‘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

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 Oct 15.

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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Has anyone got any information about bridge 12? This was the A5 bridge over Watling Street, Towcester. Any info, photos, anything!

Andy

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It was a blackish coloured metal girder bridge with flat metal sides/parapets supported by brickwork. I seem to remember that it was covered by an advert, but not sure. I think it was taken down when the A43 Towcester bypass was built. It may have been before as it was an accident blackspot because the junction from the Greens Norton road ( which was then where the tidy tip entrance is now) was obscured by it when travelling north up the A5. For many years one of the famous Black Widow 'Keep death off the roads' posters was prominently displayed on a billboard next to it.
It was gone by the 1980's maybe even earlier as I don't ever remember seeing it when we moved into Towcester in the very late 70's.

I seem to recall seeing a picture somewhere where you can make out that there is an advert but not what it was advertising or any detail.
Andy

I think the advert was for car batteries or tyres, either EXIDE or FERODO. There must be someone from Towcester who can remember. Perhaps Eric Pickles?

Dick
I too have seen a photo with the advertising logo on the bridge. I am fairly convinced that it was FERODO but until I find that photo, I'd not commit to it.
Hi
I can add a bit to this. Way back in 1982 I had a footballing friend who worked for Northamptonshire County Council, and had some responsibility for highways etc. I was interested in some of the old SMJ bridges, and he recommended me to write to the council. I seems that they (at least then) had something known as a 'Bridges register' where they kept details(usually including a photo) of all bridges affecting their roads, including of course railway bridges. I received back from them a few very poor photocopies, but have just looked them out and can confirm that the A5 bridge at Towcester (at least when the photo was taken) had a 'LUCAS' advert, with also the words 'Batteries and dependability' alongside. the bridge is described as having brick abutments, steel plate girder parapets and steel cross girders, and carried (in addition to trains !) Post Office telephones, and water and gas mains. However, the very poor photo is taken from the 'Weedon' side on the A5 and of course it may well have had a different advert on the other side. Unfortunately all that the Council recorded about its fate is the word 'demolished' written right across the page. However, my SMJ notes, most of which are from the RCTS 'Railway Observer' state that in October 1968 'the bridge has been demolished' .
Now - somewhere the NCC might have in their archives an old register with lots of photos of rail bridges - anyone have any contacts there?

Dick said:
It was a blackish coloured metal girder bridge with flat metal sides/parapets supported by brickwork. I seem to remember that it was covered by an advert, but not sure. I think it was taken down when the A43 Towcester bypass was built. It may have been before as it was an accident blackspot because the junction from the Greens Norton road ( which was then where the tidy tip entrance is now) was obscured by it when travelling north up the A5. For many years one of the famous Black Widow 'Keep death off the roads' posters was prominently displayed on a billboard next to it.


This is about as good as I have

Andy

An interesting article in BRJ No.76, about Bridge 12 over the A5, the Lucas Bridge.

In the early postwar years, (assuming WW2), so late 1940's, early 1950's, the bridge was RAISED to increase headroom, which had been insufficient despite a dip in the road. I wonder what the original headroom was, and what was it raised to ?? Was this done to accommodate the new Routemaster buses which were 14' 5" tall?

Herewith a view of the Lucas bridge at Towcester - probably taken on the same occasion as the one already posted, but showing all of the bridge (from the railway). Date 29.4.1956

Attachments:

Would you agree that the track does not look level from the platforms to the bridge?

I like the INDIA TYRES advert to the side of the bridge.

The bridge abutments look very new, especially the left hand side pair.

I can't quite make out the first advertising poster.

All the brickwork for the abutments and retaining walls on either side were of blue brick. I do not recall seeing any red bricks in this structure. Any ironwork for the advertising boards was grey. The girders on the bridge were black.

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