‘The Stratford Upon Avon & Midland Junction Railway’ (or S.M.J.) was a small independent railway company which ran a line across the empty, untouched centre of England. It visited the counties of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and a little of Buckinghamshire, only existing as the SMJ from 1909 to 1923. In 1923 the S.M.J.became a minor arm of the London Midland and Scottish (L.M.S.), then in 1948 'British Railways' 

Gone but not forgotten: "the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth"


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SMJ Forum

Proposed conversion of numbers 5 and 6.

According to Dunn, the problems with the two BP tanks ns 5 and 6 running backwards were twice addressed with the idea of converting them to 2-4-2Ts, and that drawings were prepared on at least one occasion.Has anyone ever seen anything of these…Continue

Started by Simon Dunkley Jun 27.

Broom Junction station site for sale 1 Reply

Great opportunity for an SMJ enthusiast perhaps.  I'm not sure what you could actually do with this site though!…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Simon Stevens May 17.

Ravenstone Wood as three way junction? 1 Reply

A close analysis of the 1945 RAF aerial photographs available in the historical imagery resource on Google Earth has provided evidence that Ravenstone Wood was probably a three-way junction during the latter part of WW2 and for an unknown period of…Continue

Started by Dave Hayward. Last reply by Robin Cullup Apr 15.

Turntable at Burton Dassett 4 Replies

As part of my research prior to creating a model of the EHLR/SMJ junction at Burton Dassett, I’ve just had the privilege of looking through the original notes and letters produced by Eric Tonks whilst writing his 1948 book “The Edge Hill Light…Continue

Started by Mark Reader. Last reply by Mark Reader Mar 29.

The SMJR Great War Roll of Honour 11 Replies

Many of you will be aware that in common with all other railway companies the SMJR lost many of its employees for all or part of the Great War as the patriotic duty to volunteer was overwhelming.  Railwaymen were technically exempt but many chose to…Continue

Tags: of, Honour, Roll, War, SMJR

Started by John Jennings. Last reply by Simon Stevens Dec 15, 2017.

NEW BOOK ON THE SMJ - AVAILABLE SHORTLY 14 Replies

Hi allI'm pleased to announce that the first volume of my history of…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by John Evans Nov 22, 2017.

Need Site Help?

Colleagues,

I am involved in some in depth research into the very early history of west Northamptonshire. One thread at the moment is endeavouring to identify the multi-faceted route of the Jurassic Way as it passed through the area. One strand I am currently trying to confirm is the route from the east side of the Dassett Hills to Priors Hardwick. My prime choice at the moment is via Farnborough and Claydon before heading up to Hardwick along a now long gone route called the Ridge-way.

How does this affect the SMJ you might ask? I think that it might hold a clue that could be vital in this story. Just to the Fenny Compton side of the SMJ bridge that crosses the canal feeder arm from Boddington reservoir there is an accommodation bridge, the railway runs over the route. The position of this bridge is interesting as it is in direct alignment for my projected route of the Jurassic Way and could therefore help provide an important part in a Jurassic jigsaw puzzle!

I have two requests, does anybody have any early maps/ plans that might show a route that ran under this bridge? (I have the early OS maps) Secondly does anybody have a photograph of the bridge they could let me have a copy of for my paper? I will ensure credits are included in the paper.

Looking at the Anglo-Saxon Charter for Wormleighton it does call a projection of this route just to the north The Ridge-way which is an indicator of antiquity.

If I can prove this then we could call this, The Jurassic Bridge!

Thanks in anticipation.

Dave Hayward

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Hi Dave

I live close to the location you describe. Go to Google earth. The section of old railway has been cleared and there is a fantastic aerial view especially if you set the date slider to new years eve 2006. (american date format 12/31/2006). The low winter sun shows the raised embankment and your bridge is to the right of the clearing. I also have ground photo's for you.

Another interesting thing about this bridge is there does not appear to be a bridge No for it. SJT1 56 is the canal feeder you mention. The bridge is no more than a few chain from the canal feeder. The county / parish boundary is at the Fenny Compton (west) side of the clearing which is some 16 chain in distance.

There is also a cutting in the embankment at that end of the clearing (west) which is nothing more than a means of farm vehicle access through the embankment which was cut at the time the vegatation was cleared.(I only mention this should anyone be curious of a removed bridge)

72377 is from the track bed of the bridge facing toward Fenny (west) The hedge at the far end is the county / parish boundary.

72379 is the south facing side of the bridge

72381 is from the field showing the bridge with the canal feeder burried behind in the background trees. (looking east)

The date on the photo's is correct but obviously not the time. I have many more photo's should you want.

Hope all this is of some help to you and I would be happy to provide details of the landowner should you want any permissions, should you get so far as organised walks as to my knowledge there are no public right of ways over the land in this area.

Regards Martin Broughton

 

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Martin Broughton said:

Hi Dave

I live close to the location you describe. Go to Google earth. The section of old railway has been cleared and there is a fantastic aerial view especially if you set the date slider to new years eve 2006. (american date format 12/31/2006). The low winter sun shows the raised embankment and your bridge is to the right of the clearing. I also have ground photo's for you.

Another interesting thing about this bridge is there does not appear to be a bridge No for it. SJT1 56 is the canal feeder you mention. The bridge is no more than a few chain from the canal feeder. The county / parish boundary is at the Fenny Compton (west) side of the clearing which is some 16 chain in distance.

There is also a cutting in the embankment at that end of the clearing (west) which is nothing more than a means of farm vehicle access through the embankment which was cut at the time the vegatation was cleared.(I only mention this should anyone be curious of a removed bridge)

72377 is from the track bed of the bridge facing toward Fenny (west) The hedge at the far end is the county / parish boundary.

72379 is the south facing side of the bridge

72381 is from the field showing the bridge with the canal feeder burried behind in the background trees. (looking east)

The date on the photo's is correct but obviously not the time. I have many more photo's should you want.

Hope all this is of some help to you and I would be happy to provide details of the landowner should you want any permissions, should you get so far as organised walks as to my knowledge there are no public right of ways over the land in this area.

Regards Martin Broughton

 Martin,

Thanks for a  very helpful response. I have in fact looked in detail at Google Earth and other media including Lidar and old maps but I cannot, as yet find any evidence of a track to the south of the bridge on the other side of the canal except for the following.

The only feature of interest I can establish is to look at the rear garden boundary of the houses in the 'vee' of Boddington Road and the Fenny Compton Road in Claydon. This boundary line is in direct alignment with the bridge and in turn the the Warwickshire/ Oxfordshire/ Northamptonshire County Boundary before it turns to the SW just before the bridge. In the Anglo-Saxon Charter for Wormleighton the county boundary from this turn, north to the E/W main road is referred to as 'The Ridgeway'. This term is only something that is normally used for a significant route.

Interestingly if you look at the 2007 Google Earth map you can see a northerly projection of the rear garden boundary alignment to the triangular feature at the north of the adjacent field where it meets two other fields. I have come across these features before, they may well have some antiquity themselves. This is only a slight deviation from the straight projected line from the Ridge-way, through the bridge to the Claydon gardens.

I would very much like to discuss access to land with you as I have a potential visit, with a colleague, to the area scheduled for May.

Perhaps to save detracting too far from the interests of the SMJ Group you might like to contact me 'off-list' on my personal email:- davensal@hywd1.fsnet.co.uk

I think it might also be worthwhile for me to contact The Canals and Rivers Trust to see if they have pre-canal plans of the area in their archives.

Regards

Dave Hayward

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