‘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.

SMJ photos

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In former times just about everything and everybody had a nickname, a trend that seems to be becoming unfashionable or not PC. The Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway had its share. Slow Miserable and Jolting ( with variations; substitute 'Mouldy' for 'Miserable' or 'Jolty' for 'Jolting' ) was pretty universally used. The Bread and Herring was another. As a child my gran told me the railway near the bottom of her garden was the Strawberry and Marrow Jam.

As for the men who actually worked it. At Northampton shed it was appropriately known as the Dilly Dally, whereas Woodford men bizarrely called it The Nibble .

Does anyone have any other such nicknames or ones for the E&WJ , I wonder what it was known as at Stratford or Olney? Does anyone know the origins of 'The Nibble' or 'The Bread and Herring'?

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Hi Dick,

I read in a book at my parents this week that the E&WJR was known as the "Erratic & Wandering Journey Round".

ATVB
G
What was the book, Gary? Sounds interesting.

Dick
I think it was "Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire but don't quote me on it - I looked at a few railway books when I was there.

Dick said:
What was the book, Gary? Sounds interesting.

Dick
I remember that back in the late 1960's, in the Hackleton / Horton / Piddington area the line was referred to as 'The Banana Line' - most locals that I spoke to seemed to think that this came from the curved and bendy nature of the route. When I informed them that it was almost certainly due to the banana trains that in the distant past ran along it from Bristol to London they were somewhat disbelieving that trains on that line could have served either of those places! Just shows how an old nickname can survive without any real understanding of its origins.
Slow Miserable and Jolty
Posted by Adrian Vaughan on August 31, 2009 at 9:47pm in What do you remember about the SMJ?

.Can I please correct the title someone used on the SMJ site and I reproduce abpve.

The correct 'joky' title - and one with proper aliteration is:-

Slow Moulding and Jolting.

I hope you don't mind me mentioning it but that is what it was called 50 years ago.
Adrian

There were various variations of the title including your properly aliterated version. Titles changed from village to village as such jokes were passed on by word of mouth. At Towcester it was 'Slow Miserable and Jolty' according to Robert Stephens' booklet, at Blakesley just 5 miles down the line it was 'Slow Miserable and Jolting'. I'd be interested to know what part of the line your 'Slow Moulding and Jolting' is associated with. Have a look at the original discussion and you will see some of the other names afforded to the line.

Great to see your classy photos on the Steamtube website by the way, it will give Roni some competition on the site!

Dick
When I was doing my first researches on the SMJ in 1995, I advertised for info in the local press, and had a reply from a former Stratford lady whose father was a driver on the SMJ. She provided quite a lot of anecdotal evidence about the times she remembered , and I recall she referred to the line as "Slow, Moulding and Jolting..."
Peter

That's interesting. Seems like that was a Stratford end of the line nickname then. I've come across at least 5 different versions but 'Slow, Miserable and Jolting' is the one that I recall as a child from old folk at our end of the line.

Dick

Peter S Lewis said:
When I was doing my first researches on the SMJ in 1995, I advertised for info in the local press, and had a reply from a former Stratford lady whose father was a driver on the SMJ. She provided quite a lot of anecdotal evidence about the times she remembered , and I recall she referred to the line as "Slow, Moulding and Jolting..."

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