Croydon Road Recreation Ground

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Croydon Road Recreation Ground is a public park located in Beckenham in the London Borough of Bromley. It is near the High St and adjacent to Beckenham Hospital. The park features a café and bandstand, as well as a bowling green and other sports facilities.

The United Kingdom’s first manned airmail flight left from here in 1902, travelling to Calais by hot air balloon The event was held to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII. The crew were. A E Gaudron,[1] a French balloonist and Dr. Barton, a local medical practitioner. Mail was dropped at three points in Kent before the balloon itself then crossed the Channel before landing near Calais.[2]

Airmail Balloon Flight plaque

On 16 August 1969, David Bowie helped organise and played at the Beckenham Free Festival in the park.

On 15 September 2013, The Croydon Road Recreation Ground was host to "Memory of a Free Festival" event: "a festival in celebration of the famous 1969 free festival"


Coordinates: 51°24′13″N 0°01′58″W / 51.4037°N 0.0329°W / 51.4037; -0.0329