Freddie Mercury's London home awarded Blue Plaque

Brian May with Kashmira Cooke at the unveiling
Brian May with Kashmira Cooke at the unveiling (Image credit: Getty)

The West London home where Freddie Mercury moved to with his family from Zanzibar in 1964 has been awarded a Blue Plaque, 25 years after his death.

The plaque was unveiled by Brian May and the late Queen icon’s sister, Kashmira Cooke, in a ceremony held by English Heritage – days before what would have been the late Queen icon’s 70th birthday.

Mercury’s parents, Jer and Bomi Bulsara, chose to move to the 22 Gladstone Avenue property in Feltham as one of Jer’s sisters lived in the town.

Cooke tells BBC: “The house had no central heating. We were not familiar with coal fires and had to be shown how to light it.”

She recalls her brother spent much of the time in the house “sketching for his college art work” and “listening to music, particularly Jimi Hendrix.”

Cooke adds: “He spent hours in the bathroom grooming his hair. At the time I wasn’t best pleased as there was only one bathroom.

As for the plaque, Cook says: “Mum and I are so proud and pleased. Secretly he would have been too.”

Mercury studied Graphic Art and Design at Ealing College Of Art at the time. It was then that he met guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.

May says he’d visited the house shortly after they first met, adding: “We spent most of the day appreciating and analysing in intimate detail the way that Jimi Hendrix had put his recordings together.”

He tells News And Star: “What I remember of Freddie is hard to sum up. He was a shy boy and embarrassed of still living with his mum, so he often slept on people’s floors to feel like he had broken away.

“He had an extraordinary capacity to energise people and make them feel excited. We knew he was something very special, he made people feel like they could do it too.”

Freddie Mercury died aged 45 from bronchial pneumonia resulting from Aids in 1991.

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Brian May and Freddie Mercury's sister, Kashmira Cooke, at the plaque unveiling

Brian May and Freddie Mercury's sister, Kashmira Cooke, at the plaque unveiling (Image credit: Getty)
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What Freddie Mercury Was Really Like: An Insider’s Story

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.