‘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"
Shall we bring this discussion under the proper heading!So far as the OS plan surveyed 1885, published 1886, is concerned: the OS liked - wherever they could - to have text running parallel to the top and bottom borders. When they came to add the…Continue
Started by Richard Maund. Last reply by Richard Maund Feb 10.
Some time ago we ahd an interesting and lively discussion on the mystery station at Tiffield, which added quite a lot to our collective knowledge.I've recently been looking closely at two of the other mystery stations- at North End (sometimes…Continue
Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Richard Maund Jan 27.
Page 12 of Arthur Jordan's book features a full page reproduction of the E&WJ public timetable handbill for August 1873. Does anyone know where the original of that handbill is preserved?Incidentally, the timetable itself formed the basis of…Continue
Started by Richard Maund. Last reply by Barry Taylor Jan 25.
"I think that we can now agree that there was definitely a siding behind Bidford station platform?
The problem is dating the photograph. I have two prints in front of me as I write, both with info on the reverse.
One has, in two different hands, the…"
"Further to the discussion on Bidford –
I think that the use of the word ‘siding’ on the early OS map might be a red-herring? I seem to remember seeing somewhere a discussion (maybe RCHS?) on the use of that word to describe some…"
"Yes - I had noticed this anomaly.. I haven't yet found my original source for the 27/5/1898 date but think that the1890 date is very unlikely - that period seems quite well documented and there seems to have been no mention.
I suspect that my…"
"Ah good - thought it must be there somewhere. I have recorded both RAIL 968 and 969 but somehow not 970 - although I did lose some Kew records on a corrupt CD years ago. Thought that I had recovered them on a later visit but this may be one…"
"The 1890 WTT is safely in private hands..
I do have copies of the Kew WTTs, but thus far I have not located any other similar examples.
That said there were a couple (I think) of EWJR WTTs for sale in one of Robert Humm's catalogues a year or…"
"There is an easily missed footnote at the very bottom of that page in Arthur's book that states 'by kind permission of Public Records Office Kew'
That said, I haven't found it so far in my notes / records from my own visits…"
"The date of 2/1/1886 is confirmed by the Act for the amalgamation of the STMJR ER&SJR and EWJR dated 1 August 1908 page 4 - the ER&SJR is named therein as the 'Evesham Company'
Also included on the same page is the date of…"
"I have used the date of 2nd January1886 in my books on the SMJ and its constituents - but will have to dig back in my records to see just where that came from - probably TNA Kew.
The 'Railway News' of 1st December 1894 also stated that…"
"Just to qualify Gary's earlier comment - the line from Towcester to Greens Norton was in fact originally just single track, with a loop, a junction, and two signal boxes at Greens Norton. The loop was shortened and one signal box removed in…"
"An excellent view of a rarely photographed bit of the SMJ. Does anyone have a good clear close up view of the bridge carrying the SMJ over the GWR a few hundred yards further west? They always seem to be in the background of photos of trains passing…"
"Hi Andrew - not too sure how this should work, but I (thlnk that0 I accepted your 'friends' request recently! You wanted to discuss North End amongst other things? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This is fascinating stuff.
It's a shame that no photograph has turned up but hardly surprising, considering the remoteness of the location.
Assuming the gateman's lodge was constructed at the same time as the station, I think we may…"
" I have found another reference to Morton Pinkney Gatehouse Crossing in Bill Kendall's recollections of the area - these have been published in articles in 'British Railways Journal' (on Towcester and Blisworth) and other…"
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.