‘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"


SMJ Forum

2F WDs working to Bristol

In the 1950s/60s we had a regular working of a 2F Woodford Halse WD to Bristol. I was always intrigued by how they got there. Does anybody know if that was via the SMJR please?Continue

Started by Bob Bishop on Friday.

Talk to Welford Local History Society

I live in Welford on Avon which now incorporates the former Binton Station with its recent housing development.The local history society is currently planning its 2022/23 programme of events and talks and would be keen to include a talk on the…Continue

Started by John Read Oct 8.

Broom Junction station site for sale 2 Replies

Great opportunity for an SMJ enthusiast perhaps.  I'm not sure what you could actually do with this site though!…Continue

Started by Simon Stevens. Last reply by Simon Stevens Oct 4.

Salvaged track bolts 2 Replies

Does any know if the bridges were numbered? Similar to how the canals number thier's. Because a few weeks ago I was magnet fishing under the if I bridge behind the bellebaulk housing estate in Towcester and pulled out a number of chair bolts and I…Continue

Started by John Godwin. Last reply by Russ Firth Oct 3.

SMJ photos

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I have in my old record collection an LP called "Railways Remembered - An Excursion into the past". I've always known there was an interview with an SMJ man but haven't heard it for many years - not having a record player any more.


But last night I had the opportunity to listen to it at a friend's house, and how fascinating it was. Basically it was the reminiscences of retired engine driver Bill Sylvester and porter Arthur Harris recorded on Stratford-on-Avon railway station in 1952, then a local train arrives and departs from the station.


Perhaps you know of this record already, but if not it is well worth listening to. I have no way of downloading it onto this site, but if anyone has any ideas or how it could be downloaded let me know.


Best regards, Jim.



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I to have this BBC L.P . I do have suitable software installed to transfer on to my computers hard drive but I haven't got a record player.I discussed this very subject with Andy sometime ago.It would be a very interesting item for other members to listen to.However I'm not sure of the copyright issues involved.If you require any more assistance about transferring this for your own use please contact me, or you can get further details by searching on line.
Regards Alwyn.
This recording is a very important memory of the SMJ. The LP was a compilation of various recordings made by BBC regional radio journalists. I was told that they made a 15min broadcast on the SMJ sometime in the early 1950's and that an extract is on the LP. I did enquire with the BBC in Birmingham in 1972 as to whether the whole programme was still in existence but they could not trace a recording of it. I have lodged some verbatim documents written by Mr Pettifer elsewhere on this site and he refers to the broadcast. He actually took part but they obviously chose not to put his contribution on the LP. This was possibly because as I state in my notes to the documents the author worked on the line in LMS days but was not an SMJ man. It is a fitting tribute to Arthur Harris that his words should survive. He spent his whole working life on the line after starting with the SMJ as a boy porter. His first duties included taking down the numbers of goods wagons and changing the labels on them. He became known as "TAKKER" Harris as a corruption of "taker" and this knickname stuck with him at work and in the community for life. I still have a very elderly cousin who has lived in Stratford all his life and well remembers Takker Harris. Several of the Harris family worked for the SMJ/LMS whilst the remainder worked for Stratford Borough Council. He is pictured in a number of the well known photos taken around Old Town Station and the photo used by the Stratford Herald showing the last passenger train leaving Old Town with the mayor on the footplate also shows "Takker" in attendance!

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