Restoration of Beckenham Bowie bandstand
Our Edwardian bandstand, where David Bowie famously performed, needs urgent restoration. Help us ensure this iconic landmark is a fitting living tribute to his legacy as a musician and ‘Beckenham boy’
We will sympathetically restore the structure to protect its intricate detail and Edwardian craftsmanship. The surroundings will be re-landscaped to provide a more aesthetically pleasing environment, practical for hosting entertainment. Our bandstand is the last identifiable one of its type and has been the venue for many musical performances, including one of Beckenham’s most famous residents. Bowie played on the bandstand at the 1969 Beckenham Free Festival in the park, which he organised with The Beckenham Arts Laboratory. The steps of the bandstand were also where he began writing his ‘Life on Mars’ epic. Once restored the platform will host a range of cultural events & may even be a site where future music legends cut their teeth! The Friends Of Croydon Road Rec, Memory of a Free Festival, London Borough of Bromley and The Landscape Group are working together on this project. We need YOUR help to save this wonderful feature, a much-loved local gem desperately needing TLC.
What we’ll deliver:
- Holistically restore the bandstand according to original architectural design, including:
- removal of all visible non-original fixtures and fittings; specialist survey to identify original paint colours
- cleaning, re-welding, repainting to bring back original ironwork detailing including new gate
- repair of cracked steps, flooring and brickwork
- roof works including a new water-tight liquid roofing system
- The project will also include aesthetically improving the area immediately around the bandstand through:
- removal of the current railings to allow people to get up close and explore the bandstand
- new sympathetic planting to add colour and interest; ornate knee rail to demarcate the area, but still allow access
- circular natural stone brick pathway which enables a flat surface for temporary staging & increased performance space
- All backers will be invited to attend the public launch event.
Why it’s a great idea:
The bandstand is loved by many. If we don’t save it soon, its musical heritage could be lost.Since 1905 the bandstand has been a focal point. With the sad news of David Bowie’s passing, the bandstand became a memorial where fans left messages to express their affection. In respect and recognition of his unique talent, we hope the bandstand will become a fitting and enduring tribute to his memory. Once finished, the area will have a renewed vigour and exciting future. The fit-for-purpose performance space will offer a variety of entertainment opportunities – traditional & modern – including music, theatre, dance and arts. Through the Bowie legacy, the bandstand and local area will inspire and capture the imagination of the next generation of artists. It will allow existing & new audiences to discover and appreciate the indelible link to the musical legend who heavily influenced popular culture. Play your part in cementing its future & connection to the incredible superstar.
Steps to get it done:
- Appoint specialist contractors who will carry out the restoration project over 4 months
- Continue raising awareness of bandstand’s importance on local, regional, national & international level
- Organise tours for people to see the restoration work in progress
- Organise a public launch event
- Organise a programme of events for the first season following restoration
We have already secured £35,000, but still need £93,072 to realise our vision. The crowdfunding campaign will be divided into two phases. Phase 1 (£47,152) will enable us to fund all the important preparatory work for the restoration, plus the works to the roof and painting. Phase 2 (£45,920) will focus on completing the remaining restoration works, plus the re-landscaping. If the contingency and inflation sums are not needed during delivery we will put these sums towards purchasing interpretation panels; a custom-made freestanding frame to rig lighting for performances; an accessible ramp and temporary staging to increase performance space. Visit www.bromley.gov.uk/bowiebandstand How can you help? • Pledge funds -every penny counts! •Buy a personalised brick on the LB Bromley website www.bromley.gov.uk/bowiebandstand •Share our project with your friends, family, colleagues & neighbours! •Become a Friend of the Park www.becrec.net/