Photo by Barbara Fowlds, May 2021

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.

AGM minutes 2019

2021 Events in the Recreation Ground

Saturday 14th August 2021

A special mention and thanks to Ray Stevenson for kindly allowing us to use his image of David Bowie for this year’s event.
(click image for larger version)

Door time: 11:45am, Start time: 12:00pm
All ages (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)

Tickets are available now from...

We played Our songs and felt the London sky...

We are thrilled to announce the fifth Bowie's Beckenham Oddity festival, an event that's fundraising for the Bowie Bandstand Restoration and Plaque Fund.

The bandstand is situated in the grounds of Croydon Rd Recreation Ground, Beckenham BR3 3NR and in August 1969 David Bowie not only co-organised the original festival but he also performed there, in his set that day was a reggae version of Space Oddity with Tony Visconti.

Come and celebrate the life and music of...


Paddling Pool status update

After consideration and consultation with Bromley Council, idverde has taken the decision NOT to open the paddling pool until after 21st June 2021 (COVID-permitting). Although outdoor swimming pools are now permitted to be opened, they do not feel that they can open the paddling pool safely, in line with Covid Secure guidance.

There is no specific guidance published for paddling pools at this time but some of the more pertinent recommended control measures for swimming pools, that would form part of a risk assessment for the paddling pools to comply with existing government guidelines, are as follows;

Customer online pre-booking only

Reduced bather loads: Recommended minimum – 9 square metres per person

Pools divided for family sessions so that each household has their own area

They believe these control measures – and monitoring correct social distancing - are beyond the scope of what they could achieve with the current resources and infrastructure at our disposal.

They will continue to monitor government guidance closely and will review this decision as and when guidance is updated.

Gate Lodge and adjacent Gateway to Croydon Road Recreation Ground
Awarded Listed Building Status

The building was added to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest in June 2021. The building is now listed at Grade II.


The gate lodge and gateway to Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham, built in 1890 to 1891, are recommended for listing at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

A late Victorian gate lodge forming a strong architectural composition alongside the gateway at the entrance to the park, including wooden verandas, a circular bay window for the supervision of the park covered by an elegant ogee dome, and a pyramidal roof rising to a tall central chimney stack;

The lodge survives relatively well and compares favourably to listed lodges of the period.

Historic interest:

For the historic association with the wider expansion of the public park movement in the late 19th century, following the Public Health Act (1875), when parks developed in suburbs and small towns for recreation and as an expression of civic pride.

Group value:

As a component of a fine late Victorian and Edwardian ensemble alongside the Grade II-listed (2019) Bowie Bandstand (1905), which is also associated with the 1969 Summer Growth Festival and David Bowie’s rise to fame after performing in the park, adjacent to housing of the same period.

Friends Volunteering COVID-19 Update

May 2021 update from idverde

As I am sure you have become accustomed in recent times, we have an update on volunteering activities in relation to the most recently confirmed easing of Covid-19 restrictions coming into effect on 17th May 2021.

See the link below for a PDF document detailing these changes, which affect self-led volunteering activities. Once again I’d like to take the opportunity to thank and congratulate you all for the commitment and positive impact your efforts have had on Bromley’s parks and greenspace over the last few months.


David Bowie's festival bandstand gets Grade II listing
(August 2019)

Singer performed to audience of few hundred at Beckenham landmark in summer of 1969

The Beckenham bandstand, known to fans as the Bowie bandstand was used for singer’s 1969 summer festival
Photograph: Historic England/Chris Redgrave/PA

Fifty years after a young David Bowie performed from a south London bandstand in front of a tiny crowd at a summer festival he organised, the historic iron structure that served as his modest stage has been Grade II-listed.

Known to fans as the "Bowie bandstand", and thought to be the only surviving example from the Glasgow-based McCallum and Hope iron foundry in the UK, it was the centrepiece of the Growth summer festival, held by Bowie and friends on 16 August 1969 in Beckenham.

London Borough of Bromley press article

More.... and More....


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.

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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