‘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"
As part of my research prior to creating a model of the EHLR/SMJ junction at Burton Dassett, I’ve just had the privilege of looking through the original notes and letters produced by Eric Tonks whilst writing his 1948 book “The Edge Hill Light…Continue
Started by Mark Reader. Last reply by Mark Reader 4 hours ago.
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
A close analysis of the 1945 RAF aerial photographs available in the historical imagery resource on Google Earth has provided evidence that Ravenstone Wood was probably a three-way junction during the latter part of WW2 and for an unknown period of…Continue
HelloI purchased the book « Track Layout Diagrams of the Great Western Railway and B.R. (W.R.) section 29 » « Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Jcn Rly » by R.A.Cooke ISBN 10 :1 871674 20 4N page 29/9 on the 1903 track plan it shows a goods shed at…Continue
My Great grandfather's name was Joseph Hirons. In the 1881 census at the age of 21yrs, while living in Fenny Compton, he is recorded as a railway station master. 1901 census he is again a railway stationmaster, however the actual station isn't mentioned. The first mention of a station is In Kelly's Directory of 1912 he is listed as railway station master at Binton. Please could you give me the O/S co ordinates of the station as we were unable to locate it on our recent visit? Has it now completely disappeared? Around the end of the First World War he left the railway to become the landlord of The Old Thatch Tavern, Stratford on Avon.
Peter, thank you for your welcome. My grandfather is the driver in the Photo on page 20 of Arthur Jordan's book. I have seen other photos of him around the Stratford Sheds and will try to locate them. Sadly I was too young to remember him. Any information about his connection to the line would be welcome. As a boy I used to play in the deserted station back in the early 1970s.
Hi Peter, im actually on here looking for some information regarding the landowner on the lake (Russia pit I believe) along side the A43 just north of towcester. Im doing some research into a motorcycle program from the 80's called kickstart which was filmed at this location, Ive been once before but got chased away but the owner of the land so this time I wanted to do it properly as I want to take some pictures etc. There appear to be some pictures on here from the site so I just wondered how I would go about getting access to the site. It was filmed on the north bank of the lake and the land just above it. Any help anyone could give would be fantastic.
Hi Peter. Thanks. Unfortunately my only link with the line was that I cam across the track bed not far from Fenny Crompton when I was on an outward bound cpout5rse back in the early 80's and got interested in finding out a bit about the line then. Then I happened to meet with Arthur Jordon in 86 when he visited my works and we chatted a bit about the line then. Rather sadly I can't find the photos I took of the site at Byfield station at the time but as I recall they weren't very informative anyway. Have always planned to build a model of Byfield but never got around to it so far. Maybe this will be the spur to action I need. Bill
Thanks for the welcome Peter, the Broom history group have a large collection of photos related to the village and are in the process of cataloguing them but hadn't found many railway ones when they held their most recent display. I did say that there would be lots of interest in them!
I have an interest in joint lines that link one railway system with another, such as between Halesowen and Longbridge. I am a member of the Stephenson Locomotive Society and have developed an archive of SLS Special Trains for the Society. I am therefore interested in the various tours that have passed over SMJ metals and nearby such as at Woodford Halse.
The only connection I have with the old line is that I stayed in Helmdon for a week in the 1980's and was intrigued by the line. Now retired I have time to find out a bit more about this fascinating line.
Hi Peter, I did a livery painting of the SMJ several years ago for British Railway Modelling, and talked about starting an SMJ Society with Simon Dunkley. I am very glad that I found this site when I saw the other Nigel's photo of the concrete signal post at Lloyd's siding. I am very interested in concrete signal posts, as it may well turn out that the post was made at Melton Constable (M&GN). Nigel
I found some things, but I could do with more on the Towcester station.
I see the comments from George Woodcock that he will be doing a model of it set mid 70s, someone else I know was looking at doing one set in the mid-50s.
I am puzzled though by one picture said to be Towcester station frontage in 1953, Coronation year.
Although very fuzzy, I am sure that all those station information boards outside are showing LMS - over 5 years after it became British Railways and by then everything would have had the new logos. Unless of course the date is wrong and it was actually that of a pre-war Coronation photo.
Thank-you very much for the welcome. I have had an interest in the lost railwaysa of Northmptonshire for many years as I grew up at Brixworth Station on the old Northampton to Mkt Harborough line. My friend John Norton and I are buildfing an exhibition model railway layout of Towcester where he lives. In our case we have taken a few liberties with history because although the station, and the line, closed in 1964 our version suppose that it did not close but carried on and indeed prospered. We have set our layout in 1977 and although we have rationalized the sidings most of the structures are still in place though the station is a private house and the goods shed is also in private hands. The signal box is still in use and there are still semaphore signals although not so many of them. The old line to Olney has been retained as far as Salcey forest for the movement of timber. The other main difference is that it is the line to Banbury that is still open and the Stratford line that has closed. The layout debuts at the Stafford Model Railway Exhibition in Feb 2014. I hope people will not be offended with the changes we have made but it is meant as a tribute to the line and the town of Towcester. I have past form for this as I have previosly built a layout based on Brixworth station , this time set in 1998 as if it had not closed. once again thanks for the welcome.