When in London these days, I always stop by the Brixton mural to pay my respects and reflect on a career that defined a generation. Located opposite the underground station, the Bowie mural has seen plenty of changes since his passing in January last year. I had most recently visited the site in June of this year before today. Sadly, with today’s visit, I was greeted with the site of a huge perspex shield guarding the mural and some rather nasty graffiti to each side. Daft!
As always, there is a regular flow of tourists who pass by to visit and today I met a young Dutch girl from Utrecht, a Japanese mother and daughter along with some Argentinian’s, Spanish, Greek and New Zealand tourists all paying there respects. There were others but I didn’t get a chance to chat with them. One English mum walked past with her teenage daughter who said “Mum, is that David Bowie? He looks awfully weird!” Bless her cotton socks!
I grabbed a £3 meal deal from Sainsbury’s to fuel my peckish hunger and got talking to the other fans. They all have their own beautiful stories to share of what he meant to them and why. Some stories were quite touching. It’s lovely how a simple musician managed to move the goal posts on so many occasions whilst the rest of us always got lost on his coat tails playing catch up.
Once my time in Brixton came to a close, I jumped the tube back to Victoria and swapped for the national rail journey to Bromley where I was due to attend a Bromley FC match. That’s another story. I had the opportunity to visit the home of Bowie for 10 years starting in June 1955. The short 15 minute walk from South Bromley station edged me through some darkening but leafy streets. You feel extra safe waking these streets.
Once at 4 Plaistow Grove, I took a few photos, soaked up the emotions of standing outside a house that would otherwise bare no historical significance had it not been for our mate, Dave and made a short video of the experience on Facebook. I was tempted to knock on the front door as there was strong evidence suggesting the occupants were home but I sure they get harassed all the time by crazy fans like me so I let it be. For now anyway.
Due to time constraints, I missed out on having a pint in nearby Beckenham but there is always next time. I was rather chuffed to be able to enjoy the experience of swing the house that had a part in the making of our Dave. I have to admit though, the afternoon provided me with a smashing buzz all over.
If you ever get the chance to visit 4 Plaistow Grove, take the train from London Victoria (the fast option only takes 15 minutes) and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the fruits that Bromley has to offer. There are a few decent pubs along the route if the thought of a few drinks tickle your fancy. I’ll definitely head back one day for a second visit. It’s well worth the £11.30 return train ticket.