‘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"
For those interested in the Train Simulator 2014 side of life... I've begun modelling the SMJ railway in the route creator/editor, using terrain from imported Google Earth and imagery of the line from the SMJ days. As you'd expect, the route is…Continue
Started by Richard Woods. Last reply by Bob hawes Aug 8.
I see an advert for Volume 1 of Barry Taylor's SMJ history in RM. Apparently it will cover the E&WJR and N&BJR period pre SMJ and is being published by Black Dwarf mid-August, cost &25 plus p.p.Continue
Started by Dick Bodily. Last reply by Dick Bodily Aug 4.
"Actually, I can and will go further. It is exceptionally well produced and extremely well laid out.
Plus it has some photos I haven't seen before, and given the usual cost of prints sold at shows and on-line (excluding an additional premium…"
"Arrived in the warehouse at Lydney late on Thursday 17th apparently - so first shipments out to pre-orders and trade would probably have been Friday. Probably got held up on the Midland at Broom Junction for a day or two on the…"
"I ordered it on the 10th. No sign yet?
Has it been held up?
(Would be entirely appropriate if it had been delayed en route - probably had to stop to allow Milord of somewhere to attach a horse box, or similar...)"
Hi allI'm pleased to announce that the first volume of my history of the SMJ should be available in the near future - details are as follows:The Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway Volume One: The years before the S&MJR 1866-1909: The Constituent Companies Barry Taylor 208 pages. 275x215mm. Printed on…See More
"There will be two volumes -
Vol 1 covers the early days - NBJR EWJR ST&MJR and ER&SJR histories and the locos and rolling stock of those companies
The second takes things on from 1909 when the SMJ came into being - then through LMS and…"
Thanks for the mention - I know that there are one or two adverts out there already, and the book is currently being printed in Poland, with a target date of mid August into stock.
I will put up a note and a few details on this website when…"
Just published -T.E.WILLIAMS - THE LOST COLOUR COLLECTION VOLUME 1by Irwell Press - ISBN 978-1-9-911262-04-06 - £24.95All are colour pictures from Tom William's collection - these fortunately did not go into the "black hole" of York Museum as did his black & white shots. Most are of Great Western subjects, but there is a good selection of classic SMJ shots around Stratford and Broom.The notes and introduction are by the late John Jennings who passed away late last year and so did not see…See More
"Not just South Northamptonshire, Dick, but the whole county. I went through school in Northampton meeting a series of teachers relieved that I was not a relative of Dunkleys they had previously encountered... (My younger brother did not get to share…"
There were several Dunkley families in Towcester in the '60s, there probably still are. In fact it was a frequently occurring surname in South Northants generally. One Mr Dunkley owned a cycle shop in Towcester back then, another…"
"Fair points, Barry. I wondered about the acres of white paper, and I suspect it was excluded as it had nothing to do with the matters at hand.
Despite the surname, and probably a shared distant ancestor, I am not aware of a direct connection with…"
"Hi Simon Difficult one. Blisworths second station was built in this position at some date after the line to Northampton was opened in 1845- so the fact that the station is shown on this plan suggests a date post 1845. There does not appear to be a…"
"There is no hint of the branch to Northampton and Peterborough, (Royal Assent 1843, opened 1845) which suggests a date earlier than 1853 for the creation of the plan. This may even have been drawn in preparation of the new works, and filed later."
The "proposed" reservoir was never proceeded with but the road did get constructed - although perhaps on a slightly different alignment ?
I wonder if the reason for the reservoir was just to provide an…"
Have updated the Rail Tours list correcting some errors I made plus adding your new ones. I've contacted Rex Partridge who doesn't use computers. Turns out he went on TGS Rail Society coach tour shed bashes in the early 60s with me and a mutual friend to Doncaster, Nottingham and Leeds and I didn't even remember him! He's writing an SMJ article for one of the magazines and is going to pass on info for my classes list. Some amazing stuff, but I shall wait until his article appears before putting it on the website because I think that's only fair.
Have now seen the letter, it was written by Rex Partridge who lives at Byfield. I don't know him but he is an expert on Woodford's latter day railway history and as a youngster was personal friends to many of the old Woodford railwaymen including Dick Hutt who drove the last GC line train. He actually wrote the chapter on Woodford in R Robothams 'The Last Years of the GC Main Line' for him. I used this as one of my references in putting together the SMJR locos list and also the Woodford page on this website. I've not seen his name on this website nor the GC yahoo groups website. Perhaps he is not into computing. He must have a wealth of info.
Thanks for that. I've got your interesting article about Northampton shed special workings. I don't buy railway magazines often but always have a quick look each month to see if there's anything about the Northampton area so I've got all the recent SMJ articles, including Andy's. Looks like I'll have to have a look at the August editions to check up on these letters. Regarding the RAF specials in the 50s, I find it hard to believe that I would not have seen or heard about any passenger trains, as although not very interested in railways in the early to mid 50s, I was friendly with the Blakesley signalboxman's son and we always got to hear about and usually see the 'tank trains' as we called them which took armoured vehicles, field guns, etc. to and from Kineton Camp.
Thanks for that I'm able to finish my Excel as a result. I shall also be able to update the loco list within the next few days with your additions. I shall have to send a revised version to Andy.
Have got a new one for you from Six Bells Junction.
On 17/11/62 GWR 2210 took over the King (Class) Commemorative Tour at Leamington, then ran down the main Paddington line to Fenny Compton, onto the SMJR to Blisworth, then down the West Coast mainline!!! to Bletchley, over the 'White Elephant' flyover on to the Buckinghamshire line, off at Calvert onto the GCR mainline to Marylebone!
Thanks for the useful and interesting info. I've had the time to do the engines list (which is on this website now - accessed through the Other locos link - have a look and see if you can add to it) and I'm putting together a SMJ specials list as I'm unable to do any parttime work for a few days as I've gone temporarily deaf until I can get my ears syringed! I'm having trouble finding the date of the (in the 60s- 3 car?) DMU railtour. Do you have any idea when it was, even a rough idea would be useful.
At present I'm trying to put together a Excel type file of SMJ specials/ railtours for Andy to tidy up the Railtours section of this website and wondered if you could help with following
4/5/57 Do you know the B16's number?
24/7/54 Do you know where the railcar joined the SMJ?
On another subject. Had another thought about your details about 22xxs arriving at 2E. Although I agree they probably arrived via the SMJ, another more likely than my original suggestion of the Leamington - Weedon route possibility would have been from Oxford via Bletchley. I know there were regular freights from Northampton to Oxford usually worked by 2E engines.
Did you used to spot yourself in the Northampton area in the 60s? I used to regularly do Castle station, Banbury Lane crossing, Wellingborough and Peterborough (car park near East where you could watch both lines), Woodford and Banbury.