Trace David Bowie’s footsteps though intimate Beckenham walking tour

Fans from around the world are tracing David Bowie’s footsteps through an intimate Beckenham walking-tour exploring his pre-fame years.

Founded three years ago by Kat Webb, who was born and raised in the area, ‘In Ziggy’s Footsteps’ visits important places where Bowie spent time during his formative years.

Bowie moved to Beckenham in 1969 when he was a struggling musician, leaving four years later as an international superstar.

Kat Webb, who leads the tour, said: “The tour visits all the locations where David lived and performed.

“But its not just about him as a performer, it’s about him as an everyday man in a suburban town – even where he shopped!

“I’ve interviewed a lot of people who he knew at the time, and am always adding stories.

“I’m a big fan and passionate about promoting his life in Beckenham and not letting that history vanish.”

Bowie performing at the Beckenham bandstand

The highlight of the tour is the Beckenham bandstand in Croydon Recreation Ground, where the singer performed to an audience of just a few hundred in summer of 1969, soon after the release of Space Oddity, his first hit single.

It has been suggested that the star, who died in 2016, may have penned the lyrics to Life On Mars from the steps of the cast iron structure, which was first performed on Top of The Pops 50 years ago this weekend.

The 1905 bandstand, which was recently given Grade II listed status, is near the area where Bowie lived in the home of landlady-turned-lover Mary Finnigan.

He said he composed many songs while living under her roof.

Soon after Space Oddity, Bowie and his friends organised the Growth Summer Festival.

The event was designed to raise money for a permanent base for his and Finnigan’s Beckenham Arts Lab project, which began life as a folk club in the backroom of the nearby Three Tuns pub.

The bandstand was the centrepiece of the one-day festival, which Bowie helped to organise, compere and perform at.

To book onto the tour, which takes place each Sunday, email bowiewalkingtour@inziggysfootsteps.com

Tickets £17 for adults and £12 for children over the age of 10

£2 of every ticket sale is donated to Bromley’s Bowie Bandstand Restoration Fund.

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