Restoration works on the much loved and historic Croydon Road Recreation Ground Bandstand is getting underway.

The £220k project includes refurbishing all areas of the bandstand, including its intricate ironwork and perimeter fencing, and will restore the original colour scheme of dark brown and buff. The plans also include landscaping improvements, a brick pathway of personalised bricks, rainwater dispersal materials added to the roof, new bandstand signage, and upgraded lighting that can be used for performances.

Councillor Aisha Cuthbert, Executive Councillor for Environment said, “I am delighted to see the restoration works of this historic venue move ahead.  A massive thank you to all who have contributed towards funding this, including all our grant funders.  A special thank you to our Friends of Bec Rec who have long had this vision to restore the bandstand, as well as memory of a free festival, the many community fundraisers, and all of those who have bought a bandstand brick.”

Dr Nicola Stacey, Heritage of London Trust says “We’re thrilled that work is now starting. The bandstand is a wonderful part of Bromley’s heritage and has already captured the imaginations of over 50 local children in our Proud Places programme who have been along to visit. We’ll all look forward to seeing progress over the next months.”

Chris Phillips, Chairman of the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground says “After our ten-year campaign to raise awareness of the significance of this unique Grade II listed bandstand, I am absolutely delighted with the news. I am grateful to the wide range of people who have contributed time and money to help fundraise for the project, and to idverde and Bromley council. We still have other plans to improve our park and would be delighted to hear from local residents who may want to join our Friends group in support as well.”

Restoration specialists A.F.Starr Limited have been awarded the contract to restore the Grade II listed Edwardian bandstand, where David Bowie famously performed, with the news also following recent planning approval and listed building consent at the council’s Plans Sub-Committee No.4.

Tony Starr, Project Leader from AF Starr Limited said “It is a privilege to be involved in this exciting project, to restore the historic bandstand and provide it with a sustainable future. Whilst we have worked on conservation projects around south-east London, there is something special about being involved in such an important project that is a vital part of the heritage of the local community but also is known on a global stage too.”

Built by McCallum and Hope Ltd of Glasgow, the bandstand, believed to be installed in 1905 is a rare example of intricate iron work, notable for the quality of its design, with the execution of its pattern work and casting believed to be the only remaining example in Britain. It holds an historic association with local resident David Bowie, who played at the bandstand in 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 £100k of community fundraising, £80,000 from the London Borough of Bromley and £10,000 from the Heritage of London Trust. Plans were developed in conjunction with stakeholders and Purcell Architecture Limited, the appointed conservation consultant.

In conjunction with this, the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground has been awarded funds from the Platinum Jubilee Parks Fund to replace outdated signage for the park. The signage will look to improve accessibility and identify multiple recreational activities on offer such as mini tennis, basketball and bowling. These signs will also pinpoint park users to other forms of leisure activities, such as the bowls club, quieter points of gathering, as well as looking to advertise other recreational activities beneficial for health (e.g. walking trails), including special events that the Bandstand will host once works are complete.

It is envisaged that the works will commence at the beginning of July 2023 and be completed this winter. The bandstand will remain closed whilst these works are undertaken.

Further information on Beckenham bandstand.


Editors Notes

  • The Bandstand was listed in August 2019 by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England, 50 years after David Bowie performed at the Summer Growth Festival.
  • Funding for the project has been secured from a variety of sources including over £100,000 of community fundraising which includes fundraising festivals organised by Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity, £80,000 from Bromley Council and £10,000 from the Heritage of London Trust.
  • The Heritage of London Trust is London’s independent 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.
  • Proud Places is a London-wide youth engagement programme run by Heritage of London Trust (HOLT) which delivers heritage visits and creative workshops to young people. The programme aims to develop young people’s pride and curiosity about where they live. The programme is funded by the Jones Day Foundation.
  • Further information on purchasing a bandstand brick
  • To find out more about the visit Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground website for more information including becoming a member.
  • Visit Purcell's website; for more information.


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Published: 13th July 2023