‘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"


SMJ Forum

Would the GCR have gone via Towcester? 11 Replies

Looking through Mac Hawkins book on the GCR then and now, he mentions that the GCR were thinking of running a line connecting Brackley to Northampton and had provisionally made a mound ready for a platform to be later constructed but they dropped…Continue

Started by Gary. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson 2 hours ago.

Byfield station woodwork colour 1 Reply

Hi, as anyone any idea what colour the doors would have been on the station building. I have a vague recollection that they were a maroonish/brownish colour, similar to the signal box.Thanks in advanceCliveContinue

Started by Clive. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson 2 hours ago.

EWJR Portland Cement Wagon 12 Replies

Hello All,I found this item on ebay, although it's a model, what I'd like to know is, was it actually based on the real thing? As you can see it has the initials EWJR and return empty to Ettington, which all fits in with the real world.It was listed…Continue

Started by Jim Goodman. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson 2 hours ago.

Towcester Railway Junction Print/Engraving.

Tomorrow (17th April 2021) W&H Peacock Auctioneers in Bedford are auctioning two hand tinted engravings entitled "Opening The Towcester Junction Railway" and "Her Majesty's Return - The Weedon Station", and is Lot No 382 in Sale Room No 5…Continue

Started by Colin Franklin 19 hours ago.

SMJ photos

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If I can add to this discussion.

I believe that the kiln at Showsley is or rather was a calcine kiln, it resembles a brick kiln, but it was never used for calcining. It was used as a workmans mess room.


Hope that helps


Stephen Robbins



Hello Stephen, can you shed some more light on this, do you know when this kiln was erected ?

Do you have family or friends who know about this kiln ?

Thanks for the info.

I came across a reference to the 'kiln' in one of the ES Tonks books.

I believe I had said previously that the 'kiln' was a brick kiln on another thread. I was wrong

The 'kiln' looks like a brick kiln but was going to be used as a calcining kiln for the ironstone. I assume had the building been used for calcining ironstone the stone would have been barrowed in.

I would have thought that it would have been a very smokey environment and not much stone would have calcined. I don't know what the dimesions of the building were. It is somewhat small.

I have had experience of working with calcining iron ore and it is a filthy horrible working environment.


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