Tributes have poured in for rock star David Bowie who has died of cancer aged 69 - as locals shared their memories and anecdotes from his time in Beckenham and Bromley.

Veteran music star Bowie, known for hits such as Changes, Ashes To Ashes and Starman, was born in Brixton in 1947, before moving to Bromley at the age of six.

He and his family first lived at 106 Canon Road, in 1953, and later moved to Clarence Road and 4 Plaistow Grove.

In 1969, he lodged at 24 Foxgrove Road, Beckenham.

He attended Burnt Ash Junior School in Bromley and Bromley Technical High School in Keston - which later changed its name to Ravens Wood School - among others in the borough, before going on to perform at many of its nightspots in his early career.

David Bowie death: Beckenham beginnings and tributes after rock star dies of cancer aged 69

MAP: 18 south east London places where David Bowie lived, learned and played

Flowers have been laid at the site of the former Three Tuns pub, now a Zizzi restaurant, in Beckenham High Street, where Bowie started a creative arts scene in 1969 and performed regularly.

A striking, pillar-box red plaque hangs on the side of the restaurant in his honour.

Jackie Homewood, from Bickley, told News Shopper how she went to see Bowie perform there every Sunday.

She said: "I have such fond memories as a teenager of going to watch him, long blond curly hair, with my best friend Sylvia, every Sunday for the grand sum of three shillings a week, and also at what turned out to be the UK’s first free concert at Beckenham recreation ground.

"I remember too buying a very early copy of his first LP at Smith’s in Bromley and can only say now how much I regret having swapped it with the boy next door!"

Journalist Rebecca Pike said Bowie was a regular visitor to her grandparents’ antique shop and auction house, The Stable Doors, just off Beckenham High Street.

The 25-year-old, who grew up in Beckenham, said: "I remember my grandparents’ stories about him coming in to their Beckenham shop. They’d never seen a man with a bag before."

Her grandfather Roy Pike, still a Beckenham resident today, said he once sold Bowie a piano for £50.

The 85-year-old told News Shopper: "I sold him [Bowie] a lot of things.

"This bloke wanted to sell me this piano, I said I didn’t want it, it was too big.

"I shot over to David and said do you want to buy a grand piano and I said you can have it for £50.

"Me and my upholsterer helped him wheel it across the road, stopping all the traffic and got it in to his flat.

"Next time I saw him he was using it to decorate his ceiling, he was standing on it.

"He used to pop in two or three times a week."

Mr Pike also told a story about an accident Bowie had with his fabric roof Riley car, Rupert, outside Lewisham police station.

He said: "He [Bowie] was in Lewisham and he used to have to start it with the handle at the front and on this occasion he went to start it and he’d left it in gear.

"He pushed the starting pole through his leg and they took him in to Lewisham hospital."

Tributes laid outside Zizzi's, the former Three Tuns pub, in Beckenham High Street. Photo: Andy Ivy

A man who later embraced many personas, from Ziggy Stardust to The Thin White Duke, Bowie also reportedly had saxophone lessons as a youngster in Orpington with jazz musician Ronnie Ross - and later got Ross to play sax on Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, which he produced.

In recent years, he supported efforts to restore the bandstand at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground in Beckenham, where he once performed in 1969 - the same year he first appeared in the charts with Space Oddity.

The star helped to organise the free music festival to encourage donations for the Beckenham Arts Lab – a group project he’d formed.

The event is celebrated as a cultural milestone and Bowie wrote about the experience in the single Memory of a Free Festival.

Community group The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground set up a fundraising appeal to restore the bandstand after it fell into a state of disrepair and relaunched the festival.

A petition has been also been launched for a memorial or statue to commemorate Bowie at the park.

Jon Clarke, who set up the campaign, wrote: "Undoubtedly David Bowie, global rock musician and one time resident of Beckenham is the greatest person who came from the town and it's only fitting that his tragic passing is marked with either a statue or lasting memorial at Croydon Road Recreation Ground, fondly named Bec Rec to locals where in 1969 he held a Memory of a Free Festival there.

"It's locally he penned Life on Mars and many other early epic songs that influenced people across the planet."

Back in a 2008, Bowie told the Mail on Sunday he came up with his 1971 single Life on Mars on a bus trip from Beckenham to Lewisham to buy shoes.

He said: "I took a walk to Beckenham High Street to catch a bus to Lewisham to buy shoes and shirts but couldn't get the riff out of my head.

"Jumped off two stops into the ride and more or less loped back to the house up on Southend Road."

(Photo credit: PA Wire)

Sally Spence, the headteacher of Bowie's old school, Ravens Wood, said today: "The Ravens Wood community are deeply saddened to hear the news this morning about the death of the brilliant musician, former student and alumni, David Bowie.

"David Bowie’s impact on the worlds of music, fashion and film was profound. "His progressive approach and ability to break down barriers has been a great influence on the students of Ravens Wood and beyond.

"He will continue to be an inspiration long into the future.

"Staff and students will celebrate the life and work of this iconic figure; David Bowie is one of us."

News Shopper editor Andy Parkes also shared his favourite Bowie story.

He said: "My favourite David Bowie story came from another legend - News Shopper's ex-news editor Roger Wright (a nicer guy you could not meet).

"Roger's quite incredible claim to fame was that his band was on the same bill as David Bowie at Beckenham's Rat & Parrott pub.

"Not only that, but Bowie was the support act to Roger's performance on vocals and the mouth organ! Now there's a claim to fame."

Others have been sharing their memories of Bowie on social media.

Charlie Sherred wrote: "I bumped into Bowie at the local WHSmith when I was little. Didn't know who he was until my Dad explained. Hooked ever since."

Jeanette Sleafer tweeted: "Remember my dad telling me when his sister brought this weird looking chap home in Beckenham he chucked him out... it was David Bowie."