‘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 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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In the latest Railway Magazine I read that the "our" 4F should be steaming again on the KWVR late 2010.

I also note that there are several SMJ related items in the Great Central Railwayana Ltd auction on 16th January 2010. These include:
* Blisworth totem,
* Byfield - Fenny Compton staff
* SMJR Tresspass cast sign

Just thought folks would like to know

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Gary what's the 4F's number again? I might contact the KWVR and see if they want to keep us in touch here at the site as its an ex-SMj loco. You can always try!
ANdy
Was this actually an SMJ regular ( ie.21D or 2E engine) or was it a Gloucester, Bedford or somewhere else engine that has been recorded as passing along the SMJ?

Dick

Andy Thompson said:
Gary what's the 4F's number again? I might contact the KWVR and see if they want to keep us in touch here at the site as its an ex-SMj loco. You can always try!
ANdy
The loco is 43924.
I am not sure where she was shedded but she is one that had been photographed on the line...
I think I have a photo in one of my many SMj books. Have contacted the KWVR
Andy
I've found out that it was shedded at Gloucester Barnwood in '60, so if it was shedded there in the 50s it could have been fairly frequent on the Broom to Olney route through freights. In the 40s and 50s the regular SMJ pickups and passengers would have been shared between 21D Stratford and 2E Northampton 4Fs and 3Fs, while the regular ironore trains would have been Northampton 8Fs, after the Olney line closed all pickups would have been 2E workings.
Dick said:
I've found out that it was shedded at Gloucester Barnwood in '60, so if it was shedded there in the 50s it could have been fairly frequent on the Broom to Olney route through freights. In the 40s and 50s the regular SMJ pickups and passengers would have been shared between 21D Stratford and 2E Northampton 4Fs and 3Fs, while the regular ironore trains would have been Northampton 8Fs, after the Olney line closed all pickups would have been 2E workings.
Re "4F" 0-6-0 43924, my records show that this loco was allocated to Gloucester Barnwood (22B, then 85E from 23.2.1958, then 85C from 1.1.1961), from at least January 1948 until October 1962, when Bristol Barrow Road (82E) became the home shed. Withdrawal from here took place in June 1965 and then Barry Docks became the next home. From here in September 1968 43924 took the journey to the K & WVR where restoration and steaming in preservation awaited.
As others have remarked being a Gloucester engine for so many years it would be surprising if the loco did not make appearances on the SMJ - certainly at the Broom/Stratford end, and may have made it through to the Olney/Bedford area.

Whilst writing about "4Fs" working on the SMJ, I don't know how many of you have a copy of "Midland Engineman" by Horace Mann. This is a slim volume - published in 1981 with a maroon cover - and includes a number of references to working over the SMJ from Olney - Horace Mann was based at Bedford. On one of his war-time trips - returning from Broom - there was an air-raid alert and near Startford his train was attacked by a bomber - the bombs falling near "the tail of the train and they must have shaken up the guard". Later on this trip they were attacked again (near Goldicote) with both bombs and a machine gun burst, but "4F" 3908 was unharmed (?indestructible), and after another unexploded bomb scare at Roade, they got home safely. There are various other references to the SMJ in this book.
Just seen in the Railway Modeller (Jan 2010 edition pp73) a review on a book on "The Blakesley Minature Railway and the Bartholomew family" by Dr Bob Tebb ISBN 978 1 85794 339 9 published by SilverLink Publishing Ltd. Softback £19.99

Thought I'd share that seeing as it almost related...
Gary

I'm reading it at the moment and finding it a good read, but then you might say that I originate from Blakesley and the enterprisese and excesses of CWB were part of the folklaw that I grew up with. Not only does it cover the development of the minature railway in detail but it gives a good overview of the development of miniature railways and the importance of Bassett-Lowkes' and CWB's contributions. There's some intrigue and speculation, some excellent railway archeological detective work, a bit of scandal and some dodgy dealing and Bob has a very good literacy style which maintains interest during the more technical bits. He has also done a lot of research nad he actually owns the steam outline petrol engined loco 'Blakovesley'. I was one of the many people who helped him in a small way by interviewing a 99 year old villager among providing other bits and pieces. Andy and myself got special permission to visit the site and trace the route of the main line and I've been back since to take photos to try and confirm the routes of branches and position of bridges. Amazingly no map was ever produced of any of the changing layouts of the line. After Christmas I'm hoping to visit a man who actually worked on the line and also later on the SMJ. Hopefully he will be able to clarify some of the points that are still unclear.

Does anyone have Bob Tebb's new address, phone number and or new email address, as I've lost contact since he moved?

Dick




Gary said:
Just seen in the Railway Modeller (Jan 2010 edition pp73) a review on a book on "The Blakesley Minature Railway and the Bartholomew family" by Dr Bob Tebb ISBN 978 1 85794 339 9 published by SilverLink Publishing Ltd. Softback £19.99

Thought I'd share that seeing as it almost related...
Dick,
Never guess what book I got for Christmas....
I was given a 'The Steam Archive ' collection of 3 DVDs as a Christmas present. In was one of those green Umbrella budget collections from 'The Works'. One of the DVDs is called 'Steam in the 50s and 60s' and on it is short clip of the SLS Last SMJ Railtour leaving Snow HIll behind the 4F and the Pannier heading for the SMJ.

Dick
Dick Have you got the contact details, I'll ask if we can use the clip on site Andy

Dick said:
I was given a 'The Steam Archive ' collection of 3 DVDs as a Christmas present. In was one of those green Umbrella budget collections from 'The Works'. One of the DVDs is called 'Steam in the 50s and 60s' and on it is short clip of the SLS Last SMJ Railtour leaving Snow HIll behind the 4F and the Pannier heading for the SMJ.

Dick

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