David Bowie. Citizen of Brixton and the World

Fans lay flowers and candles at the David Bowie mural on Tunstall Road, Brixton

Fans lay flowers and candles at the David Bowie mural on Tunstall Road, Brixton

David Bowie was born David Jones on 8 January 1947 at his family home on 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton, where he lived until the age of six. He changed his name in 1966 after Davy Jones of The Monkees shot to fame.

The son of a waitress and promotions officer for Barnardo’s, he attended Stockwell Infants School until 1953, when his family relocated to Bromley in Kent.

At Burnt Ash Junior School he was a member of the school’s choir, where it is said his voice was considered “adequate”.

He was in a number of bands before being signed with Mercury Records, which released his album Space Oddity in 1969. The title track went on to become his first UK number one.

In 1972 he achieved his breakthrough with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, which peaked at number five in the UK charts.

In a career spanning six decades, Bowie achieved five UK number one singles and nine UK number one albums.

Messages have been flooding in paying tribute to the star. Flowers and candles have been laid at the mural of Bowie that can be seen on the wall of Morley’s department store in Tunstall Road.

Painted by Australian street artist James Cochran, it is inspired by the album cover of Bowie’s 1973 record Aladdin Sane.

Collaborators of Bowie have also been paying their respects.

Tony Visconti, who produced a number of Bowie’s albums, including Young Americans and his avant-garde ‘Berlin trilogy’ of Low, Heroes and Lodger, said: “He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life—a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.

“I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”

Experimental musician Brian Eno, who collaborated with him on his Berlin trilogy, said: “Words cannot express: RIP David Bowie.”

An official statement released on Bowie’s social media accounts said: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer.

“While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

Bowie released his 25th studio album Blackstar on Friday. It is currently the bestselling album on iTunes and Amazon in the UK, and the second bestselling album on iTunes and Amazon in the US.

Taken from Brixton Blog/Bugle, published 11 January 2016.

Stansfield Road

Stansfield Road today


Brixton Cycles named Best Small Retailer at London Cycling Awards

Brixton Cycles has been voted Best Small Retailer at the London Cycling Campaign’s annual London Cycling Awards.

The event, held on Wednesday July 16 in central London, commended organisations, brands and retailers for their promotion of cycling over the last 12 months. Hosted by journalist and keen cyclist Jeremy Vine, the awards were separated into two parts: Consumer Awards, which were nominated by London Cycling Campaign members and voted for by the public; and Project Awards, which were nominated by the public and chosen by a panel of independent cycling experts.

Brixton Cycles was started in 1983 as a workers’ cooperative on Coldharbour Lane, before relocating to its current location next to Stockwell Skatepark in 2001. Opening in the wake of the 1981 riots, it has gained a notable reputation due to its long-standing staff, who ensure a level of experience that is not seen in many other bike shops.

On receiving the award, Lincoln Romain, one of the longest serving co-op directors at Brixton Cycles, said: “We are eternally grateful, it is a great honour and we are ecstatic to win the award. It is because we have put in a lot over the years. There appears to have been a lot of nepotism in the past, but the fact the awards were voted for by actual cyclists throughout London means a lot.”

Speaking on behalf of the local London Cycling Campaign group, Lambeth Cyclists, Luke Evans said: “We congratulate Brixton Cycles, one of the best bike shops in South London, on winning this well deserved award. This recognises the key role that Brixton Cycles have played in keeping Lambeth’s cyclists on the road and promoting cycling over the past 30 years.

“This shop has played a big part in making Lambeth one of the most cycle friendly boroughs in London.”

Brixton Cycles is one of over 125 cycle shops across London which offer discounts to London Cycling Campaign members.

Taken from Brixton Blog/Bugle, published 25 July 2014.