‘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

1959 rail tour

Also full details and timings of this tour on --rail tours 1959-- website with some nice photos of 45091

Started by ray w yesterday.

Sunday 9th August 1959 "Grafton " rail tour

Just found this ticket for above rail tour around East Midlands taking in Blisworth, Byfield and Woodford Halse, where 45091 was used. There is a fascinating account of this round trip from Kings Cross on the RCTS website Watford Branch Newsletter…Continue

Started by ray w yesterday.

MORTON PINKNEY LEVEL CROSSING 12 Replies

There was a public level crossing between Blakesley and Morton Pinkney, complete with a gatehouse.Does anyone know how this was operated?Presumably the gates must have been manual and kept closed against road traffic.Early Working Timetables mention…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Ian Merivale Sep 21.

SMJ rides again? Broom to Stratford Greenway Proposal

From Bidford on Avon Parish council comes news of the Avon and Arrow Greenway Project whose latest newsletter is here: August 2020 AAGP…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens Sep 14.

SMJ photos

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We walked from Byfield station to the junction with Byfield Mines and here found, isolated on a piece of track, the saddle tank "Cherwell." She had worked at both Charwelton and Byfield, but now her days in action were over. She was transported to New Street Recreation Ground in Daventry to become a plaything for local kids, but in 2001 she was rescued. She is now at Rushden Transport Museum where one day she may be restored. What a pleasure that would be.

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Comment by Tony Newman on March 15, 2020 at 15:09

Looks like restoration is now in the pipeline for real. It has been a long wait. A few years ago I tried to donate railway books to sell or raffle for the (presumed) restoration fund for 'Cherwell', but I kind of got the brushoff from the Rushden lot.  

Comment by John Evans on November 3, 2012 at 19:13

Thanks for this information David. Six inches of concrete, eh? That's a new one on me! Good luck with the restoration.

Comment by Andy Thompson on November 1, 2012 at 21:43

Cheers Dave! Andy

Comment by David Chambers on October 31, 2012 at 23:39

As the man responsible for aquiring Cherwell for the RHTS I feel I should give an update! This was a response to the Daventry Express when asked about progress  Jan 2009.

The RHTS presented their case and were selected from among some fourteen groups for final custody of Bagnell 0-4-0 Cherwell.  It was important she remained in the county, as together with our Barclay 0-4-0 No 9, from the Irchester pits, thence coupled with our tippler wagons a scene could be recreated truly representative of the once expansive Northamptonshire ironstone industry.

The society has spent initially £2000 on recovery and transportation of Cherwell from Daventry to our Rushden site.  Society members having voluntarily carried out work in preparation for the haulage contractor.

A further £2000 has been spent on crane-age to lift the water tank from the boiler and for removal of contaminant insulation.

General stripping also included removal of concrete that had been laid six inches deep in the cab.  This has been carried out by members, prior to obtaining a report from a certified locomotive inspector.  This report highlighted a major defect in the Copper walled firebox.  Minimal maintenance toward the end of her working career had permitted sludge to build around the base of the water jacket which has caused excessive localized temperatures and subsequent sagging to the walls.  The smoke box barrel is extensively corroded and requires replacement together with end plate and door. Combined with the obvious costs that will be incurred when the boiler is lifted, together with sourcing of missing parts, it becomes obvious a different approach to the raising of finance will be required.

 A restoration fund has been set up which includes a single donation of £2600, though it is now apparent support will be required from other heritage charities as it is not expected to see change from at least £130,000.

 

David Chambers

Procuring officer RHTS.

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