‘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 5 Replies

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. Last reply by CLIVE BOARDMAN on Friday.

DVD on the SMJ 2 Replies

HiI’m looking for a copy of the film “The Stratford Upon Avon & Midland Junction Railway” edited by Hillside Publishing some time ago.This company is now out of business and cannot be called upon to get a copy.If possible, I would wish to…Continue

Started by Jack Freuville. Last reply by David Mead Nov 24.

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.

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Some years ago I recall seeing (during an illustrated talk - I cant remember who or when!) a copy of a photo of a GCR Atlantic loco and train standing at Stratford Old Town station around the 1910 period having worked a special in via Woodford. I think that it had been first published in an official GCR company magazine.
Does anyone know where I can get a copy of this photo - or another similar - I know that the GC ran a few through specials with their own locos and stock
Thanks

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While I do not doubt your memory, I wonder if it was a 1 off excursion of Officers Special. The GCR did have coaches sent to Stratford. They were exchanged at Woodford and taken forward on the rear of a SMJ service. Coaches were usually older types not the latest Barnum Stock.

I would love to see an image of this GCR loco at Stratford.
A well recorded working of a Jersey Lily (No 1086) on a Marylebone to Stratford special working occured on 6th October 1909. The US ambassador was being taken to Harvard House at Stratford. I have seen a picture of the loco at Neasden with its Harvard headboard and UK and USA flags fairly recently as a 'mystery photo' in one of the monthly steam magazines ( possibly Steam World).I wrote to whichever it was but got no response. However the Atlantic CAME OFF AT WOODFORD and an SMJR 0-6-0 (No 18, then only a year old) proudly took its place and its headboard. A picture of No 18 on this working and further details appear in Jordan's SMJR book. Further info about the GCR involvement in the working can be found in 'J G Robinson - A Lifetime's Work' by D Jackson.

Perhaps this is just confusing the issue but if Barry can recall the Atlantic he saw pictured bedecked with a headboard and flags then it might explain the mystery.

Dick
Hi Dick
Since posting the original message I now have some more information - and it did actually happen!
Through some help from members of the Great Central Railway study group I have found that the original (and quite small) photo is to be found in the 1912 edition of the GCR Journal - the GC railways own house magazine.
It does show the GC Atlantic in the platform at Stratford Old Town station.
A little more research has now revealed the following info (from the 1912 "Railway Magazine" - unfortunately no photo !)-
"On June 27th 1912 a non stop excursion from Manchester London Rd to Stratford via Woodford halse and the SMJ line - 156 miles in 3hrs 31mins - comprising heavy corridor coaches hauled throughout by GC Atlantic 'Viscount Cross' - organised by the GCR on behalf of the Manchester Home Trade Association"
I am now trying to find a copy of the GCR Journal for 1912, with a view to scanning the photo - a few potential leads so far but nothing concrete as yet - will keep you posted via the SMJ website
Regards
Barry

Dick said:
A well recorded working of a Jersey Lily (No 1086) on a Marylebone to Stratford special working occured on 6th October 1909. The US ambassador was being taken to Harvard House at Stratford. I have seen a picture of the loco at Neasden with its Harvard headboard and UK and USA flags fairly recently as a 'mystery photo' in one of the monthly steam magazines ( possibly Steam World).I wrote to whichever it was but got no response. However the Atlantic CAME OFF AT WOODFORD and an SMJR 0-6-0 (No 18, then only a year old) proudly took its place and its headboard. A picture of No 18 on this working and further details appear in Jordan's SMJR book. Further info about the GCR involvement in the working can be found in 'J G Robinson - A Lifetime's Work' by D Jackson.

Perhaps this is just confusing the issue but if Barry can recall the Atlantic he saw pictured bedecked with a headboard and flags then it might explain the mystery.

Dick
Barry

That's fantastic research, well done! Congrats on proving we doubters wrong!

Of course as reversal at Woodford wouldn't have been required for a train coming from Manchester it would have made sense for the Atlantic to have carried on, rather than replace it as would have been likely to have been the case with a train from the Marylebone direction. The banks west of Byfield would have also been quite a sting in the tail from the footplatemens point of view at the end of a long journey. The GC Study group sounds quite interesting, what is it exactly? By coincidence I have an 'F Moore' painted photo of Viscount Cross on the GCR which came from the auction when Blakesley Hall was abandoned by the Bartholomews.

Dick

Barry Taylor said:
Hi Dick
Since posting the original message I now have some more information - and it did actually happen!
Through some help from members of the Great Central Railway study group I have found that the original (and quite small) photo is to be found in the 1912 edition of the GCR Journal - the GC railways own house magazine.
It does show the GC Atlantic in the platform at Stratford Old Town station.
A little more research has now revealed the following info (from the 1912 "Railway Magazine" - unfortunately no photo !)-
"On June 27th 1912 a non stop excursion from Manchester London Rd to Stratford via Woodford halse and the SMJ line - 156 miles in 3hrs 31mins - comprising heavy corridor coaches hauled throughout by GC Atlantic 'Viscount Cross' - organised by the GCR on behalf of the Manchester Home Trade Association"
I am now trying to find a copy of the GCR Journal for 1912, with a view to scanning the photo - a few potential leads so far but nothing concrete as yet - will keep you posted via the SMJ website
Regards
Barry

Dick said:
A well recorded working of a Jersey Lily (No 1086) on a Marylebone to Stratford special working occured on 6th October 1909. The US ambassador was being taken to Harvard House at Stratford. I have seen a picture of the loco at Neasden with its Harvard headboard and UK and USA flags fairly recently as a 'mystery photo' in one of the monthly steam magazines ( possibly Steam World).I wrote to whichever it was but got no response. However the Atlantic CAME OFF AT WOODFORD and an SMJR 0-6-0 (No 18, then only a year old) proudly took its place and its headboard. A picture of No 18 on this working and further details appear in Jordan's SMJR book. Further info about the GCR involvement in the working can be found in 'J G Robinson - A Lifetime's Work' by D Jackson.

Perhaps this is just confusing the issue but if Barry can recall the Atlantic he saw pictured bedecked with a headboard and flags then it might explain the mystery.

Dick
Dick said:
Barry

That's fantastic research, well done! Congrats on proving we doubters wrong!

Of course as reversal at Woodford wouldn't have been required for a train coming from Manchester it would have made sense for the Atlantic to have carried on, rather than replace it as would have been likely to have been the case with a train from the Marylebone direction. The banks west of Byfield would have also been quite a sting in the tail from the footplatemens point of view at the end of a long journey. The GC Study group sounds quite interesting, what is it exactly? By coincidence I have an 'F Moore' painted photo of Viscount Cross on the GCR which came from the auction when Blakesley Hall was abandoned by the Bartholomews.

Dick

Barry Taylor said:
Hi Dick
Since posting the original message I now have some more information - and it did actually happen!
Through some help from members of the Great Central Railway study group I have found that the original (and quite small) photo is to be found in the 1912 edition of the GCR Journal - the GC railways own house magazine.
It does show the GC Atlantic in the platform at Stratford Old Town station.
A little more research has now revealed the following info (from the 1912 "Railway Magazine" - unfortunately no photo !)-
"On June 27th 1912 a non stop excursion from Manchester London Rd to Stratford via Woodford halse and the SMJ line - 156 miles in 3hrs 31mins - comprising heavy corridor coaches hauled throughout by GC Atlantic 'Viscount Cross' - organised by the GCR on behalf of the Manchester Home Trade Association"
I am now trying to find a copy of the GCR Journal for 1912, with a view to scanning the photo - a few potential leads so far but nothing concrete as yet - will keep you posted via the SMJ website
Regards
Barry

Dick said:
A well recorded working of a Jersey Lily (No 1086) on a Marylebone to Stratford special working occured on 6th October 1909. The US ambassador was being taken to Harvard House at Stratford. I have seen a picture of the loco at Neasden with its Harvard headboard and UK and USA flags fairly recently as a 'mystery photo' in one of the monthly steam magazines ( possibly Steam World).I wrote to whichever it was but got no response. However the Atlantic CAME OFF AT WOODFORD and an SMJR 0-6-0 (No 18, then only a year old) proudly took its place and its headboard. A picture of No 18 on this working and further details appear in Jordan's SMJR book. Further info about the GCR involvement in the working can be found in 'J G Robinson - A Lifetime's Work' by D Jackson.

Perhaps this is just confusing the issue but if Barry can recall the Atlantic he saw pictured bedecked with a headboard and flags then it might explain the mystery.

Dick
Dick
Thanks for this - the GC 'Study Group' should actually have read 'GC Society' - my error. they have a website at gcrsociety.co.uk and I just thought that it was worth giving them a try - turned out to be well worthwhile.
Interesting about your postcard from Blakesley Hall - are you aware that there is a book being published later this year on the Hall, Bartholemew family and the BHMR ? - it is from the 'Past & Present' series people from over Thrapston way. So far I have only seen a leaflet for a subscribers edition at £30, but maybe it will also be a paperback.
Barry

Barry Taylor said:
Dick said:
Barry

That's fantastic research, well done! Congrats on proving we doubters wrong!

Of course as reversal at Woodford wouldn't have been required for a train coming from Manchester it would have made sense for the Atlantic to have carried on, rather than replace it as would have been likely to have been the case with a train from the Marylebone direction. The banks west of Byfield would have also been quite a sting in the tail from the footplatemens point of view at the end of a long journey. The GC Study group sounds quite interesting, what is it exactly? By coincidence I have an 'F Moore' painted photo of Viscount Cross on the GCR which came from the auction when Blakesley Hall was abandoned by the Bartholomews.

Dick

Barry Taylor said:
Hi Dick
Since posting the original message I now have some more information - and it did actually happen!
Through some help from members of the Great Central Railway study group I have found that the original (and quite small) photo is to be found in the 1912 edition of the GCR Journal - the GC railways own house magazine.
It does show the GC Atlantic in the platform at Stratford Old Town station.
A little more research has now revealed the following info (from the 1912 "Railway Magazine" - unfortunately no photo !)-
"On June 27th 1912 a non stop excursion from Manchester London Rd to Stratford via Woodford halse and the SMJ line - 156 miles in 3hrs 31mins - comprising heavy corridor coaches hauled throughout by GC Atlantic 'Viscount Cross' - organised by the GCR on behalf of the Manchester Home Trade Association"
I am now trying to find a copy of the GCR Journal for 1912, with a view to scanning the photo - a few potential leads so far but nothing concrete as yet - will keep you posted via the SMJ website
Regards
Barry

Dick said:
A well recorded working of a Jersey Lily (No 1086) on a Marylebone to Stratford special working occured on 6th October 1909. The US ambassador was being taken to Harvard House at Stratford. I have seen a picture of the loco at Neasden with its Harvard headboard and UK and USA flags fairly recently as a 'mystery photo' in one of the monthly steam magazines ( possibly Steam World).I wrote to whichever it was but got no response. However the Atlantic CAME OFF AT WOODFORD and an SMJR 0-6-0 (No 18, then only a year old) proudly took its place and its headboard. A picture of No 18 on this working and further details appear in Jordan's SMJR book. Further info about the GCR involvement in the working can be found in 'J G Robinson - A Lifetime's Work' by D Jackson.

Perhaps this is just confusing the issue but if Barry can recall the Atlantic he saw pictured bedecked with a headboard and flags then it might explain the mystery.

Dick

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