Beckenham Remembers Bowie

Beckenham residents and fans from across the world are celebrating the life of David Bowie, who died on Sunday following an 18-month battle with liver cancer.

Born in Brixton, Bowie moved to Beckenham in 1969, which journalist and former lover Mary Finnigan attributed to his success of his career in her biography of the singer and alternative arts centre Beckenham Arts Lab Psychedelic Suburbia, published last week.

Bowie moved into Finnigan’s Beckenham flat after she overheard him playing at a neighbour’s house. Finnigan’s dining room was converted into a music space, and the pair went on to establish a folk club in the town and organise a music festival.

The newly renovated Beckenham bandstand, where Bowie performed in 1969, has become an impromptu shrine, with fans flocking to the site in Croydon Road Recreational Ground, to lay flowers and other tributes to him.

Bromley Council has pledged “redouble” efforts to make the bandstand a “fitting and enduring tribute” to Bowie.

Flowers are also being placed outside the Zizzi Italian restaurant on Beckenham High Street, which was once the site of The Three Tuns pub, home to Bowie and Finnigan’s folk club and where Bowie began to make a name for himself playing live, performing early versions of breakthrough hit Space Oddity.

A plaque on the site marks his Bowie’s Beckenham years, but locals have called on Bromley Council for a mural and statue in the town to honour his memory.

Do you have any memories of David Bowie from his early days in Beckenham?

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