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Jagger and Richards artwork at Dartford station hits buffers

Keith Richards
Keith Richards

Sir John Betjeman has his statue at St Pancras; a plaque at Widnes station commemorates the Paul Simon song 'Homeward Bound'; but will Mick and 'Keef' get their own railway tribute?

Jagger and Richards met as students on platform 3 at Dartford station in 1961 but plans to mark pop music's historic event appear to have hit the buffers.

It's because Network Rail, whose turnover is £6 billion a year, says its priority is moving passengers around, not commemorating ageing rock stars.

The Stones frontmen, both carrying guitar cases, struck up a conversation which would lead to the formation of one of the great bands.

But despite a pledge that the instant connection would be commemorated as part of the major refurbishment of the station, it now appears to have hit the buffers.

When Network Rail organised a ceremony to mark the start of work, Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite announced he had been told a mural would be created.

"You have to give modern stations an identity, and nothing could be more appropriate than the Rolling Stones," he said. "I am delighted."

Network Rail, however, is backtracking. A spokesman insisted this week that their position had been misunderstood.

"Someone in the council asked and we said if we have any money left over, we will consider it," he said. "We haven’t got bottomless pots of money.

"There are lots of things we would like to spend lots of money on which aren’t part of a functioning railway, and we therefore have to take decisions based on what would benefit passengers."

Cllr Kite (Con), however, was definite that the promise had been made.

"I was a bit surprised, because they volunteered the information," he said.

"This is probably one hand not knowing what the other is doing."

In a statement this week Network Rail said: "We have given a commitment to look at some options subject to funding being available.

"The top priority for this scheme is to improve the facilities which will make a real difference to people’s journeys.

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