‘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"


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SMJ Forum

Binton Station

As I was in the vicinity this week I visited my old stamping ground of over sixty years ago, the former SMJ station at Binton. The former goods shed has been demolished, 24 upmarket dwellings have been constructed in the old yard and the former…Continue

Started by Paul Stratford Apr 23.

Would the GCR have gone via Towcester? 14 Replies

Looking through Mac Hawkins book on the GCR then and now, he mentions that the GCR were thinking of running a line connecting Brackley to Northampton and had provisionally made a mound ready for a platform to be later constructed but they dropped…Continue

Started by Gary. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson Apr 18.

EWJR Portland Cement Wagon 13 Replies

Hello All,I found this item on ebay, although it's a model, what I'd like to know is, was it actually based on the real thing? As you can see it has the initials EWJR and return empty to Ettington, which all fits in with the real world.It was listed…Continue

Started by Jim Goodman. Last reply by Jim Goodman Apr 18.

MORTON PINKNEY LEVEL CROSSING 14 Replies

There was a public level crossing between Blakesley and Morton Pinkney, complete with a gatehouse.Does anyone know how this was operated?Presumably the gates must have been manual and kept closed against road traffic.Early Working Timetables mention…Continue

Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson Apr 17.

SMJ photos

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Are there any comprehensive titles on the  SMJ??  I've got a thin book, but it doesn't even cover run down and closure.

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There's a lot of material available

For books and magazine articles follow this link, or alternatively click on the INDEX link at the top of the page

http://thesmjr.ning.com/page/the-smjr-in-books-and-magazine-article...

For info that is not in books check articles on INDEX page.

I think I have all the books on the list and would definitely go for J M Dunn's history and (if you can get it) Arthur Jordan's very personalised and readable book, which is well illustrated. This could be bought from  Abebooks or a second hand seller for £20 or less. I love it.

Although there are a lot of sources available and Dick has already pointed you in that direction I would add that the history written by Arthur Jordan is the only one that I cannot find any historical or "Stratford related" fault with. Arthur Jordan attended the King Edward VI grammar school in Stratford in the early 1930's his mother was the manageress of the SMJ and later LMS refreshment room at Stratford for many years. As a boy Arthur played in his spare time around the SMJ station site after school waiting to go home with his mother. He would have known all of the Stratford SMJ men and their families including the redoubtable Arthur Harris who was always known throughout the job and the locality as "Tacker" Harris. A nickname that was a corruption of numberTaker which was his first job as a boy porter at Stratford taking wagon numbers! What Tacker didn't know about the SMJ line and its men in the first 50 years of the last century probably wasn't worth knowing. Arthur Jordan and his family lived for some time at 7 Windsor Street, Stratford a property now demolished but number 8 which was occupied by my grandmother for over forty years still stands!! I regularly come across second-hand copies of the book so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding one.

John

Agreed John, and I've updated the page accordingly to put this omission right. It's definitely a book that any SMJR enthusiast needs to read and I might add cherish!  However it is a bit short on later LMS and BR days and it's not absolutely 100% accurate when it comes to matters at the other end of the system (eg. map of Blakesley has the route of the miniature railway completely wrong).  No book on the SMJ is really definitive and what it could do with is some prominent railway author to put together everything that is known including the research and knowledge that people like yourself (Stratford end of system), Barry Taylor( Northampton & Olney end) and Rex Partridge( middle bit) have contributed and perhaps persuade Oakwood or some similar publisher to come up with the definitive version.

Good to read the interesting info about where Mr Jordan lived.

Hi all

I don't want to raise expectations too much, but for a while I have been assembling information from Kew and other sources towards a full history. I also have a publisher interested, based on some journal articles I have already done for them on the line.

Most of what I have accumulated so far is on the NBJR and the EWJR (including its offshoots to Broom and Ravenstone) and this research has thrown up some very interesting details, some in variance to what has already been published.

I'm now just getting into the 'real' SMJR era. The interesting thing is of course that the SMJ only featured as such from 1909 to 1923, so there is an awful lot to be recorded prior to that - and of course after it.

That's where some of you lot come in, as there is much that you have contributed to this website that is relevant. So I may well be picking your brains later on, when I get into LMS, and particularly B.R days.

Obviously this is still a way off yet, but I'll keep you posted - there might also be something a little lighter-weight in the meantime.

That's great news Barry.

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