Pub’s Place In Bat And Trap History Commemorated With Blue Plaque

A Shepherd Neame pub in Canterbury is now home to a Blue Plaque commemorating where the Canterbury and District Bat and Trap League was founded in 1922.

Britain’s oldest brewer has worked closely with The Canterbury Society to arrange for the plaque to be established at Ye Olde Beverlie to celebrate the part it played in the sport’s history.

The groundwork for the quintessentially British sport was laid in a meeting held there on Thursday, September 22, 1922.

Thought to be the forerunner of cricket, it was there that founder of the Canterbury and District Bat and Trap League, Robert William Humphreys, laid the groundwork for its establishment.

Mr Humphreys – known as Bill – defined the standard size of equipment and pitches, before petitioning pub landlords to create spaces ahead of the inaugural season in 1923.

Shepherd Neame held a successful centenary celebration at Ye Olde Beverlie in 2022, which included the chance for guests to try their hand at the game in the pub garden where it was first played.

Deputy Chair of The Canterbury Society John Walker said: “The game of Bat and Trap is something of a Kent tradition and it is believed that the game’s ancestor was first played in the 14th century. The Beverlie Inn opened for business in the 1740s, and it has records of the game being played there since it opened.”

He added: “Canterbury had very few of the famous Blue Plaques, despite having been home to many interesting and important people. We were delighted to receive a nomination from Shepherd Neame to include Mr Humphreys in our bid to recognise those connected with the City who deserve to be remembered and commemorated.”

General Manager Scott Senior said: “Bat and trap is still alive and kicking at Ye Olde Beverlie! We are honoured to be able to commemorate its beginnings here, and it is fitting that we are able to do so where it is still being enjoyed – and will be for years to come.”

Canterbury and District League Press Officer Jakey Janes said: “We are thrilled that Bill Humphreys has been honoured with a Blue Plaque at the home of bat and trap. Bill worked tirelessly for 33 years to put bat and trap on the map, and it’s fantastic to see this recognised.

“The Canterbury and District League began with five teams, including one at the Beverlie, and Bill’s work helped the sport grow in popularity. It’s been great to work with Shepherd Neame to help invigorate this competitive pub sport once again.”