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Plaque marks the spot of Star Bowie’s Beckenham beginnings

PUBLISHED: 14:34 30 September 2010

Waiter Alin Cheptea,  Cliff Watkins,  David Vevers, assistant manager Asta Abukauskaite

and plaque.

Waiter Alin Cheptea, Cliff Watkins, David Vevers, assistant manager Asta Abukauskaite and plaque.

Archant

A plaque to one of the world’s greatest rock stars is to be returned to its original site after it was removed seven years ago.

Fans and residents are celebrating the return of the plaque to the wall of Zizzi’s restaurant, in Beckenham High Street, in honour of pop legend David Bowie

The plaque is set to be put up again on the side of the restaurant, which was formerly the Three Tuns pub, where Bowie started a creative arts scene, which became known as the Beckenham Arts Lab, in 1969.

The plaque was first erected by Bowie enthusiast Cliff Walker with the help of Copers Cope Residents’ Association in 2001. However, it was taken down two years later when the pub, then called the Rat and Parrot, was sold and the building was left derelict.

Mr Walker, from the Beckenham Heritage Group, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that this is going ahead.

“When we first had the party in 2001 we had 500 visitors from all over the country come to Beckenham. Police lined the streets, it was amazing.”

The original party saw Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels play a set and tribute bands playing in the pub.

Mr Walker, from Broomfield Road, Beckenham, added: “People complain that big supermarkets have taken over our shops and that the High Street is struggling but this plaque will encourage people and tourists back to Beckenham.”

David Bowie, now 63, lived in Beckenham for five years, first in Foxgrove Road and then a mansion at Haddon Hall, in Southend Road. During his time in the town he developed his Ziggy Stardust creation while running the folk club at the Three Tuns every Sunday.

David Vevers, chairman of Copers Cope Residents’ Association, said: “David Bowie is one of Beckenham’s very own and greatest oddities. That is why it is important to put the plaque back - it is an important part of our history.”

Mr Vevers approached the restaurant with the plaque six weeks ago, and has just received confirmation that the notice will be reinstated.

Helen Jones managing director of the chain said: “This restaurant is steeped in musical history which the local community is very proud of and we are happy to be able to return a much loved plaque to the front of the building.”

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