Thursday 29 July 2021 saw the Mayor of Sevenoaks, Councillor Dr Merilyn Canet, unveil the plaque awarded in the 2019 National Railway Heritage Awards to Sevenoaks Town Council for the impressive restoration work undertaken at Bat & Ball station.
The award marked the success of the town council in reversing almost three decades of decay at the station and converting the building for community use. The project was given the Arch Company Award for Urban Heritage at the ceremony held at Merchant Taylors’ Hall on 3 December 2019 in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal in an event that marked the 40th anniversary of the competition. However, as a result of restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, it was not possible to unveil officially the plaque on the station until now.
The unveiled plaque at Bat & Ball station with, from the left, Rob McAuliffe, from the Arch Company (the award’s sponsors), Theo Steel, NRHA chairman, Dr Merilyn Canet, Mayor of Sevenoaks, and Jim Cornell, chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust.
The restored station at Bat & Ball. The station, which had been boarded up since 1991 and subject to issues of drug abuse and anti-social behaviour, was the subject of a major project that cost £1 million to restore the building and convert for community use. The project, which was undertaken by the town council, was rewarded with the Arch Company Award for Urban Heritage at the 2019 National Railway Heritage Awards.