‘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"
Following the sad loss of John Jennings, a stalwart of the SMJ and our society, Mike Musson set up a page on his site. The whole sit is well worth a visit as it overlaps with us here at the SMJ society Go take a look…Continue
Many of you will be aware that in common with all other railway companies the SMJR lost many of its employees for all or part of the Great War as the patriotic duty to volunteer was overwhelming. Railwaymen were technically exempt but many chose to…Continue
"I agree with everything that has been said. A wonderful, scholarly yet very readable pair of volumes that will fill the yawning gap between the smaller volumes by various authors that have appeared in the past and the need for much more detail and a…"
"Barry is to be congratulated on completing his epic definite work on the SMJ with the superb Volume 2. It will now with Volume 1 become the authoritative 500+ page work on the history of the line. Excellent!"
"At the Warley exhibition I eagerly hit the Lightmoor stand first thing on Saturday to check progress and, to my delight, discovered that volume 2 had arived in time for the show. I was just handing over my cash when Barry appeared beside me for his…"
"Pleased to say that Vol 2 made its debut at the NEC Warley show on Saturday - and seems to have been very well received with plenty of sales so far.
Particular thanks to John Evans for his shots which enabled us to cover pretty much all of the…"
"This is a very good news. as the first volume was really excellent. By the way, has anyone seen that The Trains Now Departed by Michael Williams has a nicely written chapter about the SMJ? There's nothing really new here, but I borrowed a…"
"Yep - noticed that Lightmoor now have it on their website, so they seem confident about the arrival date!
This time it is a much bigger book - 328 pages, with a 56 page colour section. Covers everything from the start of the SMJR in 1909 through to…"
"Not quite folks! The book was finalised in mid-October and my latest information from the publisher is that Vol 2 is due into their warehouse at Lydney by 22nd November. This will hopefully be just in time to ensure that it is available…"
"First one that I have seen with connections at Fenny C too - they were certainly not shown in 1874, but the EWJR were on very poor terms with the GWR at that time owing to the disputes over iron ore rates. Interestingly in May 1875 the…"
Having checked my notes my main references appear to be from Eric Tonks, in his two books - the original Ironstone Railways & Tramways of the Midlands and the later series on the Quarries - much the same info in both, but I do think…"
I don't have any doubt that the turntable was actually provided. I have a few references to it having been removed around 1940-42 when the Marlborough Farm site was being developed and new sidings etc provided- one account states…"
"I just bought this book at the bookshop in Grosmont. Very interesting and I never knew of the triangle station plan at Ravenstone Wood, or some of the other proposals. A great addition to SMJ literature, nicely produced and not unreasonably priced."
"Thank you Dick - that's a great review!
It will be interesting to see what the various magazine reviews are like, but for me the most important are the ones from those that "know" the SMJ like yourself and others on this…"
"Have only just got hold of a copy. Barry has done a superlative job of covering the early days of the line. There are lots of 'new' photos and the familiar ones are reproduced better than in previous publications and on quality…"
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.