Agenda item



For the David Bowie memorial update two local artists and a sculptor attended.


Andre Masters (trading as “All Handmade”) attended to offer his advice with respect to designing a David Bowie memorial. He was able to offer a design using a variety of mediums, including sculpture, illustration and design, 3D modelling and printing and computer graphics. His website is:


Dan Pearce (a local artist) also attended to offer his services; this would be likely to take the form of a wall mural.


The Group were informed that Beckenham Society were organising a David Bowie evening on April 19th. This was going to held at Zizzi’s in Beckenham High Street at 7.30pm. The cost of this was £25.00 per ticket, and included a meal and one drink. It was also noted that Mary Finnegan (former landlady and lover) would be attending. Posters would be displayed in a variety of locations, including the Beckenham Bookshop, where tickets were on sale.


The Chairman opened the meeting for members and guests to express any views or ideas that could be progressed with respect to a memorial for David Bowie. Mr Masters stated that David Bowie was a star, a world icon, and that it would be good to have a memorial in Beckenham as a tribute to his creative time here.  It would also help with regenerating the local area and economy. The Chairman asked Mr Masters if he was able to put forward ideas, designs and an estimate of costings. Mr Masters replied that this was variable, depending on what was required. It was also important to consider private sources of funding as well as public sources of funding.


The Chairman declared that LBB were keen to develop and progress with a memorial, as this would also be good for business in Beckenham. Mr Masters stated that it was difficult to define costs at this stage, but gave an estimate for a statute between £20k and £150k.


Mr Munnelly stated that the memorial did not have to take the form of a traditional vertical statute. Mr Masters explained that the memorial could take the form of a memorial in the floor, and that it could take the form of stylised artwork rather than traditional sculpture.


Nick Goy commented that David Bowie had kept his illness private, and questioned whether or not Mr Bowie would have wanted a shrine, as he did not want a public funeral.


Councillor Sarah Phillips provided the Working Group with some history of the local bandstand that had previously been used by David Bowie, and was keen to renovate the bandstand in some way as a memorial. Mr Goy expressed concerns around this in terms of ongoing maintenance costs and that other deceased celebrity place associations attracted tributes of cellophane bouquets of dying flowers, cards, memorabilia, candles/wax, graffiti and ‘souvenir’ theft and damage. Mr Masters suggested that a theme be developed to celebrate his life, with the possible development of the theme of “Star Man” in the sky.


Dan Pearce suggested that a large mural be painted on the side of a building. A sample design was passed around the Group.


A member suggested that Kelsey Square should be renamed “Bowie Place”, and another that “Shannon Way” should also be renamed as that was where his former home had stood. 


Councillor Phillips stated that she was also the Treasurer of The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground, and that their remit was focused on the park. She was keen to refurbish the bandstand, as this was well overdue. She mentioned that Bowie had previously used the bandstand during the Beckenham Arts Lab Growth Summer Festival in 1969. He performed on the bandstand at the free festival, wrote a song about that festival which ended up on his “Space Oddity” album, and wrote “Life on Mars” on the steps.


She mentioned that The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground had some money, but this was limited. They had applied for Heritage Lottery Funding, but the application had failed. They had raised £20k to date, and appeals for further restorative funding were ongoing. Further details could be found on their website at:


Ms Jean Appleton, MBE, wondered if a revised application for Heritage Lottery Funding would be successful. Hannah Sierp responded to this by stating that it would probably be worth reapplying, and to follow the guidance that was given on the previous application that had been rejected. She also expressed her enthusiasm for a David Bowie mural that would be positive and colourful, possibly based on a “Space Oddity” theme. The cost of this was estimated to be in the region of £2K to £3k. Some members of the working party thought that this was a bargain, and that work should commence as soon as possible.


Stephen Oliver suggested that in the region of Kelsey Square, Bowie themed coloured lights could be installed into footways, which would be particularly effective at night. 


Chloe-Jane Ross advised that the Town Centre Team (TCT) Alleyway Project nearing completion could not host a Bowie Mural. She advised that a Bowie mural had been considered by the TCT, and they came to the conclusion that installing in an alleyway would not be appropriate. Further, she advised that the most suitable places in the High Street were the Lidl forecourt, Sainsbury’s forecourt and outside Zizzi’s. 


The Chairman concluded the David Bowie item, by requesting that any suggestions for the nature of the memorial, murals, locations and name changes etc., be submitted to the Committee Clerk via email, and these would be considered at the next meeting. Once decisions had been made, the matter of funding could be investigated.


Chloe-Jane Ross offered TCT support in meeting with Andre and Dan to look at suitable sites for the Bowie Memorial.


The Chairman thanked Andre and Dan for attending the meeting, and for sharing their suggestions with the Group.