Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3PR

Croydon Road Recreation Ground is situated in the London Borough of Bromley adjacent to Beckenham Hospital (The Beacon).

The park is one of the most popular facilities in the borough for outdoor events ranging from May Queen pageants and charity fetes to firework displays and funfairs. The recreation ground boasts scenic views with a bandstand, landscaped gardens, football pitches with changing accomodation, a childrens' paddling pool and enclosed play area, a cafe, tennis courts, and basketball/netball facilities. There is also a thriving bowls club with immaculate greens.

Entrances to the recreation ground can be found on Croydon Road and Village Way, Beckenham.

On-street parking is available in Croydon Road and Village Way and a multi-storey car park is available above Sainsbury's store close to the High Street.

The official opening/closing times can be found on our Facilities page

View a map of our location

You can join The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground by following this link
You will receive newsletters about our events and updates about our fundraising efforts to restore the bandstand and paddling pool
and, if you want to do something practical, we are always looking for volunteers to help us with our events!
Our Annual General Meeting is held every November and, as a member, you will be able to vote at this meeting.

The Paddling Pool is now OPEN!

2018 Events in the Recreation Ground

Saturday 11th August Bowie's Beckenham Oddity 12 noon until 8.30pm
Saturday 8th September Dizzy's Open Air Cinema showing 'Minions' at 7.30pm
Sunday 16th September Lewisham Concert Band at the Bandstand at 3pm
Saturday 22nd September Soultown Festival 12pm 'til 9pm
Saturday 3rd November Beckenham Fireworks in the Park


Photograph by Ray Stevenson
click to enlarge

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY is an annual fundraiser, supported by David Bowie when he provided signed items for auction at the event.

This year the Bowie Archive has donated another item signed by him, more details of which will follow before the festival in August.

Money raised goes to the Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund. Meanwhile here’s the press release, with ticket links, etc...

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Saturday, 11th August – 12 noon to 8pm
Croydon Road Recreation Centre, Beckenham, BR3 3PR

A festival celebrating the life and legacy of David Bowie, his time in Beckenham and beyond.

Fans and music lovers worldwide are invited to come together on Saturday 11th August 2018, in Beckenham, South London, to celebrate David Bowie's songs, life and influence, in the park where his rise to stardom began back in 1969.

The third “Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity” will take place at Croydon Road Recreation Ground, centred around the same iconic bandstand where Bowie and friends from the Beckenham Arts Lab held the UK’s first Free Festival - “The Growth Summer Festival” - on 16 August, nearly 49 years ago. The festival coincided with the release of David’s first hit single “Space Oddity” and the day was later immortalised with another Bowie single release: “Memory Of A Free Festival”.

This year’s event kicks off at 12 noon, with a line-up of musical talent who will reprise Bowie’s greatest songs, including “Life On Mars?”, the career defining classic he wrote whilst sat on the bandstand steps as well as doing some of their own songs.

Other attractions include food and drinks by local vendors, a raffle of donated prizes, and the auction of Bowie related memorabilia.

Tickets cost 10 adults, 5 for 10 to 16 year olds, and under 10's go free! Tickets are available online in advance from or at the gate on the day of the event.

Fans can also support the event via the personalised brick sales, which will be laid in their name around the bandstand on restoration. They can also donate to the "Bowie Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund", which will honour not only David Bowie, but all of the people who took part in the initial 1969 festival:

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B.B.O. Organiser Wendy Faulkner

After being actively involved in previous fundraiser events for the bandstand, when news broke of David Bowie’s death, Wendy felt they had to do this tribute for him and to get this unique piece of musical history restored in his name:

"It’s not just about Bowie, but also all the people who were involved with him along his path to stardom. Brixton has its mural, Aylesbury now has its Earthly Messenger statue, but for me the most real and meaningful place has to be at the bandstand. His ties to the borough and the bandstand are without question; he thrived here, having found the freedom to develop the songs that would later change him, change music and change the world. Slightly off the beaten track, it’s well worth the journey to come along to see it and experience it first-hand.

I'm pleased that David Bowie knew of the fundraising efforts, and donated signed items for the events before his passing. We will never see anyone like Bowie again, a true legend and star, and this is our way to keep the memory alive and put the iconic bandstand on the map."

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"Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity" is supported by idverde, Bromley Parks, and The London Borough of Bromley, who have named the bandstand "The Bowie Bandstand" in his honour.


For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Wendy Faulkner
Mobile: 07538 984631


The Beckenham Bandstand is now indelibly linked with David Bowie. He performed on it 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 of this bandstand. However, the bandstand has unfortunately fallen into disrepair and now requires funds for restoration.

Following David’s incredibly sad passing, the bandstand is now a focal point for tributes. As David had always supported emerging artists, We believe that getting this bandstand repaired and ensuring its long term survival would be a suitable tribute. It would provide a platform for future generations of musicians to perform on and in doing so would allow audiences to continue to enjoy live music in the park. It’s also a unique Victorian bandstand, now the only one of its kind, so was already worthy of saving irrespective of the amazing cultural and musical legacy it carries.

The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground are working in partnership with Bromley Council to fundraise for the bandstand restoration. You can support the restoration campaign by:

  • Making a direct donation on the London Borough of Bromley website to the bandstand restoration fund:
    For donations of 15 or over, Zizzi’s have kindly offered to give donors 30 per cent off main meals on Mondays to Thursdays in their Beckenham branch. To claim this offer, supporters need to take a copy of the automated receipt they receive when making a donation.

  • Buying a personalised Bandstand Brick that will be installed on the circular path around the bandstand :

Each brick will contain a maximum of 48 characters. Please be aware that the characters will be divided into three lines of maximum 16 characters each including spaces. You will be free to write your own message for the brick, however, you will only have 48 characters in total and if you wanted to put your name on the brick this would be included within the word count.

Once sufficient funds have been secured for the restoration project, we will contact you regarding details of your preferred personalised inscription.

  • Donating coins in local shops in Beckenham:

Bella Donata delicatessen (324 Croydon Rd)
Paydens Pharmacy (399-401 Croydon Rd)
Wanted Music (415 Croydon Rd)

Beckenham High Street:

Bricklayers Arms pub
Dizzy’s Diner restaurant
Fee & Brown coffee shop
Red Boutique
White Horse pub
Wimpy Bar
Zizzi restaurant

Please also let us know if you would like to become a Friend of the park and join us with our on-going efforts to improve this local greenspace.

If enough people donate, even just 1 each, we will hit our target! All donations are eligible to leave a tribute message which will be viewable when the tribute page is up.

Once the Bowie Bandstand is repaired there will be a celebratory opening party & surely many future festivals to look forward to. History will recall that it was Bowie’s fans both near and far who generously donated to get this unique Victorian bandstand restored to its former glory.

Thank you.

We have two current funding priorities in the Recreation Ground:

The Bandstand

The Victorian Bandstand - Click for larger picture

The bandstand is significant not just for the elegance of the structure and its setting, but also because it has been the scene of many famous musical events. Perhaps most famous of all, in August 1969 David Bowie organised and played at the Beckenham Free Festival in the park, joined by a number of bands including the Strawbs. A link to the event is:

The bandstand was the product of McCallum & Hope Ltd of Glasgow from 1880 until 1921, an astonishing enterprise supplying all aspects of architectural ironwork. Many of the original designs of the foundry continue to be manufactured. A condition survey has revealed that the bandstand is in reasonable condition but in need of repair and replacement of certain elements, especially the canopy, which has later addition roofing felt in poor condition. The coronet is a mixture of cast and wrought iron and is extensively corroded and in need of conservation repair. Repairs to rotten roof timberwork, roof coverings and ironwork with consequent redecoration are therefore an urgent priority, and this is a key priority of The Friends in their fundraising objectives.

For the latest information about this project including the results of the recent structural survey, please see the dedicated project page of our site.

Please click here to pledge to the Bowie Bandstand Restoration Appeal

The Children's Paddling Pool

The Paddling Pool - Click for larger picture

The pool is well past its designed life and badly needs rebuilding/replacement. This is the only local paddling pool in the district and is extremely popular in the summer months. It has continued to be repaired as necessary over the past few years, however the current facility is costly to maintain and has reached a point where ongoing maintenance of the deteriorating structure is becoming uneconomical.

A possible replacement design is shown below with new water features, plumbing and drainage and would obviously need to be funded.

Please help us to retain this very popular facility if you possibly can.

Design options incl. costs

click to enlarge

Please click here to donate to our Paddling Pool Replacement Fund via PayPal.


This book is available to purchase either on CD in PDF format from Pat's website
or in hardcopy format at 8 per copy by e-mailing

Please click on the cover above to visit Pat Manning's website for CD purchase details.


Mrs Pat Manning a respected local author and a member of the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground has produced a booklet about the flowering trees and shrubs within its boundaries. The book was compiled for the Friends of the Recreation Ground in celebration of its 120 years existence in 2011. It is not generally available as hard copy but can be ordered on CD for use on a computer. It includes a taste of history, a month by month record of the most notable trees and shrubs through the year, all in full colour, three walks to identify the trees and shrubs with plans of the shrubberies and a Latin/common name index.


You can e-mail us at

and our mailing address is:
FoCRRG c/o 19 Clock House Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JS

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