‘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"
Careful scrutiny of the 1:25000 maps on Streetmap suggests that very little of the SMJ trackbed is a public right-of-way. There are short sections near Roade and Kineton and one or two places where there is an adjacent footpath. Can anyone advise of…Continue
Started by Michael Roake. Last reply by Jean Cholerton yesterday.
This is Isle of Man Railway Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T 'Mannin' which is about to be restored to running order so that it can deal with the heavier trains on the line as at present only Dubs 0-6-0T 'Caledonia' is a capable of such trains unaided. Its a beefed up version of the earlier smaller 3 foot gauge engines that Beyer Peacock provided for the IMR in the late 19th / early…See More
"Have updated and tidied up the Blakesley page that Andy and myself put together in bits and pieces a long time ago and added a few more hopefully amusing anecdotes to it. Changing subject have also featured pictures of the two…"
"Have updated and tidied up the Blakesley page that Andy and myself put together in bits and pieces a long time ago. Changing subject have also featured pictures of the two most regular SMJ engines that survive in preservation. 48305…"
"Interestingly the 1916 Appendix mentions the 20mph restriction at Ravenstone Wood junction as applying to trains travelling from Towcester with no mention of trains travelling from Olney onto the SMJ."
I should think that the unfitted nature of the vast majority of the freights on the line, plus its switchback gradient pattern would preclude even moderately fast running. As for the fitted freights from Woodford that had originated from…"
"The Great Central Railway's ex-SMJ 8F 48305, allocated at the time to Northampton and regularly seen between Blisworth and Byfield on ironstone trains and afternoon pick ups is due to return to steam soon, its return debut should be…"
"Another New Book!
Fast after receiving Vol 2 of Barry's epic work I received news of another new book that will be of interest to many SMJR website users. It written by Ralph Radford who was a Woodford fireman in the late '50s and…"
"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!"
Sad to report the untimely death last week of SMJ Society member Malcolm Ranieri. Malcolm was well known for his excellent steam train photographs that have appeared for many years in the rail preservation press. He was also one of the main contributors to Old Glory magazine and has produced photo album books on traction engines, steam trains, commercial vehicles and narrow boat as Malcolm was interested in most aspects of vintage transport. He will be greatly missed by his friends and fellow…See More
"Bridge Number 14
There's a list of bridge nos if you click on INDEX link at the top left of the webpage, then scroll down to find it. Most bridges had an oval LMS white plate with black number. Some road bridges still have their number paint…"
Further history on 0-6-0 La Savoie. In 1841 Joseph Locke, engineer of the Paris & Rouen Railway, asked Brassey & Mackenzie contractors, in conjunction with William Allcard, contractor for the Permanent Way on the Grand Junction Railway and William Buddicom, engineer, to jointly supply the plant at the Chartreux Works. Hence the company of Allcard & Buddicom was formed specifically to supply locomotives, carriages & wagons to the Compagnie de Chemins de Fer de Rouen. This contract was for 40 locos, 120 2nd class carriages & 200 wagons. The first locos were built in October 1842, to an "Allen Crewe" design manufactured under license. In 1845 the company moved to better premises in Sotteville near Rouen. The 2 French tender engines 2-4-0 and 0-6-0 were purchased from Le Chemin de Fer de Rhone et Loire in 1858 by Thomas Brassey for a contract in Savoy, namely the Mont Ceris Tunnel Railway, which opened in October 1871. Savoy is part of the Auvergne-Rhone-Alps region following its annexation to France in June 1860. The test train took a party of 54 including Buddicom, Crampton & Brassey as Director. Both French engines were probably hired to the E & WJR in 1874 from Thomas Brassey.
Thomas Crampton, an English engineer, was the contractor who built the line for the E & WJR and was later a director of that company.
William Buddicom, an English engineer, who built some of the first locomotives in France.
Thomas Brassey, an English civil engineering contractor, had by 1870 built 75% of French Railways, 33% of British Railways, and 1 in 20 miles of railways in the world.
Two questions come to mind. When was La Savoie actually named and where was she built? We know La Savioe was built in one of two places, but was she named in honour of Savoy being annexed to France?
I have seven photos of the magazine's pages relating to Blakesley Hall Railway waiting to be sent to you. I do not know how to send attachments via this site so please let me know your email address. Have you tried firstname.lastname@example.org for me?
I am not good at navigating around sites such as this. I have an email with first effort copies of an article I wish to send to you, I know you have been unable to reach me through my usual email address so please try email@example.com
47203%20%40%20Swithland%20on%20passenger%2013.6.15.jpgFurther to Dick's comments re the Woodford Halse event at the GC last weekend, I attach a couple of photographs - one of 43106 - a Woodford resident for some in the late'50s/early 60s. This loco moved on to various other sheds including a short stint at Kettering in 1963.
The other is of 47406 renumbered as 47203 going well on a passenger duty at Swithland. 47203 was at L'ster GC as yard shunter in 1958/59,
Yes Mark Reader is one if our group. He recently joined us when we discovered he had been planning a layout, also in N gauge based on Kineton for done time. His plans are earlier period than ours so there may well be compromise.
I'll pass on your message when I see him tomorrow evening.
Many thanks for the welcome Dick. I am one of Frank's nephews, known as William, or Bill, and son of Jim who was the eldest of the Reynolds boys. There were actually five of them, Jim, Frank, Reg, Ron and Cliff. My father was a policeman and I grew up in Northampton and have many fond memories of Blakesly.
Yes I am that photographer, the SMJ has fond memories for me and was the catalyst for my intersest in railways. It is hard to believe and I still cannot believe it myself that some fifty years on as a trainee fireman on the GWSR that I fired a 9F between Toddington and Winchcombe hauling a goods train which is where the goods ran after closure of the Stratford to Broom section in 1960.