Arts and Entertainment

David Bowie – A close friend of Beckenham

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Shrine to David Bowie. Image: Astrid Hald

The sad news of David Bowie’s death yesterday morning has travelled around the world, as people mourn the loss of an artist regarded by many as one of the biggest musical geniuses of our time.

One of the places where Bowie had a significant influence is Beckenham in the South-eastern London Borough of Bromley.

In 1969, Bowie moved into landlady Mary Finnigan’s house and founded the Beckenham Arts Club at the nearby Three Tunns pub, where he began to host weekly shows.

Bowie also arranged Beckenham Free Festival at Croydon Road Recreation Ground, on the 16th of August, 1969. Together with other musicians such as Bridget St John, Keith Christmas and Toni Visconti, he played at the band stand.

Those memories are still present to many Beckenham locals.

Since yesterday morning Bowie fans have been congregating, putting flowers on the band stand at Croydon Road Recreation Ground and outside the site of the Three Tuns on Beckenham High Street, where a plaque to Bowie hangs on the wall.

Beckenham citizen Kay Dutton brought a bouquet of tulips and a handwritten letter to place outside the Three Tuns.

She said: We kind of felt that he was ours and that we had to share him with the world.’

You can listen to the full interview here:

David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’, is one of the songs that means a lot to her.

James, another Beckenham local, remembers 30 years as a dedicated Bowie fan.

One of James’ favourite Bowie songs is ‘Lazarus’ from the new album Blackstar, that was released the 8th of January.

A couple of hundred meters from Beckenham High Street in Croydon Road Recreation Ground, a group of people has gathered to remember their shared hero at the band stand, where he played in 1969.

Margaret is among them.

 

 

 

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