‘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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I am trying to put together a list of all the locomotive types that have ever been recorded on the SMJR routes. (ie. Cockley Brake Junction - Blisworth SMJR, Towcester - Broom Junction, Towcester - Ravenstone Junction). I've used this website, all the standard reference books, plus 'Last Years of the GCR Main line' and my own observations. So far I've got a list of 70!

I need help with the following:-
. diesel classes used on trains to Kineton depot since closure of the SMJR
. can anyone identify what class ex- LYR No 12103 was? because it worked the SMJ!
. can anyone confirm the following classes on the SMJ: Modified Hall, Jinty, Sulzer Type 2 diesel?
. ANYTHING YOU THINK MIGHT NOT BE ON MY LIST!

Among exotics on the list so far are 'Jumbo' 2-4-0s, SR U Mogul, Robinson O4 2-8-0, K3 2-6-0 and Patriot!

Looking forward to hearing from you

Dick

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Nice work Dick - I look forward to seeing the outcomes
TFC
Andy

Do you know any diesel classes at all that have worked to the Kineton depot?

Dick

Andy Thompson said:
Nice work Dick - I look forward to seeing the outcomes
TFC
Dick

Go see the new page byJohn Cosford about KIneton. http://thesmjr.ning.com/page/kineton-camp
TFC
Hi Dick,
The only unusual one I remember was a Hughes-Fowler 'Crab' 2-6-0 from Saltley 21A on a short goods at Byfield in 1957 or 1958. I took a photo of the same loco at Banbury around the same time (attached) - sorry it's not that good, it was taken with my old Brownie! If you compare my photo with 'Photo of the month 2003' taken in 1955 on www.billhudsontransportbooks.co.uk/page64.htmll.htm it seems to have lost the flange on the chimney!
We also often saw class G2 'Duck 8's' but I can't remember which locos.
Regards
Barry
Attachments:
Barry,
Thanks for the info and the picture. I never saw a crab on the SMJ but did see the occasional Super D 0-8-0, usually borrowed from Bletchley either at Northampton shed or at Blisworth sidings presumably to replace a failed 4F. In the photos section of this site is a picture of one on an up pickup goods at Blakesley.
Dick

Barry Dunwoody said:
Hi Dick,
The only unusual one I remember was a Hughes-Fowler 'Crab' 2-6-0 from Saltley 21A on a short goods at Byfield in 1957 or 1958. I took a photo of the same loco at Banbury around the same time (attached) - sorry it's not that good, it was taken with my old Brownie! If you compare my photo with 'Photo of the month 2003' taken in 1955 on www.billhudsontransportbooks.co.uk/page64.htmll.htm it seems to have lost the flange on the chimney!
We also often saw class G2 'Duck 8's' but I can't remember which locos.
Regards
Barry
Barry
I've realised that the picture of the 7F is more easily found on the Blakesley page of 'All Stations'( E&W) of this site, follow the link at the top of the page.
Dick

Barry Dunwoody said:
Hi Dick,
The only unusual one I remember was a Hughes-Fowler 'Crab' 2-6-0 from Saltley 21A on a short goods at Byfield in 1957 or 1958. I took a photo of the same loco at Banbury around the same time (attached) - sorry it's not that good, it was taken with my old Brownie! If you compare my photo with 'Photo of the month 2003' taken in 1955 on www.billhudsontransportbooks.co.uk/page64.htmll.htm it seems to have lost the flange on the chimney!
We also often saw class G2 'Duck 8's' but I can't remember which locos.
Regards
Barry
Regarding the GWR 2251 class. There were a batch of these allocated to Tyseley 84E that were outsheded to Stratford GWR sub shed. They were used for shunting the GW yard and gasworks at Birmingham Road, banking duties on the up GW line and trip working to the ex SMJ yard at Old Town. I was an active observer at Stratford from 1955 to 1967 and certainly one of the regular locos was 2257 (I still have one of its numberplates!) Other regulars were 2210, 2238, 2279, 3217 and the last survivor of the class 2267. There was a trip working to the Old Town yard every morning to shunt coal trucks for Dingley's and the CoOp Coal merchants, if needed the trip would also operate in the afternoon. Once all of the ex LMS locos (3F & 4F) were cleared out from 21D at closure the only regular 4F turn was the daily pick up goods that was worked by a Northampton or Bedford based loco that stabled at Stratford GW overnight. There was a need to deliver the daily churn of drinking water to Clifford Sidings Box and this was nornally done by the morning outbound pick up goods. On some occasions the churn was forgotten and the GW pilot (a 2251 class) would be sent to do the job after the morning shunt at Old Town, I got many footplate rides on this turn. As the 2251 class were inside cylinder they could clear the platforms at Ettington and Kineton even before they were battered back in 1959 to allow GW outside cyl locos to use the line. When the loops were extended and other upgrade work done in 1959/60 the engineering trains that accessed the ex SMJ from the Stratford end usually had a 2251 from Stratford GW on them. I have a full log of observations for the period and will trawl through it to see what came over the route on normal freights. With regard to "scoring points" for any class that technically set wheels on ex SMJ route there is of course the consideration that from June 1960 until closure any loco visiting Stratford GWR (including Theatre specials with "foreign" locos) was sent to turn on the new triangle of lines formed by the 1959 chord line. This would tick off all GWR named classes except "King" plus many others from other regions. I can confirm that Modified Halls did work over the line on regular trains, 7918 was often seen on iron ore trains or empties. I will report further when time allows.
John

Your interesting and informative contribution puts into perspective all of the 22xx sightings reported at Northampton by Barry.
Your observation about turning engines on the triangle brings up a problem I hadn't considered when compiling the list. I have only included engines that were seen on the actual SMJ lines and not exchange sidings like Blisworth for instance. The only reason the Patriot is on the list is because it was photographed standing at the SMJ station platform having arrived with a cattle train bound for the old E &W line. The reason the Edge Hill Light Railway engines are on it is because they were actually loaned to the SMJR to work Stratford - Broom trains for a short while. The Castle was worked from Woodford through Stratford South loop on a through freight.
I suppose any GWR station visiting engines that turned on the triangle were technically on SMJR metals so I ought to include them, if I do then I perhaps ought to add some identifying symbol as I did with special workings and Woodford 'Around the World' pickups.
I was wondering if GWR pannier tanks ever appeared at Stratford Old Town on trip workings.
Thanks again for your useful information.

Dick


John Jennings said:
Regarding the GWR 2251 class. There were a batch of these allocated to Tyseley 84E that were outsheded to Stratford GWR sub shed. They were used for shunting the GW yard and gasworks at Birmingham Road, banking duties on the up GW line and trip working to the ex SMJ yard at Old Town. I was an active observer at Stratford from 1955 to 1967 and certainly one of the regular locos was 2257 (I still have one of its numberplates!) Other regulars were 2210, 2238, 2279, 3217 and the last survivor of the class 2267. There was a trip working to the Old Town yard every morning to shunt coal trucks for Dingley's and the CoOp Coal merchants, if needed the trip would also operate in the afternoon. Once all of the ex LMS locos (3F & 4F) were cleared out from 21D at closure the only regular 4F turn was the daily pick up goods that was worked by a Northampton or Bedford based loco that stabled at Stratford GW overnight. There was a need to deliver the daily churn of drinking water to Clifford Sidings Box and this was nornally done by the morning outbound pick up goods. On some occasions the churn was forgotten and the GW pilot (a 2251 class) would be sent to do the job after the morning shunt at Old Town, I got many footplate rides on this turn. As the 2251 class were inside cylinder they could clear the platforms at Ettington and Kineton even before they were battered back in 1959 to allow GW outside cyl locos to use the line. When the loops were extended and other upgrade work done in 1959/60 the engineering trains that accessed the ex SMJ from the Stratford end usually had a 2251 from Stratford GW on them. I have a full log of observations for the period and will trawl through it to see what came over the route on normal freights. With regard to "scoring points" for any class that technically set wheels on ex SMJ route there is of course the consideration that from June 1960 until closure any loco visiting Stratford GWR (including Theatre specials with "foreign" locos) was sent to turn on the new triangle of lines formed by the 1959 chord line. This would tick off all GWR named classes except "King" plus many others from other regions. I can confirm that Modified Halls did work over the line on regular trains, 7918 was often seen on iron ore trains or empties. I will report further when time allows.
Dick

Surprisingly GW Panniers were not plentyful at Stratford because most of the local trains terminating there from Birmingham or Leamington loaded three or four coaches and it needed a 41xx / 51xx series tank to get away up the bank to Wilmcote and keep time. The 2251 Collett goods was our workhorse in the yards and for banking duties. The best chance of a Pannier was on a Worcester - Stratford all stations but of course the loco just ran round and went back to Worcester and was never "spare" on shed. I first "copped" 7777 on a stopper going like hell through the Racecourse platform with a non corridor B set in tow! The heavier Worcester - Snow Hill or Leamington semi fasts were always in the hands of a Hall or Grange unless someone at Worcester was feeling really unkind and rostered one of their appalling 82xxx Standard Tanks. You can add the 82xxx class to your list as one did get to Ettington in 1959 on an engineers train that was attending to a rock fall in Goldicote cutting. I can confirm the report about the LNE L1 tanks on route learning trips and if you want a photo reference they were photographed by Tom Williams and his collection is now at NRM ( I can look up his reference No if needed).. Whilst panniers were rare on the SMJ don't forget that the VERY last train in April 1965 was double headed into Old Town by a 64xx series pannier. The lead driver on the 4F was Ted Hewins an ex LMS man and he refused to allow the 64xx to go any further ordering it to remain at Old Town where it could keep its "bloody WR lower quadrant signals company". This ensured that the last train over the SMJ was hauled by an 0-6-0 Goods keeping the tradition of the line intact.
John

Thanks for the extra information. I had seen the Tom Williams picture of the L1 on the route learning trips and believe they also occasionally appeared a substitute locos on pickup goods east of Woodford. I certainly remember seeing a (2F) K3 on such a substitution at least once. I didn't know about the Standard 3 tank and your fascinating story about the 64xx tank on the final train was news to me. Presumably it was coupled behind the 4F, presumably a 2E engine, on its way from the exchange sidings to Old Town.

I shall not update the website list for a few days as new classes are coming in thick and fast from Barry Taylor as well as yourself.

Dick
John Jennings said:
Dick

Surprisingly GW Panniers were not plentyful at Stratford because most of the local trains terminating there from Birmingham or Leamington loaded three or four coaches and it needed a 41xx / 51xx series tank to get away up the bank to Wilmcote and keep time. The 2251 Collett goods was our workhorse in the yards and for banking duties. The best chance of a Pannier was on a Worcester - Stratford all stations but of course the loco just ran round and went back to Worcester and was never "spare" on shed. I first "copped" 7777 on a stopper going like hell through the Racecourse platform with a non corridor B set in tow! The heavier Worcester - Snow Hill or Leamington semi fasts were always in the hands of a Hall or Grange unless someone at Worcester was feeling really unkind and rostered one of their appalling 82xxx Standard Tanks. You can add the 82xxx class to your list as one did get to Ettington in 1959 on an engineers train that was attending to a rock fall in Goldicote cutting. I can confirm the report about the LNE L1 tanks on route learning trips and if you want a photo reference they were photographed by Tom Williams and his collection is now at NRM ( I can look up his reference No if needed).. Whilst panniers were rare on the SMJ don't forget that the VERY last train in April 1965 was double headed into Old Town by a 64xx series pannier. The lead driver on the 4F was Ted Hewins an ex LMS man and he refused to allow the 64xx to go any further ordering it to remain at Old Town where it could keep its "bloody WR lower quadrant signals company". This ensured that the last train over the SMJ was hauled by an 0-6-0 Goods keeping the tradition of the line intact.
Hi
Without wishing to be too pedantic, I would question the account of the 'last train' in April 1965. I was at Stratford to see this, and took a couple of photos, but the actual sequence of events is a bit hazy after all these years! What I can be sure of is that the pannier and 4F did not double head into Old Town. I have a photo taken from the Broom line embankment of the pannier on its own leading the train towards Racecourse Platform. I suspect that the 4F must have been on the back (its not visible in my photo due to smoke from the pannier), and then led the train into Old Town over the new connection, with the pannier either on the back or ( I seem to remember) following light behind it? Can anyone confirm just for the record? I think that the pannier still counts as being on SMJ track as I'm pretty sure that it followed in to Old Town
regards

John Jennings said:
Dick

Surprisingly GW Panniers were not plentyful at Stratford because most of the local trains terminating there from Birmingham or Leamington loaded three or four coaches and it needed a 41xx / 51xx series tank to get away up the bank to Wilmcote and keep time. The 2251 Collett goods was our workhorse in the yards and for banking duties. The best chance of a Pannier was on a Worcester - Stratford all stations but of course the loco just ran round and went back to Worcester and was never "spare" on shed. I first "copped" 7777 on a stopper going like hell through the Racecourse platform with a non corridor B set in tow! The heavier Worcester - Snow Hill or Leamington semi fasts were always in the hands of a Hall or Grange unless someone at Worcester was feeling really unkind and rostered one of their appalling 82xxx Standard Tanks. You can add the 82xxx class to your list as one did get to Ettington in 1959 on an engineers train that was attending to a rock fall in Goldicote cutting. I can confirm the report about the LNE L1 tanks on route learning trips and if you want a photo reference they were photographed by Tom Williams and his collection is now at NRM ( I can look up his reference No if needed).. Whilst panniers were rare on the SMJ don't forget that the VERY last train in April 1965 was double headed into Old Town by a 64xx series pannier. The lead driver on the 4F was Ted Hewins an ex LMS man and he refused to allow the 64xx to go any further ordering it to remain at Old Town where it could keep its "bloody WR lower quadrant signals company". This ensured that the last train over the SMJ was hauled by an 0-6-0 Goods keeping the tradition of the line intact.
Barry

Thanks for the reminder, you are correct, the Pannier (6435) was on the rear due to the complicated shunt that took place. It did follow through into the up platform and then wait in the former through siding all afternoon, it therefore set wheels on ex SMJ formation. The conversation between the footplate crews, loco inspector and tour organisers that resulted in the 4F going solo took place on the platform at Stratford GW earlier in the afternoon. Apparantly the inspector originally wanted a double header as insurance because the line had not been used recently and the weather was not good. The organisers and the crew of the 4F won the argument that it was highly inappropriate for such a "foreign" loco to be involved. In the event I took a shot at Clifford and chased by road but the 4F beat us to Kineton!

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