Works on the Croydon Road Recreation Ground bandstand in Beckenham included gilding applied to the crown, with new pieces being carefully welded to the original crown to repair the damage caused by more than 100 years of wear to the Grade II listed Edwardian bandstand.  

Heritage of London Trust offered additional grant funding to finance the work being carried out by specialists AF Starr Limited.

The £245,000 improvement project for the bandstand included refurbishing all areas, maintaining the original Edwardian colour scheme of dark brown, landscaping improvements, a brick pathway, rainwater dispersal materials added to the roof, new bandstand signage and upgraded lighting that can be used for performances.

The £245,000 improvement project included upgraded lighting that can be used for performances (Picture: Bromley council)

Built by McCallum and Hope Ltd of Glasgow, work on the bandstand is due to be completed this spring 2024.  

The bandstand is believed to have been installed in 1905 and is a rare example of intricate ironwork with the execution of its pattern work and casting believed to be the only remaining example in Britain. 

It holds a historic association with former resident David Bowie, who played at the bandstand at the Summer Growth Festival in 1969. The bandstand was listed in 2019, on the advice of Historic England.

Funding for the project has been secured from a variety of sources including over £100,000 of community fundraising, £80,000 from Bromley council and more than £12,000 from Heritage of London Trust. 

The bandstand was listed in 2019, on the advice of Historic England (Picture: Bromley council)

Councillor Will Rowlands, executive councillor for environment, said: “This exciting work is beginning to take shape for all to see, which has only happened with the support of so many. 

“I’d like to sincerely thank Heritage of London Trust for their support and additional grant as well as their original monies.  

“Thank you and congratulations should also go to Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity and other Bowie fans who are supporting this work, along with the many community fundraisers, and all of those who have bought a bandstand brick and of course the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground.”

Plans were developed in conjunction with stakeholders and Purcell Architecture Limited, the appointed conservation consultant.

Pictured top: Workers restore the bandstand with its crown (Picture: Bromley council)

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