A planning application to undertake restoration and repair works to the Grade II listed Edwardian bandstand at Croydon Road Recreation Ground has been submitted.

Plans for the restoration works to the bandstand where David Bowie famously performed, which are sympathetic to the heritage of the bandstand and facilitate its future use as a community facility, are moving ahead.  The news follows confirmation that £250,000 of funding has been secured from a variety of supporters, including the Council and grant funders, with support from idverde, the Council’s parks management contractor.

Councillor Aisha Cuthbert, Executive Councillor for Sustainability, Green Services and Open Spaces said, “We are hopeful that we may soon be able to move ahead with this project.  A massive thank you to everyone who has supported this project, including the crucial financial support.  The Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity fundraising concert events have been amazing and a big thank you to them and the Friends of the Park as well as everyone who has bought a Bandstand Brick.  Thank you also to the Heritage of London Trust for their grant funding.”

Chris Phillips, Chair of the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground said “The interest in the Bandstand has understandably been sustained for many years and has received global attention and it is the work and support of so many that has enabled this exciting project to get to this point.  The Recreation Ground has something for everyone. and is a hub of activity for young and old. If you would like to get involved and show your support, please join the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground who can be contacted via our excellent website”

Dr Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust said “The bandstand is not only a key piece of musical heritage for South London but also a very fine and delicate example of a bandstand, we are thrilled to help preserve it for future generations of fans and Londoners. It is a pleasure to work with Bromley Council and contribute to what has so far been an impressively led community effort. We look forward to the next stage of the project.”

The planning application seeks permission to refurbish all areas of the bandstand including its intricate ironwork and the perimeter fencing, plus restore the original colour scheme of dark brown and buff. 

The plans also include improved landscaping to the bandstand, featuring the Bandstand Brick pathway formed of personalised bricks purchased by individuals, families, groups or organisations and businesses. Improvements to the roof material will aid the dispersal of rainwater, with the inclusion of sympathetic rainwater goods. Security measures, including lighting, which could also be used for performances, have also been included within the application.

Consultation is now underway as part of the planning process, with technical surveys and updated drawings having been developed in conjunction with stakeholders by Purcell, the appointed conservation architect.

Purcell and their contractors have carried out a number of surveys on the bandstand to inform their proposals, including one to assess the current condition of the structure. They have also commissioned a paint historian to identify the original paint colours used.

Built by McCallum & Hope Ltd of Glasgow, the elegant Edwardian bandstand, ​believed to be installed in 1905, has been the venue for many musical performances. One of Beckenham’s most famous residents, David Bowie played at the bandstand at Growth Summer Festival in 1969 which was organised by the musician himself and The Beckenham Arts Laboratory. This has led to the bandstand being known locally by some as the ‘Bowie Bandstand’.

Following the outcome of the planning application and a successful tendering process, it is envisaged that restoration work will commence early 2023 and be complete by the Summer.  The bandstand will remain closed whilst these works are undertaken. For further information people can visit www.bromley.gov.uk/bowiebandstand. To find out more about becoming a Friend of the Park visit; www.becrec.net


Notes to Editors: 

  • The planning reference number for the application is 22/02953/FULL1 for planning permission and 22/02954/LBC for Listed Building Consent
  • The bandstand was listed in August 2019 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England, 50 years after David Bowie performed at the Growth Summer Festival. 
  • Funding for the project has been secured from a variety of sources including over £80,000 of community fundraising, £80,000 from Bromley Council and £10,000 from the Heritage of London Trust
  • Heritage of London Trust (HOLT) is London’s independent heritage charity helping restore historic buildings and monuments across the city. It has been spearheading restoration projects for over 40 years and has helped preserve over 700 heritage sites that the public can now enjoy.
  • Information on purchasing a Bandstand Brick visit www.bromley.gov.uk/parks-open-spaces/bowie-bandstand-restoration-appeal
  • To find out about the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground visit www.becrec.net
  • There is another Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity event being held on Saturday 13th August 2022.
  • For more information on Purcell visit www.purcelluk.com

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Head of Public Affairs, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk

Published: 11th August 2022