A concert marking the successful restoration of the much-loved Grade II listed bandstand in Croydon Road Recreation Ground has taken place.

The £245k improvement project for the Grade II listed Edwardian bandstand in Beckenham, where David Bowie famously performed, saw the refurbishing all areas of the bandstand, including its intricate ironwork and perimeter fencing. The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Heritage of London Trust, Bowie fans and local residents were present when the Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Dr David Jefferys, formally opened the bandstand on Friday.

Chris Phillips, Chairman of the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground, said: “We have finally done it! It has truly been a collaborative journey, with thanks to so many, including Friends who supported this in years gone by. There is always much to do in a park setting and I warmly encourage local people to join our group, which will help us make even more progress, with support in all its forms most welcome.”

The Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Dr David Jefferys commented: “We need to pay tribute to an amazing band of supporters, including the performers at the concert. The successful completion of the renewal work for the bandstand has been a long-term vision of so many, including crucially the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground and of course Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity and other Bowie fans who supported with fundraising concerts. Thank you to our grant funders, including to the Heritage of London Trust for their support and grant funding. Thank you so much as well to all those who purchased a brick to support this work and to those who supported the many fundraising events. Finally, thank you to our contractors, including AF Starr, Purcell and Idverde.”

Dr Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust commented: “We are so delighted that this piece of London’s heritage has been restored for future generations to enjoy. Like many historic buildings across the city, this has wonderful stories associated with it and it has brought pleasure to Londoners for decades. It is fantastic to have had such community support and we’ve been delighted to have been able to help. We would like to extend our own thanks to our supporters Knight Frank who made our grant possible.”

As part of the work, the crown on the bandstand was repaired, with gilding applied, and new pieces being carefully welded to the original crown to repair the damage caused by over 100 years of wear. Heritage of London Trust are particularly thanked for their additional grant funding in support of this, which allowed for the crown – corona – to be gilded, with the work being carried out by specialists AF Starr Limited.

The original Edwardian colour scheme of dark brown and buff was used for the restoration. Landscaping improvements include a brick pathway of personalised bricks, which supporters purchased as part of the fundraising initiative. Rainwater dispersal materials have been added to the roof, with upgraded lighting, which can be used for performances also part of the works, as well as new bandstand signage. Local young people from the Proud Places programme came on site to visit the project underway.

Built by McCallum and Hope Ltd of Glasgow, the bandstand is believed to be installed in 1905 and 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 a 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 over £12,000 from Heritage of London Trust. Plans were developed in conjunction with Purcell Architecture Limited, the appointed conservation consultant.

The bandstand will also feature in the London Festival of Architecture next month, where residents can enjoy a free showcase of the restoration process as part of a wide programme of events taking place across the borough. Find out more.


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 £12,840 from Heritage of London Trust. Heritage of London Trust (HOLT) is London’s independent heritage charity working to restore historic buildings and monuments across the city. It has been spearheading restoration projects for over 40 years and has helped preserve over 800 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 aims to develop young people’s pride in where they live. Young people visited the Bowie Bandstand while works were taking place.
  • To find out more about the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground visit the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground website for more information including becoming a member.


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

Published: 17th May 2024