Instructor from Lowestoft taught David Bowie how to ski in the 1970’s

An early photo of David Jones, who would become known as David Bowie. Picture: National Portrait Gal

An early photo of David Jones, who would become known as David Bowie. Picture: National Portrait Gallery/PA Wire - Credit: PA

When a ski instructor found out that he would be teaching a man named David Jones as part of an afternoon session in 1971, he would be forgiven for not batting an eyelid.

The many faces of David Bowie. Graphic: Annette Hudson.

The many faces of David Bowie. Graphic: Annette Hudson. - Credit: Archant

But what Laurence Poole, of Wollaston Road in Lowestoft, did not realise, was that this man was already establishing himself as a worldwide superstar, and would go on to become one of the iconic legends of the music industry.

David Jones arrived for a November ski lesson in Aviemore, Scotland, alongside his girlfriend.

He would later become known as David Bowie, who at the time, had already released his popular track 'Space Oddity'.

'I don't suppose there are many people in Lowestoft who taught David Bowie how to ski,' said Mr Poole, who instructed beginners on how to ski on the dry slope at the Aviemore ski resort.

Laurence Poole taught David Bowie how to ski in the 1970's.

Laurence Poole taught David Bowie how to ski in the 1970's. - Credit: Archant

'My boss told me there is a guy called David Jones coming for a lesson in the afternoon with his girlfriend, but I didn't think anything else of it.

'He arrived and he was small and skinny and I couldn't work out how this guy with funny teeth and little short skinny legs had got this fabulous bird with him and a flash car.

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'I didn't recognise him even though I had his 8-track in my van.

'When I played his track the day before, I never thought I would be speaking to him the next day.'

Mr Poole, who is now 71, was unaware of his famous experience for another five years.

In that time, Bowie had launched his Ziggy Stardust show and has released a number or popular tracks.

But in 1976, Mr Poole was shocked when David Bowie returned to the slopes, and straight away remembered him from his previous sessions.

'He came back to Aviemore and asked if I remembered him,' Mr Poole added.

'By then I was working for a different ski school but then I realised who it was.

'He asked me if I remembered teaching him and his girlfriend.

'I said 'you were the guy with the fabulous bird and the flash car' and he said 'yeah that was me'.

'When I saw him dancing on the telly and watching the tributes, I thought he didn't dance like that when he had a pair of skis on.'

Mr Poole was also working on the oil rigs at the same time he was teaching on the slopes. Throughout the 1970's, he enjoyed his role of instructor, only missing one season to work in Andorra in 1978.

Mr Poole moved to Lowestoft in 2001 after being brought up in Norwich. He left the oil rigs in 1988 before becoming a truck driver.

• Do you have any memories of David Bowie performing in Lowestoft? Email: joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk