In June 'Railway Bylines' Barry Taylor continues his 'SMJ Revisited' series covering the Towcester to Ettington section.
In June 'Steam Days' Rex Partridge's 'Related Through Ironstone' describes rail operations at Byfield and Charwelton ironstone quarries.
Excellent article by Rex with lots of very interesting detail and anecdotes.
However, I wonder if anyone has noticed the other reference to the SMJ in the same magazine?
In his article 'Passing the time at Bradley Lane' Mike page mentions the LCGB 'King commemorative' railtour of 17th November 1962. This worked its way from Paddington to Wolverhampton, back to Stourbridge, and eventually along the SMJ from Fenny Compton, to Towcester and Blisworth behind WR 22xx No. 2210.
Until now we all seem to have supposed that this loco then took the train on from Blisworth, along the WCML to Bletchley, along the Oxford branch, and then down to Marylebone. However, Mike destroys that theory by mentioning that a 4F took the train on from Blisworth, in place of the planned 2P 4-4-0 - it eventually got to London 3 hours late!
I've often wondered why nobody around Northampton reported the WR 22xx on the main line at the time - the answer is that, if anyone was out that late on a November afternoon, they would only have seen a far less noteworthy 4F anyway. Also I wonder what happened to the 22xx at Blisworth? We did occasionally get the odd one at Northampton a few years earlier (strangely one was the same 2210) and I wonder whether it went on shed, or just ran back light to home? Any thoughts?