23rd September 2019 · The Railways of Northamptonshire Part 5 – Developments around Northampton

Presenters: Robin Cullop and Barry Taylor

A predictably large attendance gathered at Weston Favell on 23rd September for the first indoor meeting of the 2019/20 Season. Robin Cullop introduced, and Barry Taylor delivered Part 5 of “The Railways of Northamptonshire”, the idea originally developed by Ian Lyman. Sub headed “developments around Northampton”, the content was essentially a treatise on the development of what was eventually to become “The Stratford upon Avon and Midland Junction Railway”, as it had grown to become by the time it was eventually sucked into newly formed London Midland & Scottish Railway company in 1923. It was a then recent amalgamation (if such is the right word), with the Midland Railway, rather than the possibly expected London & North Western Railway. Barry explained the reasoning behind this in layman’s terms, as he did throughout his excellent commentary. He has expended much time and effort into his magnificent two volumes on the SMJR, from it’s first appearance to it’s last independent days in 1922 and the continuation right through to the last days under British Railways in the mid 1960s. The various efforts made by the LMS to ensure that the SMJ played a valuable part in the operation of the system up to it’s last days under British Railways were fully detailed. Not only did the Northamptonshire locals thirst for (4)6102 on main line past Roade, but the Fowler 4F 0-6-0s from sheds such as Gloucester and Saltley that headed the occasional fitted freights for Somerstown via the ”old tin bridge” where the SMJ line crossed the WCML. This presentation, as well as the 2 Volumes are highly recommended.