‘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"
The Industrial Railway Society was founded in 1949 as the
Birmingham Locomotive Club - Industrial Locomotive Information
Section. The Society is the leading organization in the United
Kingdom devoted to the study of all aspects, and all gauges, of
privately owned industrial railways and locomotives, both at home
and overseas. Collieries, opencast coal pits, steel works, gas
works, peat bogs, Ministry of Defence depots, engineering works,
docks, electric power stations, etc., are all covered by the
Society. Also details of various railway preservation groups and
their locomotives, etc.Thanks for their help with this
(Northamptonshire Ironstone Co Ltd until 1928)
The Quarries were situated to the north of the village of Byield.
The quarries had a standard guage railway system which ran south to
a connection with the Stratford Upon Avon & Midland Junction
Railway/LMS about half a mile west of Byfield station. Production
started in 1915 but ran only until 1925, to be started once more in
1928, running up until final closure on the 12 th of February,
1965. Upon closure all the equipment was dismantled and the
workings systematically erased from the landscape, so much so as it
is hard to find any evidence as I type (December 2008)
4ft 8.5’ James 0-4-0st OC P 996 1904 (a) Scr c/1941
Northfield 0-6-0st OC P 717 1898 (b) (1)
Jeannie Waddell 0-6-0st IC P 464 1888
- - reb AE 1898 (c) Scr c/1923
0-6-0 IC MW 1235 1890 (d) Scr c3/1962
Lance.B.Pain 0-6-0st IC HC 347 1892 (e) Scr 2/1965
Byfield No2 0-6-0st OC WB 2655 1942 New
(2) Cherwell 0-6-0st OC WB 2654 1942 (f)
(5) Sir Berkley 0-6-0st IC MW 1210 1890 reb MW 1909 (g)
(3) No3 Avonside 0-6-0st OC AE 1919 1924 (h)
Leeds HC='Hudswell Clarke
WB = W.G.Bagnall Ltd., Stafford.
AE = Avonside Engine Co. Ltd., Bristol
P = Preckett & Sons Ltd., Bristol.
(a) Ex James Pain Ltd, Glendon East Quarries. C 1915
(b) Ex John Griffiths & sons, Glenburn Colliery, Lancs
(c) Ex Great Mountian Collieries Co Ltd. Carms. c/1917
(d) Ex P, 1929; earlier Westleigh Stone & Lime Co,
(e) Ex Furness Shipbuilding Co. County Durham c/1923
(f) Ex Park Gate Iron & Steel Co Ltd. Charwelton Quarries.
(g) Ex Cranford Ironstone Co Ltd Cranford Quarries 1959
(1) Ex Staveley Iron & Chemical Co Ltd, Derbys. 1960
(2) To Bloxham Quarries, Oxford 1918
(3) To Oxfordshire Ironstone Co Ltd, Banbury Oxon 1946
(4) To Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Yorkshire 1965
(5)To Staveley Minerals Ltd. Cranford. 1965
(6) To Daventry Borough Council, New Street recreation Ground.