‘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"
As I was in the vicinity this week I visited my old stamping ground of over sixty years ago, the former SMJ station at Binton. The former goods shed has been demolished, 24 upmarket dwellings have been constructed in the old yard and the former…Continue
Looking through Mac Hawkins book on the GCR then and now, he mentions that the GCR were thinking of running a line connecting Brackley to Northampton and had provisionally made a mound ready for a platform to be later constructed but they dropped…Continue
Started by Gary. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson Apr 18.
Hello All,I found this item on ebay, although it's a model, what I'd like to know is, was it actually based on the real thing? As you can see it has the initials EWJR and return empty to Ettington, which all fits in with the real world.It was listed…Continue
Started by Jim Goodman. Last reply by Jim Goodman Apr 18.
There was a public level crossing between Blakesley and Morton Pinkney, complete with a gatehouse.Does anyone know how this was operated?Presumably the gates must have been manual and kept closed against road traffic.Early Working Timetables mention…Continue
Started by Barry Taylor. Last reply by Andrew Emmerson Apr 17.
"Hi Andrew - not too sure how this should work, but I (thlnk that0 I accepted your 'friends' request recently! You wanted to discuss North End amongst other things? My email is email@example.com.
"This is fascinating stuff.
It's a shame that no photograph has turned up but hardly surprising, considering the remoteness of the location.
Assuming the gateman's lodge was constructed at the same time as the station, I think we may…"
" I have found another reference to Morton Pinkney Gatehouse Crossing in Bill Kendall's recollections of the area - these have been published in articles in 'British Railways Journal' (on Towcester and Blisworth) and other…"
"Great comments by Andy Thompson about Moreton Pinkney (with an "e") - for the record, the signalman was Louis Hawtin (not Les) who later worked at Banbury Lane signal box in Northampton.
Mr and Mrs Pratt (Della and Les) were my Dad's…"
"The cast iron marker on the Southam road was taken by a collector in the 80s much to the disgust of the locals. A legal challenge apparently proved the collector had permission from SDC but I believe he promised to return it at some point..."
I was the author of the article which mentioned the stored coaches on the SMJ. It raised some queries and discussion afterwards -
a) Were there really 300? - that info came from the 'Railway Observer' which was usually pretty…"
Have updated the Rail Tours list correcting some errors I made plus adding your new ones. I've contacted Rex Partridge who doesn't use computers. Turns out he went on TGS Rail Society coach tour shed bashes in the early 60s with me and a mutual friend to Doncaster, Nottingham and Leeds and I didn't even remember him! He's writing an SMJ article for one of the magazines and is going to pass on info for my classes list. Some amazing stuff, but I shall wait until his article appears before putting it on the website because I think that's only fair.
Have now seen the letter, it was written by Rex Partridge who lives at Byfield. I don't know him but he is an expert on Woodford's latter day railway history and as a youngster was personal friends to many of the old Woodford railwaymen including Dick Hutt who drove the last GC line train. He actually wrote the chapter on Woodford in R Robothams 'The Last Years of the GC Main Line' for him. I used this as one of my references in putting together the SMJR locos list and also the Woodford page on this website. I've not seen his name on this website nor the GC yahoo groups website. Perhaps he is not into computing. He must have a wealth of info.
Thanks for that. I've got your interesting article about Northampton shed special workings. I don't buy railway magazines often but always have a quick look each month to see if there's anything about the Northampton area so I've got all the recent SMJ articles, including Andy's. Looks like I'll have to have a look at the August editions to check up on these letters. Regarding the RAF specials in the 50s, I find it hard to believe that I would not have seen or heard about any passenger trains, as although not very interested in railways in the early to mid 50s, I was friendly with the Blakesley signalboxman's son and we always got to hear about and usually see the 'tank trains' as we called them which took armoured vehicles, field guns, etc. to and from Kineton Camp.
Thanks for that I'm able to finish my Excel as a result. I shall also be able to update the loco list within the next few days with your additions. I shall have to send a revised version to Andy.
Have got a new one for you from Six Bells Junction.
On 17/11/62 GWR 2210 took over the King (Class) Commemorative Tour at Leamington, then ran down the main Paddington line to Fenny Compton, onto the SMJR to Blisworth, then down the West Coast mainline!!! to Bletchley, over the 'White Elephant' flyover on to the Buckinghamshire line, off at Calvert onto the GCR mainline to Marylebone!
Thanks for the useful and interesting info. I've had the time to do the engines list (which is on this website now - accessed through the Other locos link - have a look and see if you can add to it) and I'm putting together a SMJ specials list as I'm unable to do any parttime work for a few days as I've gone temporarily deaf until I can get my ears syringed! I'm having trouble finding the date of the (in the 60s- 3 car?) DMU railtour. Do you have any idea when it was, even a rough idea would be useful.
At present I'm trying to put together a Excel type file of SMJ specials/ railtours for Andy to tidy up the Railtours section of this website and wondered if you could help with following
4/5/57 Do you know the B16's number?
24/7/54 Do you know where the railcar joined the SMJ?
On another subject. Had another thought about your details about 22xxs arriving at 2E. Although I agree they probably arrived via the SMJ, another more likely than my original suggestion of the Leamington - Weedon route possibility would have been from Oxford via Bletchley. I know there were regular freights from Northampton to Oxford usually worked by 2E engines.
Did you used to spot yourself in the Northampton area in the 60s? I used to regularly do Castle station, Banbury Lane crossing, Wellingborough and Peterborough (car park near East where you could watch both lines), Woodford and Banbury.