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18th Mar 2018

Campaign launched to change Aylesbury to Aylesbowie in honour of David Bowie

Will Lavin

This is one way of going about paying tribute to a fallen icon.

Building on the legacy of David Bowie’s strong connection with the market town of Aylesbury, music club Friars Aylesbury is launching a petition to change the name of Aylesbury to Aylesbowie.

The news comes weeks after announcing that the world’s first David Bowie statue will be unveiled in Aylesbury Market Square on March 25th.

Following a Kickstarter campaign for the sculpture, that finished in December 2016, one of the backers suggested changing the name of Aylesbury to Aylesbowie. David Stopps of Friars Aylesbury, the brains behind the campaign, thought this was a brilliant idea, and looked into the history and origins of the town’s name.

It turns out that Aylesbury’s town name is of Old English origin. Its first recorded name Æglesburgh is thought to mean “Fort of Ægel”, presumably relating to the Iron Age hill fort that was discovered in the town centre, though who Ægel is not recorded.

According to records there have been 57 variations of the town’s name, so changing the name to Aylesbowie would simply be the 58th, and David Bowie obviously has a much more credible claim to the name of the town than some long forgotten and unknown Anglo-Saxon.–IqqusnNQ

So why Aylesbury? It’s in recognition of the history Bowie had with music club Friars Aylesbury. He performed the world debuts of two of the most iconic albums of the 20th century, Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, at Friars Aylesbury in 1971/72.

He also formed the Spiders from Mars in the tiny Friars dressing room and referenced Aylesbury Market Square in the first line of the song “Five Years” – “Pushing through the market square so many mothers sighing.”

Naming the town after him, along with the Earthly Messenger sculpture, will be a permanent celebration and commemoration of his life and work.

To sign the petition to help Aylesbury become Aylesbowie visit