This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Kentish sport of bat and trap was officially founded at Shepherd Neame pub Ye Olde Beverlie in St Stephen’s Green, Canterbury.
The origins of the bat-and-ball game, seen as a precursor to cricket, can be traced back to the 13th century, but it was in 1922, in Ye Olde Beverlie’s large pub garden, that the first bat and trap Canterbury and District League was founded.
To mark this centenary, Faversham-based independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame is launching a campaign to encourage more people to try the unique Kentish sport.
As a long-time sponsor of Kent Cricket, with the Club’s Canterbury headquarters The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, named after its most famous beer brand, Shepherd Neame has enlisted help from two Kent players George Linde and Matt Quinn to promote the game, filming a ‘how to’ bat and trap guide, available to view at https://youtu.be/wbOuiREJEaE
New limited edition anniversary bat and trap kits have also been issued to eight Kent Shepherd Neame pubs: The Artichoke, Chartham; Bucks Head, Sevenoaks; The Evenhill, Littlebourne; Golden Lion, Sturry; Horse and Groom, Ramsgate; Tudor Rose, Upnor; White Lion, Selling; along with the original setting for the game, Ye Olde Beverlie.
The Artichoke in Chartham is among 30 teams that play across four divisions in the Canterbury and District League. Licensee Holly Millin said: “When I took over the pub in 2021, I hadn’t previously played bat and trap, but I am definitely now a fan! We have two league teams and are fortunate to have a bat and trap pitch separate to our pub garden, where they play every Wednesday evening. We are always happy to welcome individuals and families to have a go when the league isn’t playing, as it is a fantastic way of bringing people of all ages together. We are delighted that Shepherd Neame is championing this unique Kentish sport to encourage more people to get involved.”
Shepherd Neame’s Director of Marketing and Communications Joanna Richardson said: “Bat and trap is played in pub gardens across our Kentish heartland, and this centenary is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of this fantastic game. We hope that our campaign will encourage individuals, families and friends of all ages to get outside and have fun together trying this unique Kentish sport.”