As always when you've just finished writing something, somebody tells you a fact that you'd wished you'd known before. In this case, Alan B. from Southwark Cyclists pointed me in the direction of this great 1966 clipping reproduced in Any Day Now: David Bowie - The London Years 1947 - 1974 by Kevin Cann (click on it to enlarge):
The caption reads: 'In glorious sunshine on Saturday eight Bromley May queens were crowned by local pop singer David Bowie, at Bromley Football Club ground in Hayes-lane. They were (left to right) Anne Button (Bickley), Christine Baker (Hayes Common), Carol Sharp (Pickhurst Park), Linda Dutton (Sundridge Park), Rosemary Reynolds (Bromley), Jacqueline Mann (Shortlands), Yvonne Lomax (Bromley Common), and Sandra Cousins (Southborough). About 500 people watched the event, at the end of the day's football match.
Before the ceremony the May queens and their attendants walked in procession down Bromley High Street, starting from Queens Garden, on their way to the football ground, accompanied by the 13th Company, Bromley Boys Brigade band, and that of the 1st St Mary Cray Girls Life Brigade. The queens and their contingents will take part in the crowning of the London May queen on Hayes Common on May 14'.
Last week's SELFS was the last organised by Scott Wood, who has done a great job in developing the monthly event. As was mentioned last week, SELFS started off as pretty much a front organisation for South London pagans who invented the name back in the 1990s in order to be able to book a room at Charlton House without drawing too much attention to themselves. Under Scott's direction it has gradually turned into what it says on the tin - a genuine folklore event appealing to sceptics, forteans and folklorists alike but with plenty of high strangeness to keep it interesting. Nigel of Bermondsey is now taking over, so Dr Who style, the role of Dr Selfs will be renewed in who knows what direction.
But wait there's more Bowie South London madness... Also last Thursday, someone told me the tale of Bowie rehearsing during the Hunky Dory/Ziggy Stardust period at Underhill studio at 1-3 Blackheath Hill. This has been mentioned at Transpontine before, but the new element I was unaware of was that Iggy Pop and Lou Reed rehearsed there too.
Today it was great to hear Deptford's own Danny Baker back on BBC London after serious illness, starting out with the genius touch of playing Stanley Holloway's 'My word you do look queer'. He also referred to this episode in Kevin Cann's book, mentioning that the studio was in the basement of a chemist opposite his old school, a fact unknown to him at the time, but making sense of the incident in his school days when a boy was ridiculed for claiming that he had seen David Bowie at the bus stop.