Transportation => Tramways & Railways => Topic started by: merc on March 10, 2014, 14:53:55

Title: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: merc on March 10, 2014, 14:53:55
Bat and Ball station lies north of Sevenoaks and was opened on the 2nd June, 1862. It was named after the Bat and Ball Inn, which no longer exists. It was originally called Sevenoaks Bat & Ball but became just Bat and Ball about 1950. The station was the original terminus for Sevenoaks before the main line and new station at Tubs Hill, was opened in 1868. The Grade II Listed station became unmanned in the early 1990's.

(Picture from Google Streetview)

Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 10, 2014, 15:31:32
This was the Sevenoaks terminus for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. The South Eastern had already reached Sevenoaks and denied the LCDR direct access to their station. There was a link between the two that was hardly used by passenger trains for a few years. Later when accord was reached this became another wayside station. This was yet another example of the bitter battle between the two companies that was only partially resolved by the formation of the SECR.

When built there was a link to the Ashford line, which diverges about a mile north of the station, which allowed you to access Maidstone from here, bearing in mind that the SER missed the county town by a good margin and only deemed it worthy of a branch (the Medway Valley line).

S4.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: cliveh on March 10, 2014, 15:33:13
Thanks Merc - that's brought back some childhood memories!!  :)

I seem to remember that there was a siding going off the line somewhere between Bat & Ball and Otford. It seemed to disappear into some woods. I never did find out where it led too. Doesn't seem to be any sign of it now!

cliveh
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 10, 2014, 15:46:46
It went to the quarry. If you GE the area you can make out where it was.

S4.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: cliveh on March 10, 2014, 16:30:13
Thank you S4
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 10, 2014, 16:40:24
 :)
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: BobH on March 10, 2014, 17:09:40
I pass the Bat & Ball quite a lot and hadn't realised the history.
The comment about sidings made me look up some maps on the NLS site and I see that there was once a link from the Sevenoaks, Maidstone and Ashford Line to the Bat & Ball.  On the current remaining junction from Otford to the SM&A Line there appears to be a narrow gauge track which looped around the quarry towards the Bat & Ball.  Was this the siding that you were referring to?

Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 10, 2014, 17:17:01
I mentioned that link or chord in my original post, thanks for the maps as they speak louder than words. The siding I referred to was south of the station just the town side of the road bridge. Looking at the quarry north of the station on the Ashford line the remains of a very short siding can be seen on GE. This spur is also seen on the newer of the two maps. The narrow gauge has nothing to do with the longer siding to the south.

S4.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: BobH on March 10, 2014, 17:53:16
Got it now!

Thanks

Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 10, 2014, 17:54:13
 :) Happy to help.

S4.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: editorsfoot on March 10, 2014, 17:59:17
I used to travel to Bat and Ball from West Malling when I worked at the secondary school just up the road. I haven't been there for about 4 years but I believe the former pub building still exists. Being an unstaffed station meant that it was a target for graffiti and vandalism which was a real shame for a station with history.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: merc on March 10, 2014, 20:42:26
I know Bat and Ball and some of Sevenoaks quite well, as we used to go and visit my grandparents and other relatives in the area when I was younger :)


This was the Sevenoaks terminus for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. The South Eastern had already reached Sevenoaks and denied the LCDR direct access to their station.


S4, All the information I've been reading sayes Bat and Ball (LC&DR) was the first line/station at Sevenoaks?
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 10, 2014, 21:43:39
My apologies Merc.

To be totally correct it was the Severnoaks Railway Company who built the line to the Bat and Ball. I have not got a clue as to why they stopped there but I am guessing at money problems. The LCDR leased the line before absorbing it in 1879. The connection to Tubs Hill opened in 1869 and trains ran from Tubs Hill to a platform at the Otford Junction but when Otford got a station these were run to there, this service ceased in 1880. From 1885 to 1898 there were no passenger trains run between the two stations.

I am sorry that I got it wrong but hope that the above clears the mess up, having spent a nice half hour with C.F Dendy-Marshall "History of the Southern Railway".

S4.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: merc on March 10, 2014, 21:57:24
No probs S4, thanks for the extra info :)

I read that the line originally stopped there as local landowners were opposed to the railway running across or near their property.

Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 10, 2014, 22:01:04
That happened a lot which is why we still have some interestingly positioned stations, odd tunnels and cuttings. It had to be that or money, possibly both as the Severnoaks line was not a cheap one to build so it could have been a face saving excuse.

S4.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: John Arkell on March 19, 2014, 16:30:26
There were several other sidings in the area. There was one that exited the goods yard and was laid along Cramptons Road to the Gas Works. There was another north of the station on the west side that entered into worked out brick pits in the area of what is now the Vestry Trading Estate. The siding served the depot of the Vestry of Newington and was the site where Vestry Of Newington received rubbish from London for dumping in Kent. The Brick pits were owned by T R Crampton. Reports of the operations in the period 1890 to 1895 can be found in The St Mary Newington annual Reports.
The Vestry of Newington also operated depots at Meopham and Longfield. The London depot was at Walworth Dust Sidings on the city branch of the LCDR
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: DS239 on March 19, 2014, 22:43:55
There were several other sidings in the area. There was one that exited the goods yard and was laid along Cramptons Road to the Gas Works.

As this siding (it appears as 'Tramway' on the old OS maps) had a tight curve. I presume it wasn't locomotive worked and I suppose horse power was employed or possibly, latterly, a tractor. But when did it cease to be used?

A 1962 photo of the station:

(http://cdn.images.guides.data.mobilytrip.com/wp_images/medium/541c2c31cda772cde151557dcbf7e14d39d9c2ac_Bat_&_Ball_(Sevenoaks)_Station_1769039_c6ce271e.jpg)
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: DGM on January 17, 2018, 20:51:53
No probs S4, thanks for the extra info :)

I read that the line originally stopped there as local landowners were opposed to the railway running across or near their property.

While there may well have been opposition from landowners, the railway company would have had no real reason to extend the line beyond Bat & Ball at the time of its construction as the topography would have prevented the line from getting significantly closer to the town of Sevenoaks which is on much higher ground.  The line from Orpington to Tonbridge had yet to be constructed so there was no need to try and connect with it at Tubs Hill, however when the connecting line was eventually constructed it involved a severe gradient and some quite substantial earthworks.  The Bat & Ball Station site also had plenty of space for goods facilities whereas the Tubs Hill site was somewhat constrained and only ever had a relatively small goods yard.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: DGM on January 17, 2018, 21:21:09
Got it now!

Thanks

Thats a very interesting map as it shows both the Gasworks Siding heading along Cramptons Road and the short Kent Sand & Ballast Ltd siding together with its associated narrow gauge line.  The narrow gauge track extended above the standard gauge siding on a steel gantry so that the sand could be emptied directly into main line wagons standing below.  The gantry, which I recall as being a bit like a seaside pier type construction, was cut up in the mid 1960's, the standard gauge siding was probably removed around the same time although its course can still be identified.  In the late 1980's a new, but much longer, siding was constructed just to the north of the old Kent Sand & Ballast siding for Redland Aggregates, this lasted until 1995.
Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: DGM on January 17, 2018, 21:40:26
There were several other sidings in the area. There was one that exited the goods yard and was laid along Cramptons Road to the Gas Works.

As this siding (it appears as 'Tramway' on the old OS maps) had a tight curve. I presume it wasn't locomotive worked and I suppose horse power was employed or possibly, latterly, a tractor. But when did it cease to be used?
 
A 1962 photo of the station:

(http://cdn.images.guides.data.mobilytrip.com/wp_images/medium/541c2c31cda772cde151557dcbf7e14d39d9c2ac_Bat_&_Ball_(Sevenoaks)_Station_1769039_c6ce271e.jpg)

The Gasworks Branch did not connect to the goods yard, but was connected to the siding that ran behind the Up Platform as seen in the 1962 photo, the connection can be seen trailing in from the left just beyond the rake of empty coal wagons.  My parents moved to the area in 1962, and although the rails were still in place along Cramptons Road I do not recall ever seeing any rail movements or wagons in the Gasworks Yard.  The track was eventually lifted and the rails were stacked just inside the back entrance to the Kent Highways Depot at the other end of Cramptons Road, where they remained for many years until the site was cleared for construction of a Sainsburys Supermarket.

Title: Re: Bat and Ball, Sevenoaks
Post by: Tom Burnham on January 21, 2018, 21:50:17
The gasworks tramway is shown on the attached map dated 1907 (at least the left hand section is 1907) but not on an 1895 revised 6-inch map.