‘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

Footage of the SMJR

Hello, I found your forum searching for the SMJR. I've just uploaded a digitised version of old cine film footage of the line to my Youtube channel. I will be selling the original Hillside cine film soon along with a few others I've collected…Continue

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Binton station plans 2 Replies

Hi!I recently discovered this article on Binton station building in the now long defunct magazine ‘Model Railways’ from 1976. It includes a full plan which might encourage someone to model this simple station.Does anyone have access to, or know of a…Continue

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Black & White photos of the SMJ 1 Reply

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Station Masters

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SMJ photos

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Gentlemen! Another request, we have missed out Aston Le Walls as a station on the former E&W section of the of SMJ as was.
I know it was a late addition to the string of stations and it wasn't much. I understand it was put in for local farmers and landowners to ship produce to the outside world.

Does anyone have any images, information etc so as we can put together a page to help complete the set. (If anyone has anything on the Northend Platform too that would be nice)

Andy

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Andy

According to 'Jordan' (Page 42) there was a simple siding here from 1910 to 1952. It had a goods shed but there was never a proper station.

Dick
Thanks Dick - its a start! Andy

Dick said:
Andy

According to 'Jordan' (Page 42) there was a simple siding here from 1910 to 1952. It had a goods shed but there was never a proper station.

Dick
There are not too many photos around of Aston with any track in situ - I can think of one in the Riley & Simpson SMJ book but the siding has gone in that shot.
I have just added a shot that I took (I think) in the mid 70's (have to check that) and the scene looks pretty much the same today - including the mud! If you go along to have a look don't lean on the fence at top right of the picture - its a sheer drop down the embankment !
Correction - my shot was obvously in the 80's as per the title attached !!
I've added two pictures to the Photos Section showing extracts related to this siding from the SMJ 1916 Appendix to the Working Timetables of which I have a partly destroyed example.

It was apparantly allowable at the time for a single milk van to be propelled to Woodford & Hinton GC ( later known as Woodford Halse) from Aston-le-Walls. At the time until some point after The Great War according to research by Blakesley's local historian Doug Blake, stations west of Byfield despatched their milk churns on a milk van attached to the first train from Stratford each morning. Similarly the first train from Blisworth collected churns at Towcester and Blakesley and possibly Morton Pinkney as well for transfer at Byfield. These churns were taken from Byfield to Woodford from where they were rushed to an Express Dairies plant in London. Each SMJ train then continued on its way dropping off empty churns that had returned via Woodford and Byfield.

Whether it was normal practice to propel a single van from Aston-le-Walls is conjecture. Perhaps the first train didn't stop there or possibly there were enough churns to fill a single van there, possibly by taking on Byfield's churns also. Did a GC loco pop up to fetch the van? I'm just guessing here. Who knows!
Where was the halt gents? Between Kineton and Ettington? Or Ettington and Stratford??

Andy
2 miles and 10 chains west of Byfield station.

Andy Thompson said:
Where was the halt gents? Between Kineton and Ettington? Or Ettington and Stratford??

Andy
My wife's family moved to Aston in 1961, unfortunately long after the track had gone. Her father worked on the farm owned by Alexander Thorneycroft and he lived in the manor house shown on the map. He had about 300 acres which were below the manor house down to the line and then beyond that down to the brook. He told me that when he started farming he had two gated level crossings across the line. I often drove tractors along the line in the 1960's at harvest time and I had some bee hives to the side of the track bed.
There was a coal merchant's yard in the village which belonged to the Cooknell family and until closure of the line their coal supplies were delivered by rail to the siding, which I believe was to the west of the road bridge.

Barry
Andy
To the bottom right hand side of your satalite picture you will see some parts of the old runways of Chipping Warden Airfield. The airfield was built in the 2nd world War and was only in use until the end of the war. The SMJ played its part in delivering materials for the construction of this project. Aston le Walls siding and Byfield would of been the two closest Stations to Chipping Warden. Although Aston le Walls was not a passenger station it would of been used for goods and supplies. Byfield would no doubt have benefited from the servicemen and women.

Martin
Martin First off, welcome aboard the good ship SMJ, and second thanks for that info. Its funny but I never noticed but now you say - it's obvious! Enjoy the stay

Andy

Martin Broughton said:
Andy
To the bottom right hand side of your satalite picture you will see some parts of the old runways of Chipping Warden Airfield. The airfield was built in the 2nd world War and was only in use until the end of the war. The SMJ played its part in delivering materials for the construction of this project. Aston le Walls siding and Byfield would of been the two closest Stations to Chipping Warden. Although Aston le Walls was not a passenger station it would of been used for goods and supplies. Byfield would no doubt have benefited from the servicemen and women.

Martin
Good point, the SMJ was used by armament trains in WW2, not just to and from Kineton and also by troop trains. Armament trains were still running occasionally to Kineton in the 50s. I saw trainloads of armoured vehicles on the SMJ during the mid 50s. I believe in WW2 bombs for RAF Silverstone's bombers were brought in via Towcester and Wappenham SMJ stations, so its quite possible Aston-le-Walls was used for military purposes too

Dick



Martin Broughton said:
Andy
To the bottom right hand side of your satalite picture you will see some parts of the old runways of Chipping Warden Airfield. The airfield was built in the 2nd world War and was only in use until the end of the war. The SMJ played its part in delivering materials for the construction of this project. Aston le Walls siding and Byfield would of been the two closest Stations to Chipping Warden. Although Aston le Walls was not a passenger station it would of been used for goods and supplies. Byfield would no doubt have benefited from the servicemen and women.

Martin
Thanks Barry - all good stuff. Andy

Barry Dunwoody said:
My wife's family moved to Aston in 1961, unfortunately long after the track had gone. Her father worked on the farm owned by Alexander Thorneycroft and he lived in the manor house shown on the map. He had about 300 acres which were below the manor house down to the line and then beyond that down to the brook. He told me that when he started farming he had two gated level crossings across the line. I often drove tractors along the line in the 1960's at harvest time and I had some bee hives to the side of the track bed.
There was a coal merchant's yard in the village which belonged to the Cooknell family and until closure of the line their coal supplies were delivered by rail to the siding, which I believe was to the west of the road bridge.

Barry

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