Bat & Ball Station renovation 2018-19

"What a wonderful record of renovation and all those who made it possible. I can imagine the community was grateful for your efforts to document the work. Of course you have gone beyond just documenting. You have captured the people and the small moments of beauty. Well done!"

This unsolicited comment is from one of the first readers of the book that Club members Derek Medhurst and Roger Lee published to chronicle the renovation of the station. They were delighted as it nicely reflects their approach to the photography and the book.

In early 2018 the Club was invited by Sevenoaks Town Council to record the renovation of Bat & Ball Station in Sevenoaks. It was the original terminus for the town, built in 1862, but for about 25 years it had been unstaffed, boarded up and closed to the public (although train services continuted to use the station). The Town Council had obtained a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the station building and create a community asset of meeting rooms and café.

The work took place over eight to nine months of 2018 and 2019. The vast majority of the photography was done by Derek Medhurst and Roger Lee. This was mainly as they lived nearer to the site and had better availability than other Club volunteers. Nine members had originally offered to help, but because of the length of the project and "real life" intruding, a few understandably had to withdraw.

Starting with the simple aim of recording the work for posterity soon expanded into a much wider scope. It was rewarding for the photographers and the Club: we were giving something personally to the community and because of the local interest many more people heard of the activities of the Club. As well as our pictures showing the renovation's progress on the station's website, we were able to put on an exhibition of some of the photos - including a few stereo photos that Derek had taken - and also gave a talk to the public about our contribution.

Restoration Station, The renaissance of Bat & Ball 2018-2019, Derek and Roger's photobook, is available from Bat & Ball Station café and Sevenoaks Bookshop. It is also available direct from Blurb online publishers. The photos capture not just the renovation process, but portray the workers and - as one reader has put it - some "small moments of beauty" seen during the work.

More information about all aspects of the station is on the Bat & Ball Station website.

We produced a review of the photographic project - including how we worked, the outputs and benefits seen - both for our own records and in case it is of use to any other clubs taking on a similar community-based photo project.

And the photos below are a small selection of the 1500+ taken during the project!