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Painting: Peter Annable (MGRA)

Mike Musson Collection

Warwickshire Railway's Guest Book: Period 2009 to 2013

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Guest Entries from :  Period 2014 to 2015  :  Period 2009 to 2013 :  Period 2005 to 2008

Hi Mike. Just browsing your fantastic site as I do from time to time. Hope you don't mind me pointing out a slight identity error. Image 'lnwrwg2270a' at Winson Green station is captioned as a Park Royal DMU, although it is actually a predecessor from Monument Lane, a Derby Lightweight Please keep the excellent work and it is a great pity you are constrained by the county boundaries because the South Staffs would be a very useful companion site !!!!

Phil Bartlett

Hi Phil. Many thanks for pointing out the error and your kind comments. I checked the image and it was wrongly captioned on the original image so, having checked with others who confirmed your correction, I have now rewritten the caption. I took the opportunity to resize the images too: from 800 pixels to 1000 pixels which I think helps. Regarding South Staffs, If I hadn't had to resize photos to meet changing technological advances - 500 pixels, 700 pixels, 800 pixels and now 1000 pixels wide images, I might have had the time to 'expand' the area covered by the website but as I am still finding images pertaining to Warwickshire to plug the holes that are still apparent. Its obvious to me that I will never finish the task I started 8 years ago and therefore regretfully I will not be expanding the geographical area.

Regarding image 'smjbd7', the caption states 'Looking West towards Fenny Compton'. Fenny Compton is East from this location. I don't know the site well enough to know whether the compass direction or the town is incorrect, and of course the bridge has been rebuilt since that date.

Nick Meredith

Hi Nick. Having checked the original information which came with the photo, which stated it was to the West, I have followed this up by checking with Andy Thomson of the SMJ and he confirms you are indeed correct in stating my caption is wrong. I have now corrected the captions on the web page. My thanks for pointing this out. As I never visited the location (as with many others on the website) I have to trust the information provided. Which makes it essential that any incorrect information included in the captions are corrected when wrong. Best wishes Mike

Reference 'lnwrns1658', this is a good image of No 70044 from AW Flowers and as I am researching same, I noticed that the front step is fitted, which means that the date is from between February 1956 to March 1957 when the smoke deflectors were added. In my estimation the excellent condition of the locomotive indicates that its close to March 1956, as the only time the engine was cleaned was in the Works.' By the way, regarding an earlier query as to why four Britannias were allocated at Rugby from October 1962 to February 1963. Apparently they replaced four Jubilees and then were used as station pilots, which could then replace a failed Diesel as and when required.

Derek Dean

This is the best railway website, bar none! I have been discovering the disused lines of Warwickshire whilst doing my job as a delivery driver round the county since 1977. It is fantastic to see them as they used to be, on your website.

Robb Woolford

Reference 'gcrsr33' If this view was taken in 1946 what is the train? It appears to be LNER stock but if it is why the livery which looks like BR's cream and carriage lake scheme not introduced until after nationalisation.

Steve Simpson

Steve. Thanks for pointing this out. The date was derived from the information on the back of the photograph. I would agree with your supposition that the coaching stock is in 'Blood and Custard' meaning that the photograph was taken some time between 1948 and January 1950 when the locomotive was renumbered.

Amazing website. A lot of great work compiling and commenting on the photos of how things used to be.

Chris Baker

Chris was very kind and made a contribution towards the website's maintenance and running costs.

Hi Mike, As per your standing request that slip ups be brought to your attention, when clicking on photograph 'gwrt2432', 'gwrt1039' is displayed. I trust that it will be easy to sort out.

Regards - Gordon Snelgrove

Gordon - Thanks very much for letting me know. It does help a lot when mistakes, missing or broken links etc are reported.

Good Evening Mike. I would ask if you are able to help. Having looked at your excellent web site I am trying to obtain the permission of the owners of the copyright of two of the pictures illustrated on the website for possible inclusion in a forthcoming book. Both pictures are on a short list of preferred photos and the publishing date is currently scheduled for early-mid next year. I am assisting in the data gathering and information. The two pictures in question are:-
The first is of Streetly Station, ref:- 'mrst1139', A. Heath Collection, and is taken around 1905-08. It is very interesting in that it shows the new island platform and line. As yet I do not have a date for the closure of the 'bay' but with reference to the Section Appendices it would appear to have been OOU during the WWII. It is shown on the LMS strip dates of the 1930s and I think even appears on an early 1950 edition (yet to be confirmed).
The second is of Wydle Green Station, ref:- 'lnwrwg2337', M. Westley, taken in the late 1970's. If you are able to be of assistance it would be greatly appreciated.
On another note, are you aware of a closure date for the sidings at Water Orton? The current lines of thinking are either 17th March 1966 around when the re-modelled Bescot yards came into operation, or, in the period from May to October 1968 as up until the Oct 1968 Working Time Table (WTT) there was a single working 5G40 from Bescot, with a return working 5G60. There is a possibility that this working was amended to work to Lawley St. but as yet this is unconfirmed. What I do know is that the trip was working throughout October 1967 using either a single Class '20' or '25'. Any thoughts are appreciated, or, if you know a man that can? Keep up with your good work. Look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest regards Ian Pell

I was not able help Ian regarding the photos as I have mislaid the contacts who supplied both images. If anyone can could in identifying the sources or, in the case of the first photograph, another source, I would be grateful. Regarding the closure date of the sidings at Water Orton, again I have no records so if anyone can help please help by contacting me.

Fantastic site. A wonderful resource and for me the images of Great Barr station took me straight back to the 1950s and 1960s when I spent so many hours there. One image of the original station, long gone by my time, shows 'Station Cottages' in the background where my best friend, the stationmaster's son lived, (John McLlelland). Priceless!

Graham Toussaint

Hi Mike. Have you seen Birmingham New Street Station Through Time by Mark-Norton? It has a great selection of photos covering the period from when the station was first built to the 21st century rebuild.

Tom Bird

Tom. Yes I have a copy and I agree with your sentiments. Mark described the book to me as 'a local history book about a railway station rather than a railway book', but was sure many of the pictures will be of interest to rail fans.' One I throughly recommend. Mike

There seems to be minor problems with one or two links to the pictures for Milcote Station.

Regards - Mike James

Mike - Many thanks for contacting us to point out the link errors. I have hopefully addressed them so they should now be working. Please let us know if you spot any other broken links or errors. With over 9000 pages its impossible for us to check manually and automated systems need to be of a professional standard and too expensive. BTW - we will be revisiting the station soon to add to and improve the existing images.

I have had only a brief look at your very comprehensive site whilst looking for a particular train. My Grandfather was accidently killed (11th February 1919) whilst inspecting the lines at Hartshill near Atherstone. I have a copy of both the coroners report and the local newspaper article about the accident. My interest is motivated by "Genealogy" During the research into his life and death I have visited the location and other railway sites to help create a more accurate picture of the time. With this in mind the research has narrowed the date/time and location to the information given ie .8-30 out of Manchester to London express on Tuesday 11th of February 1919. I thought as a reminder of him I would try and find THE train or at least the class of engine and purchase a model plus any photos there may be. Your site has many excellent photos of trains of that period and I hoped that someone of your group my help me to track down this particular engine or maybe the class that would have pulled the Manchester/London Express on the date given ? Thank you in anticipation of a reply.

Peter J Bryan

In response to Peter's enquiry the following replies were received from members of the LNWR Society:
From David Littlewood-Tysoe:
I can find no record of this accident in the Railway Archive's Accident Archive, but I am not entirely clear on the location; I presume the incident occurred on the L&NWR main line north of Nuneaton, rather than the line which actually passed through Hartshill, which I believe was a Midland line from Stockingford? Certainly there is no entry for Hartshill in Ian Allan's Pre-Grouping Atlas, so it seems it had no station, but the Accident Archive yields nothing to a search on Atherstone or Nuneaton either. In any case it would seem the original Board of Trade accident report, which will almost certainly record the engine involved (and the driver/fireman) should be covered by RAIL 1053/303, although unfortunately this has not yet been digitised so cannot currently be accessed on-line. It can, of course, be viewed at The National Archives, or a quote can be sought for digitising/printing (but I'm afraid I'm still recovering from the shock of the figure I was offered last time I sought a quote for something similar).
From Reg Instone:
As regards the carriages, there are Marshalling Circulars for July 1914, Oct 1914 and Feb 1922 at NRM "Search Engine", filed at ref. ALS4/132/C/6. I haven't yet checked what's at the LNWR Society Archive, Kenilworth. Post-war marshalling might be very different from pre-war. Also, the period 1919-21 was one of considerable change as the LNWR gradually restored their services to pre-war levels. So, unless we can find a Marshalling Circular booklet fro the right period, I would have little confidence that the train formation was correct. In any case, the Marshalling Circular specifies the type of carriage (Corridor composite, brake third etc) not the specific Diagram No., so there is no certainty about which design of carriages would be used on a specific train. Before the war there were specially-built sets on some services, but I doubt that these arrangements survived the war. Not much help, I know!
From Peter Spedding:
I think Hartshill box was located north of Ashby Jct, the 1937 Crewe and South Appendix shows it as being 1 mile 1346 yards north of Ashby Jct and 2 miles 1428 yards south of Atherstone Station box. In the early 1960s much railway ballast was worked out of the various quarries to Nuneaton yards for dispatch all over the LMR with much going to the modernisation sites. This doesn't help with the original query but may be of interest.
From Philip Millard:
This incident was not an "accident" reportable to the Board of Trade and no records of it would have survived. It was simply a case of an employee working on the track (legitimately) being run down by a train. Not at all uncommon in those days.
A schedule dated February 1920 shows that the 8.30am Manchester to Euston was operated by Euston and Manchester No.6 set (which returned at 5.30pm). The train was formed of:-
Brake First 5611 D.126
Composite 2882 D.131
Composite 2786 D.131
Third 173 D.264
Third 543 (8ft 6in wide) D.265
Brake Third 7377 D.308
A mixed consist of cove and high roof stock, and for some reason including an 8ft 6in wide vehicle. Of course, I cannot guarantee that this set worked the 8.30am from Manchester on the day in 1919 in question, but this is the best you are going to get. The best guess of a locomotive would be a "Precursor" or a "George V". No possible way to say which one. The signal cabin was named Hartshill Sidings, not just Hartshill. It was a Type 5 with 35 levers, and in 1957 was open from 4.00am Monday to 6.00am Sunday.
Philip added later:
My Marshalling Circular dated 28th April 1919 shows that the order of the carriages from Manchester was reversed from the above, i.e. the brake-first came last in order and the brake-third was marshalled at the leading end, and in addition a 50ft 0in corridor brake van was included in the formation as the first vehicle. In this document the working is shown as balanced at 7.35am ex-Euston but there appears to be no such train. The train also conveyed three carriages (one of the Birmingham-Liverpool-Manchester non-corridor lavatory sets) for Birmingham, detached at Stoke.

I remember growing up in Holbrooks, Coventry in the early seventies and being fascinated by the trains that carried the coal. I would often disappear much to the horror of my mother who would always find me watching the trains pass Wheelwright lane halt. As a girl all my friends thought me odd to be so fascinated by trains, but I loved them. Being the youngest of 7 we never had much, every Christmas I always wanted a train set, but of course my parents could never afford it. In 2009 we moved to Longford, Coventry on Black Horse road and I was excited to live near the Hawkesbury lane junction, My young boys would wave to the signal man every time we crossed the line, but this wasn't to last long as it closed and went automatic.....just not the same. The signal box was boarded up, and only 2 weeks ago the boards went down, I have just found out it is to be removed.....so sad, another bit of history to be gone. Just want to add I have been thrilled just sitting here discovering the old pictures and history of the Hawkesbury Station. Think I was born the wrong sex and in the wrong time zone lol (laugh out loud - Ed). Just to add my wonderful hubby bought me my 1st train set last Christmas.. I cried.....only a small one.....all we can afford but my goodness what a joy. xx

Lynn Slade

Hi Lynn. Many thanks for sharing your memories with us. Its not often that we get a member of the fairer sex contributing to the guest book. We are very pleased that the old pictures have helped you to reminisce and even more so that you finally got that train set - well done hubby! Best wishes Mike

Invaluable site for research, keep up the brilliant work and thank you!

Peter Wood

I am the grandson of Harry Clarke, who used to be in the signal box, which is now knocked down. He died in 1970 at the age of 72, I think. Can anybody send me information on him and his old box? I can remember pulling one of the levers for him! He used to live in Higham Lane.

Dave Clarke

Dave - Can you let us know which signal box your grandad worked at. See my reference below to the UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956 facility which can be found via this link.

While enjoying another browse through your fascinating site I've just noticed a misplaced photograph. Image Inwrns2673 is definitely not at Nuneaton. Is it at Tamworth (Low Level)?

John Clayson

Hi John - Yes you are absolutely correct. Its another case of me just accepting the caption and not looking too carefully at the photograph. The brick base to the water tower is so obvious.

A fascinating collection of archives and photographs - thank you for the hard work. I am trying to piece together the history of Robert Webb Pearce. He was apprenticed at Brown Marshalls & Co, and later Chief of Drawing Office at their new Britannia Works. In 1855 he joined East Indian Railways and set up their Carriage and Wagon Workshops (I have his designs). I am trying to find out more about his early days in Saltley. Any ideas who can help? I will happily pass on all info I have.

Mike Pearce

Hi Mike Thanks for your kind comments. Regarding your query, are you aware of the UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956 which can be found via this link. Any material that you find relevant to our website would be appreciated. The website's long term future is hopefully more secure now that the HMRS have agreed to be custodians in the future together with copies to be sent to local educational centres and libraries. Regards Mike

So many thanks for the chance to relive the days of steam. I well remember sitting at my school desk alongside the Coundon Road station in Coventry, and watching the trial runs of the GWR railcar (much to our teachers disgust). Again many thanks and happy thoughts for the future of your site.

Best regards - Bernard Smith

Do you know which LNWR loco shed had the code 6?

Thanks - Geoff Reeve

A table of Shed Codes is reproduced on the LNWR Society webb site detived from Harry Jack’s article 'LNWR Engine Shed Code' in the December 1997 edition of the society's Journal. A link to the table is found via this link.

Really pleased to find this superb site. I am modelling Monument Lane Shed circa 1957 in "OO" gauge and the pictures have been very useful. The site is now occupied by the National Indoor Arena which is built on "stilts" above the site of the main shed: the original retaining walls of the site are still visible in the underground car park! Unfortunately I cannot find any information on the Mechanical Coaling Plant and Ash Plant built in the early 1930s the pictures offer some tantalising glimpse's but not enough to accurately base a model on. Similarly with the Water Softening Plant. So any information from any source on these structures would be really appreciated.

Alan Crawley

Dear Alan. Many thanks for your kind comments regarding the website which are now posted into the guest book. Reference your request for information. I assume you know of the excellent book on the shed by Tony Higgs? See http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/about/monument_lane.htm Tony was selling his book from the following address 22 Maxstoke Close, Matchborough West, Redditch B98 0EJ. Price £11.95 plus £1.40p&p. If you can provide any more information as you undertake research please let us know as we would love to add it to the website. I hope this helps. Regards Mike

Delighted to find a reference to the BSA wagon mover in your photo collection. Our museum has recently acquired a model from one of our 'Friends'. It is a single cylinder, four stroke, SV, cord starter, hand start BSA industrial type engine, but have not as yet found a model number on it as yet. In finding a suitable interpretation for it, may we use a copy of your action photo, with a suitable credits, in any future publications?

Tony Johnson of Amberley Museum

In photo lnwrcll111 the loco carries the reporting number W412, which was the 10.55 (S.O.) Blackpool North to Stechford, first stop Wolverhampton at 14.07 then Coseley Deepfields at 14.21, Dudley Port 14.29, Smethwick 14.46, New Street 14.56 to arrive at Stechford at 15.09. Outside the peak summer Saturdays it was extended to Coventry arriving at 15.42. The empty stock was then (I presume) worked on to Rugby hence the loco in the photograph is carrying the lamps for empty coaching stock (ECS). All this information relates to Summer 1959. In summer 1957 this train ran around 30 minutes later but carried the same reporting number.

Robert Stephenson

Hi Robert. Thanks for correcting my original text. Your information has now been added to the caption.

I am currently writing notes for David Hey's collection Website, and so was looking at 70017 Arrow image 'lnwrbns_br 388, and wondered if any of your readers know why four Britannias were allocated to Rugby from October 1962 to February 1963? Also, Mike, on the caption you have wrongly suggested that 70017 was allocated to Southern Region for the first two years. Was at 81A until 26/5/53, then Salisbury 72B for 4 weeks only, covering for Merchant Navy loco, then back to Old Oak Common. Keep up the excellent work my friend.


Hi Derek I do not know but will ask around for you. Thanks for the correction which has been added to the caption credited to you.

I have followed a link from Wikipedia which I edit as Chevin. I have a query about Cmp Hill Station. Your page on Camphill station suggests that "Camp Hill Station was first opened in 1867 by the Midland Railway as 'Camp Hill & Balsall Heath' " My understanding is that Camp Hill was first opened as the terminus of the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway before it was extended to Curzon Strreet. It was closed for a while and the date 1867 and the new name refers to its reopening. Could you confirm this for me, please.

Best wishes, Jed

Hi Jed. My information is as follows: Camp Hill station was opened as the temporary terminus for the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway on 17th December 1840 and closed on 17th August 1841 when the line to Curzon Street opened. It reopened on 15th November 1841. On 1st December 1867 it was closed then reopened as Camp Hill and Balsall Heath station. On 1st April 1904 it was renamed Camp Hill station. It closed on 27th January 1941 as a wartime measure but never reopened. Hope this helps. See our page listing the dates relevant to all stations and major locations in the county. Best wishes Mike.

Dear Mike. It was only yesterday that I happened upon Warwickshire Railways. What a superbly designed website that, unlike many, is so easy and logical to use. My wife, Joan, spent twenty-one years living at 'The Old Station' as everyone called it in Hampton-in-Arden. Her mother and father moved there in the thirties, her father being a cabinet maker working for Wyckham Blackwell's who 'leased' the former goods yard and buildings. If it is of interest I could look back through my diaries of the early 1960s and probably come up with some accurate datings for the final removal of the sidings and the truncated branch line. Many engine drivers from Saltley Shed knew of Joan's mother 'our Gladys' who, during the war would replenish tea caddies over the fence for trains parked up in the long sidings outside the station. There used to be an old newspaper cutting of George 6th alighting to visit a shadow factory just north of the NEC but alas that's been lost, as is the factory. The old bridge abutments are still in place though. We also have (had!) a copy of the photo that Alan Smyth donated to the site. Doctor Smyth was the village doctor, a lovely man, who used to store railway bits and pieces under his examination couch. Many more anecdotes that can be passed on that we would be happy for you to include as you think fit and I could also look through my slides of that period, transfer them somehow and send them on - the original LNW station, last steam passenger train etc. but I need to find them all. Joan and I moved out to Cyprus in 1998 but I still miss the sight, sound, and especially the scent of a steam train roaring past. Oh, and a good pint of bitter. If there is anything in particular you'd like us to try and recall let us know. My own trainspotting days commenced in 1945 at Solihull!

Yours sincerely Colin & Joan Gorton

Hi Colin. Many thanks for your kind comments, they are very much apprecoiated. We would love you to contribute any photos, information and recollections that you or your wife can recount. Social history is as important as technical history so please capture on paper whatever recollections you can. I love the reference to Joan's mum during the war. Full credit is given and with the HMRS (Historical Model Railway Society) becoming its guardian it will be available online for many years to come. Regarding subject matter please feel free to contribute what you can. Best wishes Mike

I have drawn a series of signal box diagrams and would like to meke them available to Warwickshire Railways if they of interest to you. I would also like to have some information re Tamworth Low Level signal box in the 1950's

Iain Mackenzie

Iain of course we would welcome your contribution and will try to help reference Tamworth. Best wishes, Mike.

In connection with an article I am writing for my magazine Talking Tickets I have looked at your information and photos of Snow Hill station. The impression I have received is that prior to the 1906-12 rebuilding Snow Hill station could be accessed from both sides. However, none of the photos or plans show whether there were separate booking offices at the two entrances. Are you able to confirm whether on not there were two separate booking offices. Information I have on tickets shows that there was no indication on them of separate offices, which seem strange if there were two offices. It may, of course, have been that the up side office only booked for up journeys and vice versa. Have you any information on this point? I am aware that later there was an entrance from Great Charles Street with its own booking office, which seems likely to have been provided as part of the 1906-12 rebuilding. Can you confirm that this office was provided as part of the rebuilding and also when it closed (presumably prior to closure of the station itself).

Brian Pask.

Brian, Sorry for the delay. There is a useful chapter on the history of Birmingham Snow Hill in Colin Maggs' book 'GWR Principal Stations', now out of print, but fairly common in second hand shops. In here it lists the Snow Hill (Up) side platform offices of the 1871 station:
Dinning Room (leased by Messrs Browning)
First class Restaurant
Second class Restaurant
First class Waiting Room
First class Ladies Room
Third class Ladies Room
Third class Waiting Room
Stationmaster's Office
Booking Hall
Coach working Offices
Outwards Parcels Office
Guards' and Porters' Rooms
He states that the order on the Livery Street (Down) side was similar, which infers another Booking Office on that side.

The Great Charles street Booking Office was part of the rebuild see the GWR Magazine Article of 1911 - Birmingham Snow Hill Station - Redevelopment. As for closure of this office, I suspect it happened in April 1963 when construction started on the Great Charles Street section of the new Inner City Ring Road. For information Snow Hill station became completely unstaffed from 5th May 1969. After the rebuild there was also a third Booking Office on Platform No1 which I understand served passengers wanting to travel on the Severn Valley Line, Worcester and South Wales via Hereford plus stations to Birkenhead. There is a picture of this Booking Office in Derek Harrison's book ' Birmingham Snow Hill - A First Class Return'. Regards Robert

Dear Mike. I think your website is the best of its kind around and continue to enjoy the new material that appears from time to time as well as the wealth of existing stuff. I have found an interesting painting which I think you might like to consider adding to the Queens Drive section of your BNS pages. I had been tagging paintings for the Public Catalogue Foundation's project and decided to search for "Birmingham" just in case there was anything of interest, and there was. I turned up a painting of Great Queens Street from the Market Hall end showing the LNWR station on the right, and the land being cleared for construction of the Midland extension to the left. I have never seen a view like this, the link is: Great Queens Street, Birmingham by Alfred Freeman Smith What do you think?

Best regards - Toby Clempson

Hi Toby. Many thanks for your kind words. We would be very interested in adding the painting to the website both on the BNS pages as well as our art page which I assume you know of? See http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/misc/railway_art.htm. See lnwrbns_str1862 and lnwrbns_str2954 This is the road after the MR station was built as seen from both ends.

Hello Mike, you seem to have the same photo appearing twice but with different location and date details. The photos are lnwrf132 "46446 is seen pulling out of Foleshill station's goods yard at the head of train of oil tanks circa 1956" and lnwrns1646 " 46446 is seen at the head of a train of oil tank wagons in Nuneaton's marshalling yard circa 1957".

Regards - David Easthope

Hi David. Thanks for pointing out the duplication. We are currently investigating where it was taken. It might even be somewhere else. The footbridge seen to the right is clearly LNWR but the building is puzzling local experts. I will let you know and update this when we know.

Born and bred in Daventry I remember the last passenger train that went through - made the pages of the local paper. Then the 8F locos with around 60 plus mineral wagons in tow. One driver let me as a schoolboy 'drive' his loco - but only a few yards! Now I am recently retired and about to embark on building an 00 scale model of Daventry station and railway yard. But first is research and hence came across this site full of invaluable information... I will be back....

Richard Miller

Brilliant site, told me everything I wanted to know about former stations in my area complete with photographs as well. Thank you so much to all those who have contributed.

Vince Marks

Wonderful site thank you for being able to view the photos, I am a member of an art class run by age UK. With a passion (to my limits) of mainly painting steam trains and wild life, before I found your site I came across a photo on the net which I wanted to paint but didn't know who to ask for permission, looking through your site and finding the picture taken by Mr Mensing of No 44659 at New Street Station, Birmingham, would it be possible for you to pass my details to him so I may ask.

Alan Fisher

Hi Mike. Just wanted to thank you for all the effort you and others have put into the site. I use it primarily as a source of enjoyment, but its many facts also make a very useful reference tool. I am particularly enjoying the links to the video content, but confess to having some difficulty viewing some of the BBC content, both on my I-phone and PC, something to do with the media player selection I suspect! Again many thanks for your efforts, I trust the small PayPal donation helps in some way.

Kind regards John Haden

John - Many thanks for your kind donation. It really does help. Not just to purchase additional material but to cover running costs too. I recently had a major programming issue with the web authoring package - HoTMetaL Pro - and it cost £90 to resolve which uses up a lot of pocket money. It may be an old software programme but its the only one that I can use to generate content very quickly!

In your bibliography you cite Railways of the West Midlands - A Chronology 1808 - 1954 but no author. It was in fact compiled by Charles or 'C A' Clinker.

Dr Paul Collins

As someone who grew up in Brownhills but often enjoyed as part of a weekly visit on Thursdays (my fathers shops half-day closing day) to Birmingham, I was able to enjoy train spotting at New Street on a regular basis c. 1954-58. I noted recently that the LMS section list is headed with the photo. of 'Crab' 2-6-0 standing at the end of the platform adjacent to the Walsall/Wolverhampton bays. The man with in a suit with a cap and a coat or tool-bag on his shoulder is my father William Elkin who was born in 1907 in Wolverhampton. He worked for Gibbons the art metal and locksmith firm and was at the time that photograph was taken was probably fitting new bank grills/ staircase handrails etc. to one of the various businesses and banks that Gibons fitted out at that time. The picture with my father in it is purely con-incidental; I first spotted it in Whitehouse and Thomas's LMS 150 page 69.

It is unmistakably my father partly because he always stood slightly on the right leg as he had broken his left leg as a boy and, after developing osteo-myelitis, his leg was only saved by years of pioneering bone-grafting surgery just after the end of WW1. Although he retained the use of his left leg it was always a bit gammy and gave him that very characteristic stance that I would recognise anywhere.

Excellent web-site for this now aging LNWR/MIDLAND/LMS enthusiast even though I spent many years as a technology and transport museum curator in the Bristol - the heart of GWR territory country. Still, never forgotten my first glimpses of GWR Castles and Kings at Snow Hill in the late 50s 'though. I will make a donation to the web-site shortly.

Paul Elkin

Hi Paul. The photo you refer to is 'lnwrbns_lms520' and is my favourite photo too. I use it as my screen saver and it looks good on my 17 inch laptop screen. The photographer, Arthur Flowers, was a lovely man and I used to spend many a day at his house in the early 1980s. I moved and lost touch with Arthur and I understand he was taken into a home. His photographic negatives are believed to be lost but at least myself and the late Pat Whitehouse had copies of most if not all of his collection. I am about to revisit New Street and update the photos including increasing their size from 700 to 800 pixels wide.

Hi, my friend, many thanks for a superbly stocked site. I'm studying GWR Kings at the moment, and having viewed image 'gwrt306' at Tyseley Shed' I can agree with 'Bill Perrin' in stating that the location is Wolverhampton Stafford Road coaling stage, which is remote from the shed itself, and is next to the turntable. This is mainly because of the brick support arches, as Tyseley only had an earth mound.

Derek Dean

Thanks Derek. We have withdrawn the thumbnail photograph from Tyseley Shed's page but retained the large image linked only from the guest book.

What a fantastic site. Many thanks for your dedication. Later this year I will start modeling in 00 gauge, a small Lancashire town terminus on the LMS about 19th September 1947. (I was one year old). Your photographs and text are invaluable. My donation will follow.

Barry Read

Are you sure about your dates? I grew up in Kenilworth in the 1960s and I remember taking the train from Kenilworth with my friends (no adults). Even in that much more innocent time, I can't imagine parents letting 6 year olds taking a train by themselves. I still remember the rather intimidating sight of the train coming in from the Coventry end of the station, under the "new" footbridge.

Andrew Fisk

Hi Andrew. Yes the date of Kenilworth station's closure - goods traffic on 4th January 1965 and passenger traffic on 18th January 1965 - is well documented. I know that I was travelling by train when I was very young, albeit not as young as six.

Mike, The bridge in picture 'gwrhb2226' is the same one I blew up in 1980, see 'gwrhj1876'.

Regards - John Fancote

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to construct and maintain the Warwickshire Railways website. Although Warwickshire is almost entirely terra incognita to me, I enjoy visiting the website and find it very informative. May I suggest amendments to four captions, 'gcrsc200', 'gcrsc203', 'gcrsc220', 'gcrsc221' & 'gcrsc208' and provide more information for a fifth? Each concerns a photograph of Rugby Central.

Andrew Chilcott

Hi Andrew. Many thanks for your kind comments and suggested caption changes which are now added to the website. I must have had a bad day at the office with not noticing the Hillman Imp had a 'D' at the end because my Dad had a Hillman Minx with a C registration and I know that his car was a 1965 model. Please feel free to provide more information or suggest amendments. We need the website's content to be accurate, informative, and relevant so the more sources the better.

I was thrilled to see Jurassic and her siblings on the site. I think all four of the class are now back in the UK, though Jurassic needs a major overhaul before she can run again at Skegness. She still gets occasional outings into the fresh air, such as when there's a gala day and she's still the pin up girl for all of us volunteers. I still remember her being delivered to the original LCLR site at Humberston (price £50) - a copy of a 1956 Daily Sketch was in the back of the bunker. The loco dept cleaned out the ash, filled her up with water, lit the fire and a couple of hours later, she chugged off down the line. You are wrong to state that the Peckett saddle tanks operated by the cement works at Southam (Jurassic, Liassic etec) were 0-4-0STs. They were 0-6-0ST, as indeed your photos clearly show. Jurassic was sold to the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway in 1961 for £50 (along with a Ruston 4w diesel), moving to storage when that line closed in 1985 and then to the LCLR's new site at Skegness, which reopened in 2009. I am looking forward to exploring the rest of your website as these days I live in Brum and naturally find Warks railways of great interest.

Chris Bates

Hi there. I'm a project manager for Centro-ITA (West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority) - we have currently been undertaking improvements at Marston Green Rail Station to improve safety within the bus interchange area. During our works we found what seemed to be the remains of a Victorian era blue brink structure within the interchange - I've only recent come across your website to find a photo of the old level crossing and coal/coke goods yard (phot ref: lnwrmg1592) - we will get a photo taken of the same view as it is now. In addition we are developing a further car park expansion at Rowley Regis Station, do you happen to have any historic photo's of this site? during our investigations we found evidence of a subway running from this area underneath the tracks - but we cannot determine what its use was for. Thanks for such a great website.

Kind Regards. Scott Cooper

Hi Scott Many thanks for the kind words regarding the website. The website doesn't include Rowley Regis as it was never part of the county of Warwickshire. Some stations from Worcestershire and Staffordshire are included because up to 1972 Birmingham was within Warwickshire (albeit as an independent political/economic entity) and as such when towns and districts such as Bournville/Barnt Green were absorbed by Birmingham in the 1920s and 1930s they became within the County's borders by default. In other instances, such as Tamworth, the town was within the County when the railways first arrived but was later ceded (1870s from memory) to Staffordshire.

Robert Ferris writes, 'For information my father was the Manager of the Shell Mex Fuel Distribution Centre in Cakemore Road, Warley (Rowley Regis & Blackheath Station) in the 1970s. I understand that prior to becoming a rail feed fuel distribution centre, the site was previously a munitions store and the subway under the tracks liked the two halves of the site. In my father's time the subway was used for fuel pipes from the tanks located behind the up station platform to the three lorry loading gantries in the south east of the site. This was in front of the garages (which backed on to the motorway). The garage is the only building left on site from that period, or at least it was the last time I travelled that way. There were multiple fuel pipes on either side of the subway, these were lagged and with trace heating to prevent the fuel oil getting cold. In the centre was a walkway used for access between the two halves of the site. I have a plan of the site dated 1975 if Scott is interested.'

We are trying to save Water Orton station from being demolished and are looking for it to be refurbished, renovated and listed. For more news see our website www.waterortonstation.co.uk.


Hi Mike. I have been looking at the photographs on the Warwickshire railways website with interest because my great grandfather worked at Coventry Station from 1888 to 1927. He started work on the drays and horses and seven years later was made foreman. Attached are three photos. The first photograph shows John James King in the goods yard in about 1912 (date uncertain). Do you know what building is in the background? The second photograph of JJ King in front of the horse must have been taken quite early in his career, probably early 1890s. I don't know the date of the third photograph showing John James King as being the second from the right on the front row of the group photograph. You can just see the Spencer Park footbridge in the background. I haven't seen many pictures of individuals on your site so I'm not sure if this is the kind of photo you are interested in.

Regards Christine

We do like to include photos of people it just depends on whether we are able to find any such photograph. I have added your photos to the Coventry station page with my comments written up as captions. If you could add more it would be great. Regarding the photo taken circa 1912 could you scan and send a larger copy so that I can see the building in the background. You will note from my caption that I have some doubts as to whether it is Coventry. Many thanks Mike

Mike, regarding your photo of Coleshill Station which you updated with information about the Lurgi Gas Plant, as a follow up you might be interested to know that the sidings on the right joining the down line come from Hams Hall. Trains which were on the block between Water Orton and Washwood Heath on the down goods line, were routed into Hams Hall from Whitacre until there was room at Water Orton on the goods line. I trust this helps.

Vic Smith

Hi Mike. I enjoyed browsing through your site, particular the British Railways in WW2 films. Can you tell me where and when they were originally broadcast?

Regards, Richard

Richard. I regret that I have no idea as I have only linked the film from You Tube.

Dear Mike. A little time since our previous communications; I hope I find you well. Whilst doing some research in the History Group archives we came across the attached pictures, which I thought could be of interest to you. They were in a scrap book dated 1965, so would seem to fit in with the other information we have gleaned about the time the station was named Berkswell and Balsall Common. Very happy for you to add to your website if you deem appropriate.

Regards Dave Felthouse (Berkswell and Balsall Common History Group)

Superb historical site. Excellent, extremely interesting

Nigel Cook

I am looking for any photographs taken of Harbury Station dating 1950 to 1960s. I have a relative who is looking for a specific photograph as his father may be on it. It would be brilliant if you could help.

Thank you. Tracey Haynes

Hi! Very interesting site. Thanks for your efforts. Do you have any idea of the date of gcrcs195 showing ex-LMS 4-6-0 No 45335 crossing the Birdcage Bridge? I think I may be one of the trainspotters in the field beyond the bridge!

John Greer

Hi John. I believe that the photograph is dated early 1960s as the bridge carrying Clifton Road has been rebuilt as part of electrification. Hope this helps.

Great site - brings back heaps of memories. You have a broken link causing a missing picture - 'lnwrns2705'.

Julian Watts

I have always been fascinated by trains having travelled on steam trains to my Gran's in Warwick every Saturday as a child. I have found this web site a gem and have learned a lot like Maudsley moving to Great Alne my dads friend and my uncle worked there for many years it has filled me with nostalgia thank you so much

Angela Horsley

Hello like your site. Some very nice photos. A couple of possible errors:
1) the text below 'gwrl1860' is muddled it refers to the loco in the picture correctly - but then goes on to discuss the cutting up of 34088 which probably ought to be with picture 'gwrl1863'
2) the text below the picture is probably right on railway facts but the match was between Manchester united and Southampton - Wikipedia has lots about the FA cup

Best wishes, Mike James

Mike - many thanks for pointing out the errors which have been corrected. I must stress that we welcome people pointing out any incorrect information or typos etc so please contact us if you see something wrong. The error regarding the scrapping of the locomotive was my misreading the information provided for the SR Pacifics seen at Lapworth. The second error was because I didn't check who played who on that date. As you say Wikipedia provided the information.

Hello Mike. I am also interested in Bordesley Shed. I am a member of the Broad Gauge Society and have the two magazines you mention on your website. No 45 Spring 2001 contains an article by RS Potts with photographs and diagrams. No 47 Spring 2002 contains an article by ET Lyons with a map and diagrams. You seem to have covered most of the points mentioned though including the staged accident. I would be happy to send you a copies of the articles if you still need them.

Graham Jennings

Graham - Many thanks for your kind offer which I will certainly take you up on. Best wishes, Mike

Hi Mike. I have just visited your site and have seen you have updated with a lot of new photographs around Rugby Central, my special interest. Great pictures. I sent a letter to Steam Railway magazine that was printed by them a few months ago asking the readers of that magazine for photographs of the three special trains that ran from Southampton to Nottingham for the 6th round FA Cup game played on Saturday 30th March 1963. (The FA Cup games were badly delayed that year because of the severe frosts in Dec/Jan/Feb and the Cup final itself was delayed until the end of May.) Nothing came of that appeal, but blow me if you haven't came up trumps with the picture of No 34042 'Dorchester' passing Rugby Central. According to my old friend David Newmans notes for that day No 34042 was the second train to come down from Woodford Halse, the others being first No 34054 'Lord Beaverbrook', an unrebuilt Battle of Britain class locomotive, next was No 34042 'Dorchester', a rebuilt West Country, and last No 34102 'Lapford', an unrebuilt West Country class locomotive. So if you have any other photos that you cannot identify I would be very pleased to help. The only other photograph I have seen for these trains is on the www.sixbellsjunction.com website. The picture confirms No 34102 'Lapford' is standing at the north end box of Nottingham Victoria. To help you raise funds for such a great website I suggest you contact Steam Railway with your photo and if you have any others I am sure they would be happy to print them. For the record Southampton beat Nottingham Forest and went on to play Manchester United at Villa Park but lost.

Kind Regards Bob Haddon

Dear Mike. The donation (to support the website) is small recompense for the knowledge and pleasure gained from visiting your site. I have left a small correction with regard to 'lnwrcs2158' in that the gates which the cattle were about to pass through was to the Birmingham Corporation Cattle Market in Montague Street. The cattle dock was in the Banbury Street sidings and also had another access where cattle were lead toward Smithfield market via the bridge over the canal into Fazeley Street. This bridge still exists but is not accessible from either end or not legally should I say. I would like to track down the originals to both lnwrcs2158 and 'lnwrcs1496' as I am doing research into the Duddeston viaduct in an attempt to identify the construction of three underline bridges in this same vicinity. The viaduct section in lnwrcs2158 has long gone but included two intriguing iron beam spans which I believe very similar to a remaining part partially hidden amongst industrial buildings. The "toothless" gap is visible at the far end of the market. Your website gives them both as sourced from the Public Records Office (PRO) so I hope they are somewhere in the collections at Kew. From a high resolution RAW scan of both I may be able to tease some more detail out.

Best regards, Graham Laucht

I will e-mail you soon.

Bob Haddon

A truly fantastic site, well done. I'm so nostalgic for the Birmingham railway scene of the 60s. I used to sneak into Aston Shed at lunchtime, never got caught. I rode the GWR railcars from Snow Hill to Handsworth many times. My step-grandfather was the foreman ganger at Aston Goods yard. Now in the USA with a OO model railway.

Michael Young

Hi just found your site courtesy of a friend on the Model Railway Forum and I am looking for any pictures, track plans, etc for Newdigate Colliery branch line which would be most grateful.

George Mcdonnell

We were able to point George towards Roger Monk and Martin Kavanagh who able to help him.

I have a picture in my collection, a collection amassed over the last forty years that I am just getting around to looking at what I have. Attached is a copy of the picture, a picture which I have found on your website (see smjsa94). The copy has slightly more detail than the one you have should you want to use it. But just to be clear it is merely a copy I have, I have had it for years and do not know where it was acquired from. That said your website says it is a Ken Nunn photograph so you pretty much know it is not my work.

Best wishes Dave Ingham

Hi Dave. Many thanks for the photo which is as you say is a much better copy. I will replace the photo in a few weeks time. Why a few weeks? Because I realised when I visited the SMJ to look at smjsa94 that all the photos are 700 pixels wide and not 800 which is the latest standard. Therefore I need to upgrade the whole route which I will action after I have completed the GWR Warwick pages, the Coventry Loop Line and Coventry station's pages. Any other photos that you might have would be welcome - as would any plans or information. Best wishes Mike

Many thanks for a great website. I was a signalman at Water Orton, Kingsbury branch & Kingsbury Station Junction from 1955 till 1968. Your view of Coleshill station on the Birmingham to Nuneaton line, looking towards Birmingham, shows the gas plant not part of Hams Hall Power Station but is the Lurgi gas plant of the West Midlands Gas Company. Therefore your wording is a bit misleading.

Vic Smith

Hi Vic Thanks for pointing out the error. I have now made the correction. Best wishes - Mike

Hi. I am researching Coventry Station pre-1901 with the intention of building a layout. I have found your site very informative, clearing up several discrepancies in my research. Its a very well thought out site. Thanks for all your effort.

Regards Phil Bissell

Hi Phil. Glad you like the website. I will add your comments to the guest book shortly. I started to model Coventry circa 1930s in the late 1970s which is how I started to collect the photos. I then spread my net to other local areas and ultimately led to this website. From memory I think you can fit the line from Warwick Road to Quinton Road in about 26-28 feet. I am due to upgrade the Coventry page in the next few weeks. If you have any additional photos and in particular maps/layouts I would very much appreciate a copy. Best wishes Mike

Dear fellow Enthusiasts. I am doing a small history project with the children of my local community centre. Is it possible to get hold of a copy of the picture in the Warwick station collection that you have? It is picture ref; 'gwrw378a' by Gordon Coltas. I am doing a Before and After picture display in the community centre of local scenes. Any picture will be kept in my own collection after the event. Thank You.

Dave Watson

Hi Dave The image you are requesting is a close up of 'gwrw378. My fear is that it will not be possible to blow up the image without it becoming even more blurred. A larger copy than a postcard from the negative might be a better option and you would need to contact the Gordon Coltas Trust now that Gordon is no longer alive. I don't have contact details for them (as my collection was bought from Gordon when he was alive) so I will try to get it for you. Best wishes Mike

Please let me know if the videos on your site are available on DVD


Hi Chris Apologies for not responding sooner. All the videos on the website are via links to other sources. I have none that I own. If the site I link to is YouTube (which most are) you have an option to save them so you could make up your own DVD for free. Best wishes Mike

Hello. I have found your website enormously interesting and informative. I would like to know more about the cast iron plaque that I have. It measures approximately 28cm long x 16.5cm high x 12cm thick I presume these would have been attached to railway vehicles? Can you please advise me over which period of time this type of plaque was used and if possible the type of vehicle that it would have been attached to. Thank you in advance of your help in this matter.

Barry Saunders

Robert Ferris identified the plaque as being off a wagon or carriage built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co Ltd probably pre-1921.

I love your site. I grew up in Warwickshire and am particularly interested in the stations near where I lived: Stratford, Kenilworth and Knowle. At the moment I am focussing on the early history of the East and West Junction Railway at Stratford and was interested to see the statement that they had originally used LNWR coaches without re-painting them. I haven't seen this before and wondered what the source is? If you did have the time to let me know I would be most grateful,

Many thanks Matthew Cadbury

I responded to Matthew stating that unfortunately I did not note down the source of this statement.

I am interested in the rail line between Northfield station to Redditch on the Evesham line

Barry Reed

Many thanks for producing these wonderful evocative railway pictures. The photo seen in 'image gwro256' of Olton Station, showing a 'Prairie' local had particular relevance to my childhood. Can I be terribly pedantic and point out that this train is in fact heading away from Birmingham Snow Hill, rather than towards it? It has stopped on platform 1 and will probably terminate at Warwick or Leamington Spa. Marvellous memories here!!!

Peter Lakin

Peter. Thanks for the kind comments and in pointing out my error which has now been corrected. Its important that such mistakes are identified and rectified so please keep on being pedantic. Best wishes - Mike

Hi there. Its so nice to be able to remember the days of steam via the photos especially my all time favorites - the Merchant Navy Class, the West Country Class and the Battle of Britain Class. I had the privilege to see many of those fine engines as a boy trainspotter back in the late 1950s and 1960s and miss that era so much. Thanks for enabling me to relive those great days.

Kind regards, Ken Weeks (Southampton)

Regarding image 'gwrl1441'. I was most interested to find this photograph as I knew Ted Giles very well - he and his wife were good friends. I spent many happy times with them both and when first married, we often had tea with them, in their dining room in front of a roaring fire! Do you have a date for the photo?

Ian Robinson

Hi Ian. I believe the photograph was taken in the early 1950s. Ted's wearing a peaked hat that has the British Railways insignia on it so its definitely post 1948.

Hi folks There is some stuff on my website Rail Archive from Gods own county, including images of original early railway documents from 1840's onwards and a few photographs as well - enjoy and copies available if wanted.

Cheers. Ian Dinmore, Curator of the Rail Archive

Ian's site is an absolute gold mine which I regular visit to add depth to the captions of Warwickshire Railway's.

Hi, I run a Flickr group called "Clerestory Coaches (Railways)", and I am constantly seeking contributions of photos. The site was originally started to support knowledge of the American Pullman imports of the MR, but has gone world wide! However, UK stock is still only a small proportion. Your site is a good source, but there is no 'contact us' I can find. Thus: How can I ask for copyright permission on photos I would like to have contributed, and Ideally it would be best for owners to contribute through their own Flickr account, of course, else otherwise this would mean authorising a download which would require loading with appropriate credit. Could that be done possibly? I would not be happy to do anything without your, or owners', agreement. Perhaps you could e-mail me to discuss.

Many thanks, Terry Browne

Great Site. May I point your members to my Facebook Site devoted to the 'Lickey Incline and Bromsgrove MPD' Although in Worcestershire the Lickey was close to the Warwickshire border and was always a place to watch in the past and even now.

Alan Spencer

Alan. Its my pleasure. It was a shame the Lickey incline wasn't in Warwickshire.

You've got some great photos on here - well done, a lovely website.

Frank Cheevers

Frank also was kind enough to make a donation to support the web site.

You have done a wonderful job with your website, which is very helpful for my modeling through the insights it gives on railways landscapes, ambiances and structures of the past. Best wishes.

Marc Patiou

Marc, who lives in Compiegne, Oise in France, kindly made a donation to support the web site.

Regarding 'lnwrk2046'. I was eight years old in 1959 and lived in Waverley Road in one of the houses on the left. This was my playground. Some corrections: Waverley Road, not Priory Road, is on the left - they met at the station. Bertie Road isn't shown - it's off picture left. It did not then join Station Rd. Another place for photography. I expect, was the footbridge just north of the station - just visible in front of the big sheds. Many pictures of the station, then and since, are from there. It was a open metal bridge with wooden steps and floor - replaced a few years later (when all the bridges were raised) by the current one. In the foreground the housing estate is being extended.

David Royal

Thanks David for the corrections and extra information which have now been added to the website.

I was signalman at Gibbet Hill Signal Box from 1970 until it closed in 1972. I was very interested to see your pictures of the box and to read the accident report. I had no idea an accident had occurred there in 1916. I would be very interested to see if any more pictures appear of this location, especially of the interior.

Malcolm Davenport

My congratulations on assembling a superb set of photos. I have recently been re-furbishing a model railway to the late 19th/early 20th century period and have found many of your photos invaluable.

Mike Flemming

Mike. Cracking website. Once logged on I am hooked. It's great to revisit my old spotting haunts. I am a Coventry Kid whose grandmother's houses backed onto the Coventry to Nuneaton line at Daimler Halt and Coundon Road stations. I hope you don't mind if I make a couple of comments concerning the text on a couple of photos.
i) 'lnwrns350' - I would suggest that the loco is standing in the short siding situated between the DOWN FAST and DOWN SLOW at the northern end of the station; not on the shed as stated. The date of the photo is nearer 1950 rather than 1960 and shows the LNWR signal gantry prior to it's replacement with a modern upper quadrant BR version. The old gantry can be seen in photo 'lnwrns1630' and it's replacement in photo 'lnwrns1658'.
ii) 'lnwrcov643' - The locomotive is No 41900 not No 41909 as stated. At the time of the photo, October 1960 I think, No 41902 and No 41909 were stored inside the closed Coventry MPD. I clearly remember seeing this loco on a parcels working at Coundon Road station whilst waiting for a Nuneaton train. I think this train did 3 possibly 4 trips a day between Leamington Coventry and Nuneaton with the motive power being supplied by Leamington (Milverton) MPD with No 41285 being the usual choice. I can only assume the Ivatt was unavailable such that Leamington had to borrow No 41900 to fill the gap.

John Taylor

I am researching my family tree and found ancestors employed by Birmingham Railway Carriages as a Woodworker. His son was then a toolmaker and engineer, later living in Newcastle. The family lived in Booth Street, Junction Road and Kentish Road. They attended St James church and Wattville Road School. With your site I have now made sense of all this information. Thank you so much.

Sylvia Southall

Thank you for your lovely site.

Philip Grierson

Very grateful for all you have done.

Regards, Howard (GWSG)

Howard's comments were sent at the same time he was kind enough to donate some money.

Im not an expert but photograph 'lnwr-tam2353' seems to have wrong engine number, and the picture date given is prior to the engine's build date. But love your picturess. Thank you. (Albeit would be nice if a little larger).

Bill Jones

Bill, thanks for pointing out the two errors. The original description gave the wrong name to the number and I blindly repeated it without checking so I am at fault. I then transposed the last two digits of the year it was built writing 1953 instead of 1935. All is now corrected. The size of photograph has increased since November 2006 when the site first went live. We followed the then practice of producing images 500 pixels wide. This size was the norm in 2006 because of the small monitor screens (which were 800 pixels wide) and the then slow download speeds. My son Alex, who designed the website, was adamant that it was bad practice to have a page so large that the viewer had to scroll from side to side to view the full photograph. I always thought it was too small and a few years later I increased the size to 700 pixels wide and it took me several years to revisit every page and to enlarge the image. (There are some in instances where the smaller width still exists. This is because the size seen is the only size the photo is available to me). When Alex redesigned the website I took the opportunity to increase the size to 800 pixels within a 1000 pixel wide page - which for 85 percent of visitors is their monitor size. There are still many images on the website still 700 pixels wide and these are being upgraded when I revisit a station to add new photographs. Flickr and other such sites have since adopted 1000 pixels as their standard width and to be frank I wish I had chosen this size too as I am sure in a few years time monitors will be the same width as mine (an 18 inch lap top screen). However as the website has currently nearly 9000 pages I have decided that it would take too long to revisit all of the site to upgrade the size (and be very boring to do) so the image size will have to stay as it is. You can change your monitor magnification if you want a larger image on the screen. The photographs in the main will take some magnification without becoming too blurred. Thanks Mike

Magnificent undertaking and a great success.

Bob Burchell

Bob was kind enough to donate some money. Photographs now cost in excess of £1 each so every little helps.

Magnificently detailed photographs with enough 'comment' on them to be interestingly enough for the layman and for the enthusiast alike. My father was on the footplate for years, first as a fireman and then as a driver and we lived in the railway cottages in Old Station Square which was the site of Rugby's first station. So many of those photos bring back happy memories. I was walking around Rugby's third station (a horrible hybrid of old and modern) when I saw a strange 'structure' on the south side and I took a couple of photos of it. Not knowing what it was I showed it around and even some Railway buffers weren't quite sure what it was. Answers ranged from 'a Soweto penthouse' to a 'bomb shelter on stilts'. If you want to have a look at it contact me at the above address and I will send it to you to put on your site if you find it suitable. I did think it might be a water tower, but why put a roof on it? Anyhow, hope to hear from you. PS. I have also got a photo of the railway 'cottages' in old station square that I purchased from the local library if you would like a copy of that as well, just ask.

Yours Brian Eite

I am in the process of checking with Brian what the image is.

Mike. I just visited your website again and saw updates of and around Rugby Midland station which I found moving. It brought back memories seeing images on the monitor that were previously only in in my head (memory). There was a row of railway houses called New Station, the front path to which formed a photo basis for many pictures of the down line start up point. Finally I see the row itself in some. I as a child lived in No 7. My father was a passenger train guard. I remember the goods yard behind. I remember the house shaking as north bound evening through expresses passed by. Yes, memories. I had a first class view of all that passed. The location is now a two story car park as I recall. I guess everyone goes through such emotive experiences in life with constant changes and development separating 'actuals' from memories. Thanks. I intend to contribute (donate) later.

Alec Bailey

Alec has kindly allowed us to reproduce several photos from his family album.

Just having a look at the pictures/video footage on your website. I am generally interested in all railways world wide

Graham Woodhall

I lived in Lime Grove, Tile Hill for my first twenty-three years. I did my apprenticeship 1970 to 1974 at Curriers Close which is just off Charter Avenue .... don't know if you'd recall that street name. I had Tile Hill signal box for about 1 year (1975-76) so I've particularly enjoyed the photos in around the area. I have one or two colour slides of the box from that date but the content features other items and people. As a schoolboy in 1960s I had the unenviable 2 week holiday job of cleaning out residue sludge from inside the large fuel tanks in the MOBIL siding (located off Torrington Avenue) and I had to have a break every 15 minutes as the fumes made me hallucinate .. Health & Safety eh!! LOL. An excellent website Mike. .. long may it continue .. Best Wishes

Phil Edgar

Phil. I certainly know Curriers Close as I lived at 16 Parkwood Lane which is also at the top of Charter Avenue. My childhood was spent playing in the fields that became the industrial estate in the 1960s.

Looks like a mammoth undertaking. Love the extended captions. Best Wishes

Alan Hayward

Mike. I was pleasantly surprised to see the drawing of Rugby GC booking office on here! The drawing of the details of the main span of the girder bridge also comes from the same source. The crane in the GC yard was rated at 10 tons, nearby Lutterworth only had a 5 ton version. The pictures of gun limbers being loaded are in Rugby yard on the loading dock , situated at the back of the yard, the field beyond became the site of the Unigate dairy. Barby RAOC depot was a second world war development, construction starting in June 1943. The length of the platform at the GC station was 500 feet as built, when the up line was looped in 1940-41 the platform was extended, something I believe to be unique on the London Extension. Keep up the good work !!!!!

Cheers - Tony (West)

Tony. On behalf of GC fans may I thank you for producing the drawings of Rugby's GC station and for the extra information given above. Mike

My primary search was for references to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway but it was not possible to indentify from the immediate listing. However the considerble amount of information containe here will certainly be of interest to members of my club. Ilford & West Essex MRC.

Tony Spencer of www.iwemrc.org.uk.

This is without doubt one of the best constructed web sites I have visited. It is uncluttered and actually works when you click on things whilst its contents takes me back to my child hood. My late father was a signalman in the Lichfield and later Hazel Grove areas, whilst my late mother was first a crossing keeper and then a station porter at Alrewas in Staffordshire now home of the National Memorial Arboretum which the now gone station could well serve. Amazingly the Alrewas signal box is still there and works absolute block to Lichfield TV Jnc but that s digressing. As a consequence I spent many hours around railways especially signal boxes and I was always fascinated by the large signal boxes at Rugby as we passed through on our way to London courtesy of the many privilege tickets our parents got from BR. We spent hours at Rugby either waiting for the engine to be changed or for our connection and the race to get a drink and back on the train is well remembered. I am still interested in the old methods of signalling hence my search brought me to your site which raises a question. Was there a No 6 signal box? By the way if anyone else is interested in signalling then the Crewe Heritage centre has a good collection with the Exeter West box running under simulation.

Ron Cartmale

Hi Ron. Many thanks for your kind comments. You might have noticed that I am in the process of updating Rugby which, with over 400 plus images, is taking me much longer than I anticipated. I believe that a photo of No 6 signal cabin does exist and that it was a tiny signal cabin on the down side of the line near the Wood Street yard, near to Rugby's No 5 cabin. It was replaced in the 1930s by extra levers in a new frame in No 5 cabin. (LMS levers were spaced closer than in a LNWR frame therefore a longer LMS frame would still fit within the cabin). Robert Hendry (of LMS Stations fame etc) told Steve Weston of the LNWR Society (and who lives in Rugby) of how the LMS replaced the frame in No 5 cabin by placing the new frame on the opposite wall to the old one - and without having to close the signal cabin! Steve Weston thinks that he has seen a copy of the photo in a book but he is not too sure which one.

Thanks for the fascinating historic content. I have a few comments regarding Coventry.
1. The Foleshill railway did indeed connect with the Coventry-Nuneaton lane as one of your contributors thought.
2. The Coventry loop line that served the Chrysler works was still in use in the mid-1970's for loading ckd (completely knockdown) car kits for shipment to Iran. The car was based on the Hillman Hunter and was known in Iran as the Pakyan.
3. One of your photos is labelled "Three Spires Junction looking north towards Coventry". Looking north from there would be looking away from the centre of Coventry. Perhaps the photo is of Humber Rd junction?
4. The offices at Gosford Green yard appear to be the buildings still in use as offices on the junction of Binley Rd and Phoenix Way. Maybe worth a mention.
5. I've just seen mention of a derailment in 1904 at Albany Road. Is that different from the collapse of the Spon End embankment, I think in 19c, that was replaced by viaduct. I've seen a photo of it. A current driver tells me there is a severe speed limit in that area in one direction.

Les Fawcett

A fantastic site and very informative. The photos are excellent. For me it's evocative of my childhood in Coventry, where I was a keen trainspotter for a few years, Many Thanks

Jim Pryal

Dear Mike, My name is Grant Regan. I'm a member of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust and responsible for the trust's website and news blog. Ambitious as it may sound we aim to build a new London & North Western George the Fifth class engine for heritage rail and mainline use. When completed, it will be the sole representative of a 20th century LNWR express locomotive. In addition to a significant amount of public support garnered in the few months that the project has been public, we have also secured considerable financial backing from an unnamed benefractor, who has promised 5 x £10k tranches over 5 years matching fundraising from other efforts. I would like to commend you on your site, which is without a doubt one of the most comprehensive and detailed pictorial accounts of the railways of Britain, let along of Warwickshire, found online. Your site is quite evidently a labour of love, an impressive undertaking and a joy to browse.

On behalf of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust I would like to seek permission to use a number of images on your site, specifically pertaining to the George the Fifth class engines. Use would be confined to the trust's website, to newsletters posted to members and to the Trust's Facebook page. We will of course note copyright on the images themselves. Additionally we would like to add Warwickshire Railways prominently to your links page and provide a thank you for the use of the images on our blog including a write-up and link to your site. Would you kindly advise us as to whom we should contact for the following images: lnwrrm832, lnwrrm833, lnwrrm834, lnwrrm835, lnwrrm973, lnwrrm790, lnwrrm530, lnwr_shil2391, lnwr_shil1113 and lnwr_shil1231. If you or the visitors to your website would like to hear more about our project I invite you to visit the website or our Facebook Page.

Kindest Regards, Grant Regan

Grant. As a member of the LNWR Society it gives me great pleasure to provide the information that you require.

I really appreciate all the efforts to develop this invaluable record. I recently visited Marton, where my great-grandfather Noah Hedges was the second station master. I found his gravesite in Marton village, but was looking around for the railway and asked a local who told me it had long since gone. To see the picture of the station masters house was wonderful. His son travelled to Australia and that is where I am from.

Thanks so much. Philippa Hedges

Penns Station. As a primary school boy in the late 1950s I visited Penns by bike from Erdington more than once. I recall it as unstaffed, reached from the road bridge, with crisscross chestnut palings down the slope. One of the locked rooms was full of the (oil?) lamps shown in one photo, all covered in dust but left in peace, not in pieces as they would be today. Most mysterious to a ten year-old child.

Maurice Billingsley

Great site you have here. I have a Flickr account which has a substantial set showing recent images of the remains of the Great Central Railway between Leicester and Brackley.
      You can view GCR pics in Warwickshire here
      SMJ pics here
      Leamington-Weedon pics here
      Rugby-Leamington pics here

Ian Robinson.

I have a photo of a bridge at Shrewley, on the GWR main line, north of Hatton, being demolished using explosives in the 1980's. I can email a copy to you.

John Fancote

John also kindly made a donation to our appeal which we will use to purchase more photos and maps.

I started my apprenticeship in May 1957 at Tyseley works as a fitter & turner. I have just been looking at the images on your website of the work space , benches, etc. Memories come flooding back. Names too came back. Sid the crane driver, Jack Harris fitter, Ted Burford fitter. My transfer to the new diesel shops took me into a whole new world of modern engineering. More names come to mind, Jimmy Nightingale, Joe Preston, Lloyd King - all fitters. Tom Whittaker and Gerald Clapham, both apprentices. I recently met Gerald for the first time in 50 years, and hope to contact Tom soon. It has been quite a pleasant visit to your site. Please keep up the good work.

Alan Hughes, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

What a fabulous site! I spent my childhood and teen years around Saltley Depot, Bromford sidings and Adderley Park watching all the railway activity. If pocket money allowed, a ride to Wolverhampton and a walk to GWR sheds along canal towpaths or a trip to Tamworth to join the masses of other spotters watching the main line. I started work at Metro Cam in Saltley in 1962. Your site is a gold mine - thank you.

Mike Wilson

Mike kindly made a donation to our appeal to support Warwickshire Railways. We will use the money to purchase copies of historical Ordnance Survey maps.

Looking at the new photos of Berkswell Station, reminds me, that when BR rebuilt the Up platform some years ago, we built a temporary platform on the site of the original one. Had no idea that it had one there before.

John Fancote

Wonderful site, have spent two hours on here tonight, only about 1% covered so far. Very nostalgic, very good, very sad, and very informative. Keep up the good work, this site will now go to the top of the list, alongside the Weston Clevedon & Portishead Railway.

Kevin Dickinson

Fantastic website. I have shown my dad (ex 21A fireman) the photo's and recollections of Alan Pratt. Should Alan wish to get in contact please feel free to pass on my email address.

Thanks again - Ian Hooper

I have contacted Ian and passed on Alan's address. Ian's Dad has also agreed to talk to me about his experiences so hopefully they too can be added to the website.

Thanks for this very interesting site and lots of amazing photos. I live in Australia but have memories of railways in Warwickshire from my childhood (1980s) and later working life. I've walked some of the Leamington Spa to Rugby trackbed and often wondered what the LMS station at Leamington looked like; now I know, from your photos and also my recently purchased print 'Bright Intervals' by Barry Freeman. My most vivid memories of the area are from sitting in the front seats of a Diesel Mechanical Unit, where you could see into the Driver's cab and the track ahead, while enjoying the ride up through Warwick and Hatton to Moor Street, on Saturdays during the school holidays, when visiting Grandma. These journeys to 'Brum' stood me in good stead in the 1990s when I joined British Rail and 'learned the road' as a Secondman and Guard, working such trains as the Bromford tanks and Freightliner services to Lawley St. As traincrews, we whiled away the hours of our 'meal breaks' at Saltley depot, the former sheds long gone and replaced by a scrap yard, an oily loco fuel point and the dank remnants of once thriving mess facilities. Websites like this remind me that whilst I'm not old enough to remember the days of steam, I've seen its remains and appreciated first hand, the railways of Warwickshire. I'd be happy to contribute some stories about my railway experiences in the area between 1992 and 2004. Perhaps not the era this website is about, but a reflection on what's changed maybe.

Thanks - Joe Hosking.

Dear Sir, I have recently, been in touch with some acquaintances in South Africa re carrying MF tractors on trains on Sandstone Heritage Railways. I referred the above photo to them as it showed clearly the 'correct' way used to tie the tractors down. They, Sandstone Heritage, would like to be able to use the photo solely for the purpose of their work in the preservation of railway and farm machinery and I ask you if this would be possible. Alternatively you could contact Joanne who is employed by Sandstone in the UK.

Thanking you for your attention Bernard Dodd

I am researching the history of St Mary's church, Moseley which is right by the former Moseley Station (1867 - 1941) and I was interested in Andy Docherty's comment:'.... objections from the nearby St Mary's Church regarding the spoiling of the landscape, noise, etc . .' I shall be very grateful if you will put me in touch with Mr Docherty in order to ascertain the source of this information.

Many thanks - Rob Brown

Excellent site. Keep up the good work.

Glyn James

Your site is at once wonderful and sad, because it reminds me so powerfully of what used to be. My contribution to the pedantry is concerned with picture 'mrf471a' of Five Ways. I think that the 'strengthened steel plate' referred to is in fact the end of the water tank shown clearly in the other photos. There seems to be no clue in any of the shots as to how people accessed the east side platform. In fact one of them shows two staircases down to the west side!

Phil Cheesewright

Phil. Many thanks for your kind comments regarding the site. Your sentiments are mine too. Thanks too for pointing out the error in my original description. I have now suitably amended the text. I too have looked closely at the photos and I fail to see where the steps might have been. Logic says that they might have ran from the two abutments to the right of the road bridge which are about 3 to 4 feet apart. It would be symmetrical to the steps on the up platform albeit they are off a corner of the street. However the brickwork looks original with no sign of in filling. I trust that you will continue to contribute to correcting any errors. As I repeatedly state - to maintain the accuracy of the site comments such as yours are very necessary and welcome.

Hi! I just thought I'd add an update on my previous posting below regarding the Platform 7 sign that used to hang above that iconic destination point at Birmingham Snow Hill from the 1950s until its demolition. This is now on display hanging from the roof of 'The Engine House' at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway. So anyone who remembers standing beneath it all those years ago may do so once more.

Bob Morriss

Bob - Many thanks for letting us know. We understand that it is because of your generosity that the sign is on display to the public. On behalf of many people may Robert and I say thank you.

I've recently bought the old Dunchurch Railway Station and wondered if anyone has any old photographs? It would be great to see what the gardens, yard and the front of the house looked like.

Thanks - Andrew 07760777100

Love your website and will almost certainly be talking to you again about research matters if that's all right with you.

Regards Lucy Cheney

Dear Sirs. I have three photographs of the derailment at Henley in Arden 24th June 1911 when the "Mafeking" was sent onto the wrong line by a signalman's error. These are official photorgraphs from the Engineers office Paddington Photographic Dept despatched on 28.6.1911 to John Gordon Hogg who I know was a GWR employee. I believe he was a stationmaster but do not know if he was ever at Henley in Arden but I believe that he was at one time stationmaster at a statiion in Wales. These came into my possession via John Gordon Hogg's family, notably his daughter Marjorie Gordon Hogg who later lived in Barnstaple, North Devon. Please advise whether you are interested in them or whether they may have any value to collectors.

Regards AR Summers, Berrynarbor, North Devon

I am researching information relating to my grandfathers career as a locomotive driver and have found some information on your site very useful. My grandfather was Alfred John Smith and was noted for being the driver on the last Weedon-Leamington branch line which closed in 1958.

Anthony James Lloyd

Have spent several hours enjoying this wonderful site. Incredible collection of history supported with great photos.

David Pooke

Alderminster Railway Station did a station ever exist? I live near ALDERMASTON in BERKSHIRE The wooden railway station buildings here were demolished in mistake for Alderminster so they say, but I think that was wishful thinking, unless you or your colleges know different.

Regards Gordon

Hi All. Regarding Archibald Cook and his George Medal award for bravery. We wish to thank all for all the help and abundance of information which we are still sifting through. A sincere thank to R A Walford for his contribution. However just to report that whilst researching his history we have found out that his medal has been stolen. May we ask everyone to help by keeping a look out for it. It will be easy to recognise as it will have his name around the edge.

Kind regards David & Margaret

Hi. I love your site. Really well put together and what a wealth of fascinating text and superb photographs. Can you tell me if volume four of Richard Fosters Birmingham New Street series was ever published?

Regards Nick Stanbra

Hi Nick Thanks for the kind comments. I do not know why but Richard never published the final book of the set. I can only assume it wasn't a commercial although that is surprising. If it wasn't achieving the level of sales it might have been too scholarly with two many parts (and therefore too expensive) for most people. It might also have been published too soon as detailed books are more prevalent today and publishing costs more competitive with new technology and printing abroad. Regards Mike

Hi Guys Just wanted to say that your wonderful site has stirred many memories of the 'old Snow Hill' that I recall as a lad of seven when it sadly closed and then so terribly allowed to rot away! You may be interested to learn that I have ownership of the iconic black platform '7' sign that so many Kings, Castles, Halls and Manors used to sit beneath. This is hopefully to be displayed to the public very soon, if you would like details of where I will gladly answer your enquiry.

All the best - Bob Morris

Bob. Thank you for sharing your memories of Snow Hill and kind words about the website. I would be very interested to know where the platform number sign will be displayed. For information, we have started a 'Friends of Warwickshire Railways' Facebook site. By chance the profile picture that Mike chose for the Facebook site is a delightful painting of 'The Cornishman' drawing into Platform No 7 at Snow Hill, with the black sign that you have in a prominent position. We thought you might like to take a look. Regards Robert

Hi. Will you be getting a "Twitter" account now you are on Facebook?

Ian Farey

I think my leg is being gently pulled. Using Facebook was suggested to me by Pete Waterman (who by the way has kindly agreed to be Patron of Friends of Warwickshire Railways). He also suggested that we subscribe to a 'YouTube' account too. Both of these Social Networks offer for free features that Warwickshire Railways cannot provide because the software I use is 14 years old, HoTMetaL Pro having been bought out by Dreamweaver in 1997. The 'YouTube' facility would allow me to pursue my dream of adding geographically relevant historical videos. Not only is the technology 'free' but the cost of the band width used by people viewing the video would be too. I currently bear all of the costs I cannot afford to increase this expense.

Examining the webstats is very revealing. In January 2012, a total of 15,595 visitors were recorded of which 8,896 were unique. The total number of pages visited was 86,626 with 823,477 hits being recorded. Over 1000 visitors spent between 30 and 60 minutes, nearly 800 visited for 15 to 30 minutes whilst another 2500 spent between 2 minutes and 15 minutes visiting the site. The page receiving the largest number of visitors is the 'Guest Book' (2275), followed by the 'Home Page' (1662) and then the 'What's New' (808) page. In January, of the top 25 pages visited only Saltley Shed and Washwood Heath Sidings were listed in January's 'What's New' section. The majority of the other top 25 pages visited were either major railway centres (New Street, Snow Hill, Rugby, etc) or they were routes - Banbury to Wolverhampton, Rugby to Wolverhampton, etc. These pages tend to feature every month with the number of visitors to each of these pages being approximately 200-250. A total of 7022 pages were visited with most only receiving low double figures. What this tells me is that most visitors prefer to read comments or stories by others and mainly look at locations they are interested in and not just those that has been updated. Therefore the combined number of people interested in the smaller updates could be greater than the number looking at a major upgraded location.

Given the number of visits to the website in January - 15,595 with 8896 being unique with 2275 reading this page - the number of people who leave comments in the Guest Book is almost non existent as numbers often fail to reach double figures. The phenomena of poor interaction and engagement by audiences is well documented and is typical in other activities too - in both the virtual and real worlds. It would appear from the number of members joining Social Network sites (of all ages, not just young people) that the ability for Facebook et al to allow different types of responses - Like, Dislike, Tag, Become a Friend which require different levels of effort - promotes a better level of engagement. Other features such as its ability to notify 'friends' of the changes made to the page will hopefully promote more people to visit or return to the website. It is hoped that more comments will flow as a result of having a Facebook page which will in turn promote more activity by visitors. From my point of view it would be nice to receive more comments and inputs than we do at present.

Finally, the Facebook page allows us to feature sections most probably missed. Many visitors apparently hadn't realised the website included a 'Rail Art' section. Therefore I am hoping that Facebook will help us to reach a wider and younger audience as well as provide a better level of service and interaction. In the long term for the site to become self-sustainable it must be seen as an attractive proposition to any organisation that we invite to look after it, otherwise one day - hopefully long into the future - when the hosting costs should be renewed, it will disappear.

Like the Facebook page. Signed up already.

John Fancote

Great pictures as ever. Regarding Tamworth Station: lnwr_tam2351. I think it might be a Class 24 rather than 33. I'm not an expert on these things but the grill pattern looks like a Class 24. Keep up the good work, very inspiring for my Kenilworth model railway.

Mark Barnes

Mark. Many thanks for you kind words and the correction which is essential for ensuring the site is accurate.

Your picture of the LNER 04 locomotive in image 'gcct3' at Catesby Tunnel mouth says that it an ex-NER 2-8-0. It is an ex-GC 2-8-0 as the NER never built any 2-8-0s. Ex-NER locomotive were regularly seen on the GC London Extension. Normally they were B16 4-6-0s on the York-Woodford fitted freights.

Chris Youett

Chris. Many thanks for the correction not least because you have shown me that I need to upgrade and update the entire GCR/LNER section of the website. I am nearly finished on upgrading the MR routes around the B&DJR and Water Orton to Walsall and will start on the GCR/LNER afterwards.

Wonderful site which seems to be growing and a steady rate, and is always worthy of browse for something fresh. I keep staring through that bridge hole at Great Barr station, just hoping to find some images of Bescot have been tacked on - fruitless I know as we would be venturing into Staffordshire then !!! Talking of Great Barr, I have a minor niggle over the caption of 'lnwrgb2285' photograph. I suggest the train isn't passing through the station - it is actually a trip locomotive shunting Hamstead colliery sidings. If you look closely you'll see the loco lamp above the tender buffer, the fireman looking back towards Hamstead, and the smoke pouring vertically out the chimney, suggesting the engine is more or less stationary. Lovely work - very enjoyable.

Thanks for your efforts. Phil Bartlett

Phil - Thanks both for the compliments and for the correction which I have now made to the page.

Fabulous site. Full of information and images to stir up the memories. What are your plans to ensure your website doesn't just disappear one day?

Pete Malenkov

Great website. I note that you mention limited resources in some of your responses. Have you considered asking for donations? Keep up the good work.

Pat Williams

The two e-mails above prompted some thought and discussion between Robert Ferris and myself. Having given it some serious consideration we are going to set up a Friends of Warwickshire Railways group and try to create a means of attracting sponsorship etc. The long term survival of the website is dependent upon both funding and people. Funding is needed not only to defer its running costs but to provide the tools (see below) to make it better plus creating the option of adding other services such as video streaming (I have always wanted to stream related video images from the website). Who will take responsibility for the website has yet to be decided. Would the Friends of Warwickshire Railways group be the most appropriate or should we look for either an existing public or voluntary organisation with a proven history and track record?

Hi. Really interesting site, and I am enjoying "exploring" around Coventry. Unfortunately, there is a missing link on the 2nd photo on the Coventry Gasworks page. Hope this is a small bit of help to improve the site.

Keith Williams

Keith. It certainly has helped. With approximately 7000 pages on the website and not having the expensive tools to check for broken links etc we have to rely on visitors to advise if links become broken.

Hi I wonder if you can help I am trying to find out and obtain the official closure date for HOCKLEY HALL & WHATELEY COLLIERIES & BRICKWORKS CO LTD I know that this company was taken over by Kingsbury Collieries around 1900 but I can't find out any closure dates for Hockley Hall or Whateley Collieries. My hobby is collecting Brass Embossed Colliery Lamp Checks these were used by the miners when they went down the pit they are a brass disc with the name of the colliery on them Any help you can give mer on the subject would be very much appreciated.

Kind Regards Peter Wall

Hi Peter. I believe that Roger Monk of the IRS has answered this question for you.

Again many congratulations on your site. Fully support the idea of contributions to preserve it if necessary. By the way, the rare photo of Soho Pool for which the thumbnail is lnwrsoho2280 defaults to a larger picture of lnwrsohord1518 when clicked on. Shame as this is the only photo of the Pool goods yard in railway days that I have come across.

John Reeves

John. I have now restored the link. Unfortunately its a very poor image but as you say photos of the goods station are just not around, hence including a 1980s image too.

Hello I a committee member of Welford & Weston Local History Society. We are looking at the possibility of a Speaker for an evening talk regarding Binton Station and also Milcote Station if possible which are in our locality. Do you offer this sort of meeting. It would at our Memorial Hall in Welford on Avon. We would be looking at a date between August and November. If this is not feasible could you recommend anyone outside of your Society. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards Bob Brown

Great Site. I am compiling a shot history on the restaurant cars BR Southern region 1955-1965 on which I worked 1958-1963

John Quinlan

Several of the Albany Road photos in the Nuneaton -Leamington section show a major derailment without giving a date which was I believe 1904. Also there are several references to the Coventry -Leamington line which should either read Coventry - Nuneaton or Nuneaton- Leamington.

John Burgess

John. Thanks for the correction which has now been made

Love your site, and the fantastic job you are doing.

Cheers - Rory O'Connor

Full credit to everyone involved with this most informative website which also works very efficiently. A lot of hard work must go into running a site as comprehensive as this and I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to rekindle memories of train spotting days 50 years ago in some of the areas covered.

Thanks to all. John Griffiths

Hello Mike. Congratulations on your excellent website which I have recently "discovered" thanks to a friend. I found the photos of Longdon Road on the Moreton-in-the-Marsh to Shipston-on-Stour line particularly interesting as my auntie (my father’s sister) and uncle were the crossing keepers in the early 1950s. My parents used to take myself and my sister to stay at the cottage – a trip involving three buses from Tile Hill and taking what seemed like several hours to a five year old. Obviously, the passenger trains had ceased many years previously but the goods trains used to stop to drop off water in huge churns at the cottage as it was not on the mains. The train drivers often gave my sister and I rides on the footplate or in the guards van for a mile or so before stopping to let us off and we walked back to the cottage. Happy, happy days and your photos brought the memories flooding back. As you probably know, the cottage has now been incorporated into a large complex involving three or four dwellings, all of which, presumably are on the mains!

Phil Horsfall

I have only just seen your website today!! Fantastic. Why it is particularly relevant to me is that I was born in the Radford district of Coventry in 1940 and became fascinated with railways and later a dreaded trainspotter. My local station was Foleshill and I also passed Daimler Halt usually on the bus every day. Even so the GWR was my favourite railway company. Your site enables me to visit many sites around Warwickshire that were familiar to me and you have brought me many happy memories! Thank you.

David Bloodworth

I would like to congatulate you on a wonderful site which has given me hours of enjoyment, revisiting the past.

Well done and thanks. Paul Orme

Dear Mike. What an excellent web site this is. I am not into minutiae detail of factual accuracy like some experts. For me it does what it says on the tin.

Julian Randall DOB 20/12/1956 so sadly missed out on the golden age of steam—remembered having my 'collar felt' by some BR employee at the age of 11 at Nuneaton shed in 1967 the last few months of steam!

I have spent a most enjoyable hour or so wandering through the wealth of info available. It's a boon to anyone even remotely interested in railways and associated infrastructure as well as those interested in modelling. The photographs have an air that could never be picked up from simply reading, no matter how informative the book. Who could know what mucky places those goods yards were without a picture that says more than a thousand words might. Thank you for this wonderful site and the obvious effort you've put into it.

Neil Marshall

Mike, 'I've read your pages on Bordesley station with interest. The first time I remember using the station was in 1968 as an 8 year old. It was just before the current layout. This what I believe - The entrance wasn't the current one it was to left (if facing towards Small Heath}. You went in and turned right to get to the stairs. In front of you was a ticket office - which even then had been closed. Soon after the entrance was bricked up. At the bottom of the stairs you can see where the way to the ticket office was.'

Are my memories correct? I guess the ticket office is still behind the bricks.

Simon Richards

Great site. Brings back many memories of watching trains at Hockley as a child. I lived at the back of Pitsford Street and your photos and articles have brought back many memories. I also remember New Street and Snow Hill Stations. Thanks for the memories.

Thanks again for your great site. Brian Lawrence

Thought you might like to know that the link at the foot of image lnwr_oldmil1445a to the original article, fails with the usual "error 404". Trying to help, not just nitpicking...

Regards, John Gledhill

John. Corrections and error reporting are not only very welcome but essential if we wish to grow the site's reputation as a resource of value. With some 7000 pages the time has long gone where I can check to see the links are working. Links to external sites are a problem because if their website no longer exists or if they move the page or download then the link is broken forever until reported. Free tools to look for broken links do not work on such large sites as this and professional tools are far too expensive for my wallet. In this instance I can no longer find on their website the report on the Leek Wooton accident. In recognition of this problem, I am now copying the information (after acknowledging the source) and placing the information within my own pages.

Hi Mike. You may remember that I contacted you some while ago regarding my Grandfather (Ernest Kilby) being Station Master at both Alcester and Studley during his career with The Midland Railway. I have just seen the Posed Photograph 'mra462' and am pretty sure that my grandfather is in fact the gentleman on the left of the picture. As this was taken in circa 1910, he would have been a relatively young man (30+?) where the gentleman sitting centre looks to me to be much closer to late 50s or early 60s. I lived with my Grandparents in Crooks Lane, Studley in the middle 50s for about a year and Grandad Kilby was retired then, although he was still very active and had his allotment on the embankment on the Astwood side of the station, I used to go there with him.

Just as an aside, my wife and I went to Studley Station a couple of weeks ago, just to see the old place and really to see if it was still in some reasonable state of repair, I am delighted to say that the present owners, Mr & Mrs Poole, have maintained it to a very high standard and retained much of the original featurework such as the Station Master door leading I think into what is now their lounge, the original tiled flooring in the Ticket Office area, original brass light switches etc. it was an absolute delight to see the effort put in to retain the old place in it's original form. They were most helpful and really kind in showing us around some of the old station house and where the platform used to be. We took photographs of the building and Mr Poole also allowed us to take photographs of some of the old photographs he has managed to collect. When I can find the time to edit them, I will send the best to you, although some are fairly poor quality.

Hope this is of some interest.

Best regards Mike Boote

Mike. Thanks for the correction and for the information. I would be very interested in the old photos. Not being a book we can accommodate poor quality photographs - its the history that's important. We cannot go back and take another!

Hi Mike. I'd just been looking to see what your updates have been and I noticed that you'd done some work on the Sutton Coldfield pages. If you remember I'd sent you a copy of a picture of my Great Grandfather who was Station Master there but unfortunately you'd put him on the Sutton Town page. Still any chance of giving him a transfer? Still a brilliant site.

Cheers, Paul Rivitt

Paul. My sincere apologies. Now actioned. Circumstances stopped me from making the correction immediately and then my failing memory did the rest. I urge anyone who has been in contact with me but have had no response - or if I have failed to do something promised - to contact me again. At my age I appreciate the nudge.

Hi. I just read the item on Snow Hill, the ramp going down to Great Charles Street used for parcels was also used as a car park for staff. My brother-in-law worked for the NCL and kept a Morris 8 van down there. His dad was a driver for the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. They cleaned his limousine down there too. In 1964 he gave me the Morris 8 but as I was too young to drive. it stayed there just going rotten because it was very wet and damp under the platforms. Thanks for the memories.


Mike. Hi, enjoyed very much looking over the Website, but there is an inaccuracy on the text for lnwrlave1380a – which has a comment regarding ‘S.E Collieries’ I believe that this should be S.E Collier as they were the largest brick makers in Reading and who supplied the bricks for the town hall. Here is the Reading museum leaflet on them. It would fit with the rest of the text on the wagon relating to brick and tile manufacture. Once again – great site.

Neil Scriven

Just looking for more info on the Stratford Tramway & I came across this cornucopia of information, photo's & film. Fantastic. Please keep up the good work.

Rob Neill

I am the great grandson of Robert Hatfield - one time stationmaster of Clifton Mill Station, Clifton on Dunsmore, Warks from about 1880 to 1894. I have a photograph of the station platform taken from the station house end showing the platforms and buildings and a couple of the staff working there (probably Richard Mewis and John White). It is a somewhat distance shot so the features of the men are not discernable. My grandfather Oliver John Hatfield and one of his sisters stand on the platform along with their father Robert in about 1890. I also have a head and shoulders photo of Robert in his stationmaster's uniform at about the same time. Would you like copies for your collection? Incidentally, my brother saved the photograph from being thrown onto a bonfire by a distant relative in whose possession it was!!! Looking on the 1891 census forms there are upwards of 36 staff working on the railway living in Vicarage Hill, Clifton - I don't imagine they are all employed at Clifton Mill although if they were working in Rugby they would be living there in those days, as my great grandfather moved to Rugby in 1894 to work there on the railway until his death in 1903 from Influenza.

Neil Hatfield

Neil. We would love to have a copy if that is possible. Best wishes - Mike

Hello, was browsing your excellent website looking for a specific piece of information. I realise it might be a bit out of the period you cover, but hopefully you or a contact will know when Kings Norton station was renamed Kings Norton for Cotteridge? I have tried various railway contacts and have not yet discovered the answer. And no website I have looked at so far mentions the change which only occurred in very recent years, As evidenced by your website, it was never called that before in its long history.

Hope to hear from you, thanks, Stephen Mourton.

Hi Mike. Love the site, have done for several years. Still trying to rebuild my photo galleries following the demise of Fotopic - using Zenfolio, One is "Coventry in Photographs", a section of which features the remains of lines around the city - working on it now. Just looked at your site, must take issue with the caption to Three Spires Junction: lnwr_3spires2090. This is not looking towards Foleshill Station, but towards Foleshill Gas Works, from Lythalls Lane bridge Foleshill Station is a distance to the south of this point.

Cheers Cliff Jones

Cliff. Thanks for both the comments and the correction. I have to say your own website is extremely fascinating. Regards Mike

Hello Mike. As a small boy I spent many happy times around Small Heath, Tyseley, Bordesley and Snow Hill. Your wonderful archive is extremely evocative and brings back the sight and sound of those years as if it was only yesterday.

Well done! Chris

I am desperate to find the history of the Great Western Hotel at Deppers Bridge or maybe it would come under Harbury. The now restaurant looks a very imposing building with a history. Any advice please. Nothing at the Warwicks record office.

Thanks. June

Hi June. I cannot immediately find any railway reference to the Great Western Hotel at Deppers Bridge. In my view there would be no obvious reason for the GWR to build a hotel at Deppers Bridge. I may be wrong but my guess is that there is no connection other than the hostelry, like many others across the country, was named after a railway company associated with the area. I suggest that you inspect large scale Ordnance Survey maps or similar as these can often show names and even internal configurations (rooms etc) of buildings which the public access. Census records would give names of occupants and their occupation which would help to determine whether they worked for the railway. The local council, parish church and county records office should all be able to help. Best wishes in your search. Regards Mike

Book Review - The Branch Lines of Warwickshire by Colin Maggs

A new feature for the site is reviewing books on the county's railway history considered of merit.

I was sorting out my very old photographs and came across a couple from when I was a fireman at Tyseley in 1952-1953 prior to doing National Service. I stayed in the Army, got married & had a family so have never been back. Given the opportunity I shall try to visit before it is to late.

John Lorton

Very comprehensive website which has much of interest even for those of us whose interests are far beyond the bounds of Warwickshire. Would you like to include a link to our main website as above under your list of Line Societies. The Cumbrian Railways Association is the line society for the Furness Railway and all other companies in Cumbria and North Lancashire. See also our photographic website at cumbrianrailways.zenfolio.com

Peter Robinson

Hi an interesting read found while I was doing some research. If you would like any copies of documents from the Rail Archive for the site please let me know - they are free.

Regards - Ian Dinmore

Ian. Many thanks for your kind comment and offer. I am well aware of your website's collection of photographs and railway documents. Visitors might be interested to know that the Rail Archive library aims to provide a resource which is free if using the low resolution copies of images. As with all website authors and web masters including myself, Ian would appreciate an acknowledgment of the source if used on any media. Mike

Dear Sir. My name is Herman Koerts and I live in the Netherlands. I have always had something with trains since my father bought his first train from TrixExpress in 1956 or 1957. This interest diminished around 1964 but was rekindled in 1983 when I visited the NRM in York. Mallard was on display without it's streamline cladding but King George V made the most impact; making me a GWR fan from that moment on.

I have just stumbled across your Warwickshire Railways website while I was searching for information on the Achilles Class. I came to the part of the old Henley in Arden station while looking around. This station got my interest in 1994 when I got a copy of the Great Western Railway Journal No 11. You will probably have it yourself too. It was love at first sight and I started to work my way through the photos to try to make drawings to build a model of the building and part of its surroundings but failed in the attempt. In 2002 I found by cheer luck the address of the Henley in Arden Heritage Centre where a real friendly gentleman helped me with more information.

My problem is however (still) the Platform side of the building; I don't have a proper picture to see exactly how this part was constructed. I know from the photo in the GWR journal that the wall is build (how do I describe this...) partly into the structure. This left some space; covered by the roof for shelter. I know there were at least two benches there. There should also be (I guess) more doors and Windows as I can see in the pictures I have. Unfortunately any attempt to get more information ended there. Unfortunately the Photo of the old station on your Website (the same as in the magazine) does not give away many more clues than I already know.

The Gentlemen at the Heritage centre sent me two scans of the station; the quality is not great due to the equipment he had to use but of great interest (I think). He told me they came from a book but I can't remember which book it was. I digitized the scans and used these to learn more details. They are under copy right of course so you can't publish them but they are interesting to see; despite the quality. It is always possible you already know them of course but you never know...

I have a question; do you know about or have any other pictures of the Platform side of the station building? A floor-plan would also be great. If so please let me know; I would really appreciate this.

Kind Regards, Herman Koerts (koerts.h@zonnet.nl)

Herman. I need to find some plans and maps for other stations so I will look for ypu too. Regards - Mike

I have steam pictures from around Coventry, Nuneaton, Rugby and Leamington from my trainspotting days in the 1960's - would they be of interest to you?

Patrick Leonard

Patrick - All photos are very welcome. If possible would you kindly scan them at 300 dpi which allows me to maximium flexibility in editing the photograph. Many thanks - Mike

My interest is mainly GWR 1923-39 and I am finding the website fascinating, and a source of inspiration in modelling a representation of Hockley Goods in 4mm scale for the Model Rail and RMWEB 2011 Challenge. Have linked this site a couple of times in my account of progress in this project. Thanks for the effort you put in.

Don Blackhall

Don. Many thanks for the positive comments regarding the website. With regard to Hockley (and all points north of Snow Hill) I will be revisiting the site soon to upgrade the quality of images etc. Regards Mike.

Excellent tour with real atmospheric ambiance. Just a minor carp the Castle No 4088 at Moreton-in-Marsh should be Dartmouth Castle not Darlington.

Allen Jackson

Hi Allen. Thanks for the kind remarks and the correction.

Reference: gwrim594 on the Long Marston/MOD depot page. I fear this photo has been printed from the wrong side, since the caption describes everything as being on the LEFT HAND SIDE. However . . . the photograph clearly shows everything on the RIGHT HAND SIDE. Have to say though I love the whole site. Nuneaton, where I grew up with Weddington fields on the WCML we could see the Ashby lines, Abbey to and from Birmingham and Leics . . . the area of the soon to be built Nuneaton North Chord.

Colin Bishop

Whoops! Another instance where my brain failed to fully engage so I would recognise my left from right. As you guessed, the photograph is indeed correct so the error is all mine. All sorted now. Any comments on errors spotted or reports of broken link are very welcome as it helps to improve the website. Thanks too for the kind comments about the website - its most appreciated. Mike

Hello Mike. What a fantastic site you have created. Looking at some of the photo's bring back a lot of memories for me as a former Stafford Road 84a and Oxley 84b fireman. May I point out one possible mistake in a photo ref 'gwrt306' of King Class locomotive No 6006 'King George I' which is shown to have been taken on Tyseley shed. I don't think this could have been taken at Tyseley. The coal stage shown in the background of the loco is not of the design of Tyseley's coal stage. I think this photo was taken either at Stafford Road or Old Oak Common Keep up the great work you are doing, it's fascinating.

Yours Sincerely - Bill Perrin

Many thanks Bill for your kind words and more importantly correcting my error. As I only visited part of the county's network and only from 1958 onwards (being born in 1948) I do have to rely on third hand material. Therefore its great when people can either add extra information or correct it. I have deleted the image from the Tyseley page although I have left the larger image linked to the guest book.

Dear Sir, I recently found a picture (see image 'gwrls191') on your site which was of great interest to me as it showed a part of Leamington Spa from the thirties, (GWR Routes-Banbury to Wolverhampton-GWR Period Locomotives) the description though for this photo is I believe wrong. It says that the engine is about to cross the High street/Bath street/ Clemens street bridge before arriving at Leamington station. Having looked at the picture and comparing it with a street map of nineteen twenty three and visiting the area myself I believe the picture to show the engine crossing the bridge over Lower Avenue the last bridge before the station it self (there are six bridges in this area one crossing the Warwick to Napton canal by Ashgrove place now replaced by part of a light industrial estate another crossing Althorpe street the next crosses Court street followed by the High/Bath/Clemens street junction another crosses over Bath place and finally the last one crossing Lower Avenue.) The buildings which can be seen to the right of the picture are on High street (north side and only the far building exists today) and the buildings that can be seen between the Signal Box and the set of signals are of the rear of Bath street (west side). I would imagine that the picture was taken from the old hand cart path which and still does run up to the platform from the car park and taxi rank. The description that Bath street was a continuation of the Parade is also misleading as Bath street was in existence before the Parade. I hope this will be of some use to you.

Yours sincerely - Alan Orton.

Many thanks Alan for correcting my error. As I state above I only visited part of the county's network as a young trainspotter and that was only for a brief ten year period. Therefore I do have to rely on third hand material. Therefore its great when people can either add extra information or correct it. I have added your information to the caption and credited the text to you.

We now live at 2 Station Cottages, (Broadwell), used to be Stockton...we would love to know more of the history of our home, such as who lived here before us etc etc. We have some old photos, but would like all we can get. Hope you can help.

Clare and Ian Cowley (ian.cowley369@btinternet.com)

Hi Clare and Ian. My information on the station is very much limited to published accounts or information and photographs that people are kind enough to send to me. The obvious places to look are Parish Records of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Church records too for same plus Christenings. The annual census for the years 1901 through to 1951. From these records you might be able to determine the names of the families living in your property from which you could use to track down descendants who might be able to give you more information. Hope this helps. Please keep us informed and any information that you might collect would be useful to add to the site - credited to you of course. Best of luck - Mike

Bournville Model Railway Club

We are at present working model of Bournville Engine Shed in N gauge and are about to start work on a 00 gauge layout. New members are always welcome and if you are interested on joining or would like anymore information please ring: 0121 478 2587 Barrie Hoverd, Chairman, Bournville Model Railway Club, or email barrie.hoverd@hotmail.co.uk or visit Bournville Model Railway Club.

Paul Wilkes

I grew up in Lapworth during the 50's & was very familiar with Lapworth Station, Dad was a signalman there for a few years & my brother & I used to be allowed to go on Sundays (not a lot of traffic) we were allowed to pull the detonator handles as they were the only ones we could move. The brass was kept immaculate & woe betide us if we touched any brass without the yellow duster to keep finger prints off. We also got to ride on the footplate of engines that came from B'ham & turned around on the 3rd line.

Fascinating website thank you - Diana Lovatt.

Congratulations on an excellent site. A few comments. Some of your caption statements about loco allocations, withdrawals and disposals suffer from reference to the Peter Hands books, although you presumably have nothing else to go by so it is to be expected that many are not quite right or completely wrong. One ought to be able to trust railway researchers. Sadly, in respect of matters like allocations, withdrawals and disposals, almost no original research has been carried out by authors and publishers. They simply reprint what was in contemporary Society magazines or in the Peter Hands books, many of them not even acknowledging their sources. I readily acknowledge that much of what is written about withdrawals and disposals is not incorrect, but believe me, more often than not that is only because the datings are so vague!

As I usually try to point out to anyone relying on dubious data, most of what has been published has its origins in the Hands books, and that gentleman examined not one official record during his "research". Indeed, if you have followed the 'HSBT' articles by Roger Butcher in the Railway Magazine, you will have read that we have concrete evidence (including an acknowledgment from the author himself) that around 3000 disposals were literally made up by an acquaintance of the author's! Of the remainder, almost every date of disposal is the result of guesswork by the author.

Richard Strange

Richard - Many thanks for supplying the corrections to the photographs which I have now updated. I have to confess that I have undertaken little 'empirical research' myself in populating the website being reliant upon the work of others. I see my role as an editor insofar I make available the work of others through the Warwickshire Railways website. I trust this is evident to visitors to the website.

Your efforts are greatly appreciated by this Yank. I have a keen interest in UK rails. Sites like yours are enjoyable.

Thank You Allen Jeffries

Absolutely first-rate site. It is well constructed and extremely easy to navigate. It provides an unequalled depth of archival information for historians and Modellers alike-quite literally hours of enjoyable browsing.

Wayne Burge

Found your site whilst doing some research for a walk along the Harborne branch line. I now know what to look out for there but will definitely be returning to seek out some more walks and just to see what the places I've heard of once looked like. Many thanks for creating this excellent site.

Alan Baylis

Hi Alan - Many thanks for the kind words which are now in the guest book. BTW I have a number of other photos which I hope to add to the site in a few months. I am working my way up the Gloucester to New St route currently at Kings Norton. After I complete this and the West Suburban line Harborne is next. Regards Mike

Dear Sir. Reference photograph lnwrns1686. Described as “Ex-LMS 2-6-4T 4MT No 42331 is seen at the head of a Leicester Railway Society special on the return leg to Leicester on 30th December 1961”. I have recently been researching this rail tour and have great doubts about this photograph being the train described, based on the following facts:

  • Rail tour ticket was printed Leicester (London Road) to Rugby (Midland) and back.
  • On 30 December 1961 Britain was covered with a thick blanket of snow resulting in 33 football matches cancelled and no matches were played in the Midlands.
  • Photo of No 42331 at Broughton Astley Station in deep snow, with head board and train reporting number.
  • Why is the train at Nuneaton?
  • No snow visible in photo
  • No headboard or train number.
  • Front coupling hanging down, not on drawbar hook as other photos.

I may be wrong, but the facts seem stacked against this being the LRS Rail tour.

Best wishes, Vic Smith

Hi Vic. Many thanks for your observations and comments - it all helps to build a more accurate picture of the county's history. Based on the information you have supplied I too would agree that the caption is incorrect. To be frank its some time since I added the photo to the site and created the caption so I cannot say who supplied the information. Its too precise to be one of my own rambling contributions. Again my thanks for the correction. Best wishes. Mike

Hi Mike - The plates of Lady Godiva can now be viewed at the Herbert Museum and are properly displayed.

Regards Barry McGrory

Glad to hear it. The plates deserve much better treatment than was the case in the late 1970s. The then museum authorities didn't seem to value them.

Hi First of all can I say how interesting your site is, I have spent many a time going through the pages. This is a long shot question, but do you have any photos of Langley Green station on the Stourbridge to Birmingham Snow Hill line in steam days.

Regards Chris

I pointed Chris to Roger Carpenter, Lens of Sutton Association and Kidderminster Railway Museum's Photographic Archive (see Sources of Photographs. Please remember when writing to suppliers that they sell photos around having to work and have a family life so they may take a little longer than you would like. Don't forget the Stamped Address Envelope.

Hello. On the Warwickshire Railways page for Stratford-upon-Avon GWR's station, it says several times the "Evesham Road station". Is this right? The current station, which is the one I think the text is talking about, is on Alcester Road, which several of the photo captions confirms. The Evesham Road is some way away from the station, and the line used to cross it where the large roundabout to Seven Meadows Road is now sited - where Evesham Road Halte and the signal boxes were (now a cycle path). Or was there an earlier Evesham Road station as well? May I just say what an excellent site you have there - its great for doing "then and now" type comparisons whilst out and about on the rail network today.

Yours Intrigued - Jon Knight

Hi Jon. Clearly I got my Evesham Road and Alcester Road mixed up. Many thanks for both the correction and the kind remarks. Regards Mike

My Grandfather, William Frost, nickname Snowy was stationed at Saltley. Passed down the family we were told that he was the first driver to take the Flying Scotsman out of New Street Station. Is this possible? My Dad was based at Monument Lane and was a fireman then driver for 41 years. I am very proud of them both. Thank you for your website.

Sandra Horlick

Thank you Sandra. The Flying Scotsman was both a train and a locomotive with both operated by the LNER who were based on the East Coast mainline. For information about the train seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Scotsman_%28train%29. The Flying Scotsman locomotive, which has been preserved, was also based on the East Coast mainline although in BR days it was for many years in the 1950s allocated to Leicester Central shed. Based on the Great Central line it was in charge of services running from Nottingham Victoria to London Marylebone via Leicester Central and return.

Whether your Grandfather was the first driver to take the lying Scotsman out of New Street I cannot say for definite. In my opinion its highly unlikely as the locomotive was not based in the region and and the enthusiast specials that it headed in the region would be driven by crews from the its home shed. However, whenever a foreign engine ran over routes its crew would be unfamiliar with then a local driver, who knew the road, would be on the footplate. If the Flying Scotsman ever visited New Street, and I cannot verify this, then its possible your Grandfather acted as the pilot and as such whilst he wasn't the driver he would be the person in charge of the train. I hope this helps - Mike

Great site very interesting. Wondered if anyone can shed any light on Monument Lane Depot/Station, why was it so called when Monument Lane seemed to be no where near the location.

Dave W

Dave - In his book 'Monument Lane Loco Shed' Tony Higgs states that its a mystery as to why Monument Lane station and shed were so named. Monument Lane was sited over half a mile away from the site which actually lay alongside St Vincent Street and Sheepcote Street. Tony writes that in 1878 Monument Lane later became Monument Road but neither the station nor the engine shed had their name changed to suit. I noted from his book that when first mooted the shed was initially identified as the 'Crescent' but within a month it had been named Monument Lane. Therefore my guess is that Monument Lane was the nearest thoroughfare of consequence and therefore the shed and station was so named. St Vincent Street and Sheepcote were probably built later or if they were in existence they were not of any note. Mike

I was at the time perusing the record for the account of the 1955 derailment of Gresley 2-6-2 60828 at Barby (which I found - I had also visited the actual site of the accident as the recovery operation was in progress), but there is so much to see that my interest inevitably wandered on. For interest here is an image of the same loco, 60828, seen approaching Rugby with a down freight on 11 April 1963.

Tony Newman

I regret to inform you that Geoffrey Kingscott has passed away. He was diagnosed with cancer last October and died peacefully at home in Sawley on Wednesday 2nd March 2011.

Roger Kingscott

Geoffery was a well known author being responsible for some of the books in the Lost Railways series of which 'Lost Railways of Warwickshire' was his final book. He will be greatly missed by his friends, family and colleagues.

Dear Mike. It is a very long time since you and I met when I use to frequent Modellers World back in the early 1980's. Barry fired many of us with enthusiasm for the hobby and I started producing turned brass parts for his 'O' Gauge range moving on to run my own hobby business, Ultima Models. Thirty years on I now work for Bachmann as a Design Engineer. One of our Graphics team came across your website and advised I should have a look. I use to live close to Three Spires Junction and I can see you are limited on images taken at this location. Re-calling I had some old images stashed away which are starting to fade I have had them scanned to help preserve them. Most were taken in 1971 when I was learning to work with B&W film and a few are by my late father. I have attached a few to see if you are interested?

Regards, Colin Allbright, Bachmann Europe Plc

Many thanks for the old photos of Solihull Station. I've been thinking of doing something similar for many years before the information was lost forever but you have now saved me the work. The photos are priceless. The Solihull signalbox nameplate is now in the Thinktank in Birmingham.

Chris Barber

Nice site, lots of memories. Regarding photograph mrcgy698, this was 58283 at Harborne Station, not Central Goods. The factory in the background was Chad Valley Toys. 58271 was on the other end, with the different reporting number board, and the SLS headboard. Seehttp://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/50s/590530sl.html

Charles Steele

Charles. Many thanks for the correction which I have to say had been pointed out to me previously but I had failed to correct. I have a number of new photos of Harborne to add and thought that by now I would have been working on the Harbourne line. I promise to action this soon.

My grandfather was a driver on the Midland Railway between the wars starting work in Sheffield at a steel works. He went out to Argentina when they were starting their railways and later the family moved to Stockingford. So I was thrilled to find your photo of the station there, as far as I remember a somewhat draughty place. All the best, I'll be back.

SE Haseltine

I would like to ask you a question about Flecknoe Station. You say that the station closed to passenger traffic in 1952 but that there was a school service that ran from Warwick to Flecknoe in the mornings and afternoons until passenger services were withdrawn in 1958. Did this service still continue to Flecknoe after 1952 or did it terminate at Napton & Stockton Station after Flecknoe was closed. I've always been interested in this line when I was a youngster in the early 1970s some friends and I walked the whole length of it on two separate occasions we lived in Rugby so we walked down the old Great Central to where the lines crossed each other near Braunston and then got on to the line there.

The trackbed was still negotiable but all the lines stations had been dismantled until you got to Long Itchington where the line was still being used for cement traffic. A friend I use to work with told me that on one occasion in the early sixties when the West Coast Main Line was being electrified his train from Euston to Rugby was rerouted along there. On another occasion around 1987 after the cement traffic had finished I visited the line at Long Itchington and came across some Irish navvies ripping up the track I found this rather ironic as it was probably their ancestors that built the line.

Yours sincerely Graham Cox

Hi Graham. I cannot answer your specific question relating to the school service as I do not have the information to hand. However the withdrawal of a regular passenger service may not have prevented the school service from running if passenger trains were still scheduled to stop at other stations on the line. There are numerous instances of workmen trains running without these being included in standard timetables. The route Rugby to Leamington to Birmingham (via the Kenilworth to Berkswell branch) was indeed used as an alternative route during electrification as was the Coventry to Nuneaton route (see Pete Squire's entry below). Regards Mike.

Dear Mr Musson I'm researching the history of the Warwick Fire Brigade, with a view to producing a web site history of the Brigade, and I wondered if you knew the whereabouts of a photo or illustration of the original GWR station that was situated in the Coventry Road. I believe it was built in the 1850s. As you may know, the station was destroyed by fire on 19th May 1894, and a new station was constructed in its place. I attach a scan of an Edwardian postcard which shows the new station, which you can add to your site if you wish. If you are able to help, or point me in the right direction, I would be most grateful.

Sincerely Derek Parsons

Derek - Many thanks for the photograph which is now on the website awaiting a caption by my colleague Robert Ferris. I had not realised that the station was rebuilt because the original had been damaged by fire. I will see if there are any photographs of the original station to be found and will keep you up to date with my efforts. Regards Mike.

I have just "bumped into" your website, excellent. I have quite a number of photo's taken by my late father John Gain in the 40s & 50s. I will sort out some & you may like to use them. Be in touch.

Graham Gain

Graham - I look forward to seeing any photos that you may kindly offer to add to the website. Best wishes Mike.

I am after many years trying to build my model railway. I have decide to base it on a Warwickshire station, most likely Leamington Ave or Coventry. I am trying to collate some old photo's and site plans, my buildings may not be accurate but I hope to emulate the basic lay out. Many thanks for your website.

Pete Eden (Wellesbourne). Warwickshire born and bred.

Hi Pete. It was always my ambition to build a scale model of Coventry station which I started but never got beyond the tracklaying stage. I think you will find that the layout will be over 30 feet long and that you will need to provide a non-prototypical scenic break near to the shed. Leamington Avenue would be simpler but there again its close proximity to the GWR station does in my opinion require this too to be included in any layout. If I was to model a LNWR station then I think I would try Tile Hill station or Berkswell as both had express services passing through combined with a goods service. Berkswell obviously has the Kenilworth branch to add some variety of traffic. Best wishes - Mike

Hi Mike. - I have really enjoyed looking at your site. I grew up in the early 60s around Stoke in Coventry. I went to watch the sky blues play at Highfield Road one afternoon and can clearly remember being more interested in the steam emanating from the Coventry loop line around Gosford Green than the football. I can also remember walking down to the footbridge at Gosford Green with my grandad and watching for movement in the signal box to tell us something was on its way!!! As I grew older the steam disappeared to be replaced by diesels predominantly on car trains to either Gosford Green or Bell Green. I have some quite good records of these and some pictures – it is just a matter of finding them! There was another siding on this loop line up by Barras Heath that served the fruit and veg market there – it was visible from the Burlington Road overbridge and sometimes in the late afternoon banana vans would arrive hauled by a Class 25.

Some other good reference books which include some info on the area (and other places you cover) include:- LNWR Branch lines by Geoffrey Hurst (ISBN 0947796169) includes good signal box shots on the line; John Boynton's London and Birmingham Railway between Birmingham and Coventry (ISBN 0952224879); British Railways Past and Present No5 has a cracking photo of an 8F at Foleshill, also in Branch Lines of Warwickshire by Colin Maggs (ISBN 0750903171). Lastly the Signalling Record Society's Layout and Plans Volume 11 has some great plans to bring back old memories. I was lucky enough to spend a little time in Gibbet Hill box on the Leamington line whilst young – a box I have been unable to find a photo of! When I find my records and pictures I will drop you a line (includes a class 37 at Gosford Green on the day the wires were down on the WCML and Westerns were running through Coventry to Paddington (also photos somewhere). I will also drop some notes on the guest book shortly.

Thanks, Pete Squire

Thanks for letting me surf around the LMS. As a locomotive fireman at Rugby '2A' from 1953 to 1963 it gave me great pleasure to to look at some of the old stations, some that no longer exist. good luck, and thanks again. PS: would love to find more pictures of the testing station at Rugby.


Mike - So would I. For some reason I have had little luck in finding much information on the Testing station. Regards Mike.

What a fantastic resource! I was searching for "platform mounted signal cabins", hoping to justify placing one on my single line branch model. Perfect. I wonder if there are sister sites for other areas?

George Speller

Hi George. I understand there are some 'county' websites but they do not enjoy the wealth of photos thatwe have. Regards Mike.

Hello Mike, we are a number of modelers in the Birmingham area that have decided to to start a model club in the south of the city. Having chosen on the name of Bournville Model Railway Club we thought a model of Bournville shed would make a good start with you web site being an inspiration to a number of our members (the flattery touch). We would like to include a couple of pictures uploaded from your site on a flyer we will be placing in a local model shop and local libraries. If we need permission to use the photos will you please let us know who and how we need to get in touch with the owners. I have enclosed a copy of the proposed flyer. Thank you for your time.

Chris Barker, Bournville Model Railway Club.

Hi Chris. May I wish you all of the best luck in starting your new club. Once you have formly launched the club I would be most willing to promote it on the relevant webpage. As you know I have sent you the contact information in order to obtain permission from the owners of the photographs. Best wishes Mike.

Dear Mike. Thank you for providing such a wonderful resource. You and your fellow contributors are to be warmly congratulated. I grew up in Warwickshire, from Brummie parents though we moved to Earlswood before WWII. So I know first hand many of the places you have documented, including the original Snow Hill and New Street Stations. Unfortunately I never owned a camera otherwise what wonderful photos I could have taken to add to your rich resource! I do remember standing at the Up end of New Street, before the demolition and looking across the LNWR tracks. This platform end was the favorite among trainspotters. I also remember asking an older trainspotter why we never saw any LMS Pacifics in New Street. I remember his reply, he suggested that they had found the Worcester Street tunnel too tight. In fact there was a story going around that it was City of Birmingham that actually got stuck in the approach tunnel. Personally I have always doubted this but wondered if you had ever heard the same?

With my very best regards, Paul Ashton

Hi Paul. I never heard that story myself and whilst it was very tight in Worcester Street tunnel it did not prevent LMS Pacifics from entering New Street as can be seen from lnwrbns_br2003.htm. It is true that very few were evident at New Street but I suspect that this was due to them being rostered on much longer and heavier services (Liverpool and Carlisle) than those found at New Street. Regards Mike.

Found your site whilst browsing the net for information on Private Owner Wagons during the Christmas break. Got carried away browsing through all the images on the site, but did find a lot of interesting photos with Private Owner wagons in them, thought not possible to read all the detail on any of them due to pixel size. But I will be contacting the credited supplier to obtain photo quality prints, I know some of them personally. I am particularly interested in Private Owner wagons from a railway modelling aspect, primarily those of the Midlands.

I was also interested in the Images of Monument Lane Shed & Station, as these were my local trainspotting locations during school years. If only I'd had a camera then. There is a minor error with the Caption to Image 'lnwrmlsh1508', listed under Monument Lane Station, it should be under the Shed. The locomotive has, has the caption states just left the New Street Tunnel, and the Shed is immediately on the left has the train leaves the tunnel, ie. the Shed is immediately on the right of the loco looking at the photo. Still looking for a photo of the Station from the road. I'll be returning to browse this site on many occasion. Keep up the excellent job you are doing on this task.

David J. Hudson

For somebody that never knew steam on the main lines this is a wonderful glimpse into a special time in transport history. Thanks for all the hard work and time you have put into this amazing site. Not to mention the porthole it provides in a part of England that my family came from; a delight to view from my home in Canada.

Matthew Jones

Just found your site. I was fireman at Saltley from 1946 until 1953 minus 2 years on National Service. I have a photo of Black 5 44747 at New Street if you are interested. Keep up the good work.

John Matthews

I have now done some work on my new NWL section and have pasted a link to it below. There is more to do, including some interior shots of Henley box taken by one of the signallers on the day that it was demolished and I hope to put these up over the coming few days, but you can get a feel for the past 20 odd years from what is currently there. See http://www.petertandy.co.uk/nwl_2010.html

Kind regards Peter Tandy

Peter - Thanks for sharing your photos of the signal box at Henley just prior to its demolition. Regards Mike

A fascinating site with many photos of things I repaired, or sadly, removed in my 28 years with the British Rail Civil Engineering Department. We completely refurbished the central section of Rugby station roof a few years before they decided to remove it completely, and I have spent many shifts in Kilsby tunnel. I understand it was dug from both ends, and in both directions from the two large air shafts. Digging from one of the shafts met an underground river, drowning many men, and delaying the tunnel build until after the railway was opened. People and goods were transferred around the gap by horse and carriage. One of the castellated towers at a large shaft suffered serious damage in the October 1987 storm, and we rebuilt the top, with advice from English Heritage, as they are listed buildings. The painting of Kilsby Tunnel is one of the many small ventilation shafts, the large ones have a diameter greater than the tunnel width. There was a story that they are 60' diameter to allow rails to be turned, and it's not true. You don't need to rotate a rail to use the other side, you just swap right and left rails, quite apart from which, when it was built the rails weren't 60' long.

Stephen Blyth

Fantastic, very informative, a good resource.

Daniel Spraggett

Hi. At the turn of the 20th century my great uncle was a engine driver for the L.M.S. I am trying to research him as I work on the railway as a track inspector. I was wondering if you could help. His name was Arthur Holland, I think he drove engines in the Birmingham area from around 1910 to ? This is all I know and would be over the moon if you could shed some light on my search.

Thank you Paul Riley

I came across your site whilst I was looking for a photo of an Ivatt Mogul running in reverse with a passenger train, and your site provides such a photo (Ref mra134 Ivatt at Alcester). It is a good photo too. What is the copyright position on this photo? I act as a sub-editor for the journal issued by the Hornby Railway Collectors' Association (HRCA), which is an Association of enthusiasts who own and run old Hornby Trains. We are non-profit-making organisation, run by volunteers. I am thinking of asking the Editor of our Journal to include this photo in an article that I am in the process of sub-editing. Are there any copyright problems that I ought to know about? Would be enough simply to acknowledge the source of the photo, or would I need to do more than that? If I am 'cleared' to use it, is it available as a denser, higher-quality image? Thank you for your help in this matter.

Robert Wilson

I put Robert in touch with someone who could supply the photograph.

There have not been any updates since the end of July. I am concerned that the webmaster has become ill. If so I wish you a speedy recovery and I hope that you can continue to contribute to this fine site.

Barry Purslow (EX Birmingham now in California)

I am pleased to report that its the amount of work I am having to do at the moment which is stopping me from populating the website. I work for an Regional Development Agency focused on trying to improve the ICT regional supplier industry. The annual conference & awards being held in November have coincided with the closure of the RDA by the government so I am trying to do my job in parallel with trying to launch a new business. I appreciate your kind words both about the website and my health. By the way - I have been working on Kings Heath station and its now complete.

Absolutly wonderful and top of the line with details. Keep up the fantastic work.

David Moss

I came across your website by accident, but am entirely bowled over by the quality and quantity(!) of content. I can easily see me spending many hours just browsing the atmospheric and educational photos you display - and all for free! A brilliant site, well done indeed.

Mike Lence

Very interesting site, superb photos. My grandparents lived either side of main line bridge in Albany road Coventry, so I know the area well. Excellent work. Thanks.

Keith Poynton

Wonderful photos that bring back a lot of memories.

Matt Little

Love your web site. I will be back to continue looking at all the great information you have and the historical, well-captioned pictures. Only wish there was a site like this for Notts & Derbys. Thanks for all your work on keeping this up.

Tim Holmes

What a truly wonderful site! It has given me hours of pleasure already as well as many modelling ideas. Keep up the good work - it is very appreciated.

Will Finn

I've just discovered your website. I was brought up in Leicester and my father and I visited Nuneaton a number of times in the early 1960s. Your pictures are a fantastic resource that I will come back to often. Are you looking for more photos for the site? I do have some good quality shots taken by my father at Nuneaton on those trips. One correction if I may - the following photograph is at Leicester (London Road), not Nuneaton. BR Standard No 70014 is hauling 'The Palatine' and is entering the station from the north.

Cheers for now, John Clayson

Hi John. Many thanks for the correction - the photo is now deleted. Regarding the offer of some photos they were superb and are now on the website. See 'lnwr_tam2103', 'lnwrns2104' and 'lnwrns2105'.

I came across your website by accident, but am entirely bowled over by the quality and quantity(!) of content. I can easily see me spending many hours just browsing the atmospheric and educational photos you display - and all for free! A brilliant site, well done indeed.

Mike Lence

Hi Mike. I must say how great it was to find your site! I was born a stones throw from Monument Lane railway in Shakespeare Road and it formed most of my childhood, I spent many happy hours train spotting there in fact it was my childhood! The only regret I have is that I do not have my Train spotters books they would be worth a fortune now! the engine shed and other pictures are intriguing because they were my playing ground, in fact me and my chums at the time were always being told to "get off the railway" I have a good knowledge of the area and lived there until my family were rehoused in the slum clearance programme of the sixties, In one 'photo of the carriage works there is a shot of a saw mill which later became part of Frank Moseley's garage, dealing with Armstrong Siddley motor cars! I worked there from 1957 to 1963, my favorite train was Polyphemus which was G W R 55678 Jubilee class, I saw this loco all the time shunting and such at the local shed, there was a significant storage capacity at 3F (Monument Lane) and why I didn't become a railway man I shall never know! I could write a book of my experiences in Ladywood during my time there! but that's another story!

Graham Wigley

Very interesting to see the pictures of Kenilworth. A sad state of affairs today.

Ken Chitty

Mike - have just come across your site. I bought a reproduction of the 1899 / 1901 OS map for my area (Ilmington) and was Googling to learn more about the Moreton to Stratford upon Avon Tramway and the branch to Shipston-on-Stour, so I was really pleased to find all the information and photographs on your excellent site, and equally pleased to look at Kenilworth where I was brought up. It prompted me that somewhere, I have some photos of Kenilworth Station circa 1970 that were given to me by the late Walter Whiteman who ran his business from the station site - they stem from a school project which I managed to persuade my teachers to permit as a rail enthusiast! Thank you, great site.

Tim Allen

Mike. I must begin by saying a huge thank you for the Warwickshire Railways site; I'm a Coventrian now living in Cardiff and it so takes me back. I was educated at Bablake and lived not that far from the Coventry loop line both of which have always fascinated me. As your sit proves, the Warwick railway scene was amazing, where else could you see three of the big four. I always think to have seen A3s on the GCR, Kings on the GWR and Duchesses on the WCML must have really been something-oh, I was born far too late! Anyhow just in case they are of interest I was photographing in the 70s and early 80s and took slides on Kodachrome of Newdigate's Sidings box just before (and I do mean just before!) closure and demolition. When these were taken, the Newdigates colliery branch had already been lifted. I was also extremely fortunate to cadge a footplate ride from Marton to Southam cement works and back and was able to capture this on slides too. I'm enclosing a couple of scans to see if they are of interest. If you would like to see more, please let me know. I appreciate they are relatively recent but in another sense they are ancient history now. Just like those Class 25 that trolled up and down past the windows of my Bablake classrooms for years those rakes of 16 ton minerals that went on for ever! Very best wishes and many thanks again.

Martin Kavanagh

Hello, excellent site, as a kid I grew up opposite the railway at Willenhall, Coventry. Witnessing the electrification and demise of steam. Is it possible to advise me of the following, a) The last steam workings through Coventry. b) Any contacts you may have re photos in the area of that period 1965 - 67.

Regards, Alistair Durham.

The Casserley photo at Bournville ref 'mrb18' shows a STOP sign on the wall at the entrance to the shed. I would like to know the exact wording of this sign - can you assist please? Alternatively have you a good resolution copy I can purchase in order to enlarge the section with the sign? Photo ref 'mrb685' shows the position of the sign following removal at closure of the shed.

Kind Regards - Robin Whittle

Robin - I have sent you a close up of the sign but it is too indistinct to help much. The photo was scanned at 300 pixels so it is the best image possible. I have copied John Dews into this email as John has written many off the captions on the shed and he might be able to help you further. All the best - Mike

Great site. I am attempting to create a model of the GWR (set 1935-9) around Hatton. I lived at Lapworth in the Seventies and recall the ex-GWR locos climbing Hatton Bank on Sunday afternoon specials. Good memories.

Jerry Wray

Hi Mike. Just browsing through your site I noted the comment regarding image 'lnwrmg1593' at Marston Green as to why so many people were about. I don't know if there was anything special going on but I remember visiting Marson Green as a child many times during the period 1954-60. That particular day was a Saturday and if the weather was fine it was a popular walk from Birmingham out via the playing fields to the station. I always remember lots of train spotters whenever I went too. In those days there would have been a lot of pedestrian traffic and quite a number would gather at the gates or if they were 'brave' use the footbridge. The passage of any train seemed exciting in those days. As kids we might play on the field to the south of the station and then rush for the bridge when word came that a train was due. My memory was that road traffic wasn't at all heavy even by the standards of the time so it wouldn't have been at all unusual for people to 'man' the gates.

Best regards - Jim Shaw

Hi Jim - Many thanks for sharing your memories of Marston Green. As I lived near to Tile Hill station in the 1950s and 1960s I too can remember how little road traffic there was at times and how most of us either walked or rode on our bicycles. The weather seemed much warmer and sunnier then!!

I have been going through this excellent site for a few days. When I was at Dunsmore Boys School in the 1960's I had a school friend Bill Brown whose father Bob worked on the railway. The station masters house at Clifton Mill station on the Rugby-Market Harborough line just outside Rugby was the family home. I visited Clifton Mill box many times as my mum's cousin Charlie was a relieve signalman in the Rugby area and could be seen working in many boxes around the area. The large pipe or chimney in picture lnwrclift1568a next to the box is from memory a breather pipe for the sewers. These pipes were also known as stench pipes.

Bob Haddon

Bob - Thanks for the information and memories. It all helps to provide visitors to the site with accurate information as well as making interesting reading. If you have any other information or reminiscences please do not hesitate to let me know.

Can anyone help please ? colour slide required of "Halls" 4901 and 5915 to complete a colour pictorial record of all member of the "Hall" class except for 4911 which doesn't count!

Thanks Alan Sainty - alansainty@aol.com

Hi Alan. My suggestion would be to contact either Colour Rail or the Kidderminster Railway Museum. Both have extensive records of locomotives in both black and white photographs and slides. You might also wish to consider contacting the on-line GWR group at Yahoo. Regards Mike

Wonderful website, I am fascinated by Shipston on Stour. Sadly when I click on 'gwrss1003' I get another view, is it just my wires crossed? Some track diagrams seem to show 3-way points at the entrance to the goods sidings, but these photos clearly show two separate sets of right hand points. Does anyone know if the track layout was altered at some stage, perhaps when the loading dock was built? Keep up the brilliant work.

Adam Moore

Hi Adam. Many thanks for the kind comments and for pointing out the insertion of the wrong link. If you spot any otrhers please let me know. Regards Mike

Mike - May I correct the caption on your images - Inrwcov_gas1478 and Inrwcov_gas1478a. The location is the Longford Generating Station of the Coventry Corporation Electricity Department and not Coventry Gasworks at Foleshill as stated. The locomotive shown is Coventry Corporation Electrical Department No 1 built by Andrew Barclay (Works Number 1942) in 1929. My negative shows the engine in slightly cleaner condition in 1946 with the owner's name and number quite legible on the side tanks.

Best wishes John Hyde

Hi John - Many thanks for the correction. (Visitors might be interested to know that John has an extensive collection of photographic negatives not just from within the county but from across the country. See 'photosuppliers' which list John's contact details). Regards Mike

Hello I have just been looking at image 'lnwrcll107', and just thought I would let you know that this is not an Alvis car. Although it is very similar to an Alvis TD21. I'm not sure which make of car it is, but as I work for Red Triangle in Kenilworth who took over the servicing of Alvis cars from 1968 to the present day, I am confident that it is not an Alvis. P.S. Very good site, keep up the good work, especially the Coventry loop line, which I remember from my childhood!

Many Thanks - Frank Moseley

Hi Mike, just found your site, great browsing. the caption to image 'lnwrcll107' mentions an Alvis car body. This looks to me more like a Humber Hawk of the 1950's.

Yours - Hugh Evans

Amazing that the same error should be spotted and reported within 24 hours of each other. My thanks to both Frank and Hugh for pointing out the error and Hugh for the correct description. I suppose the answer should have been obvious insofar that the Rootes Group were shipping bodies via the yard to Linwood in Scotland in the 1960s and were most likely to have used the facility.

A thoroughly inspirational website. I am too young to remember steam, but many of the locations are familiar and it is fascinating to see how things looked in the past. It has inspired me to build a model railway layout based around Kenilworth. Between this wonderful site and Robin Leach's books I have more than enough reference material to keep me going for years. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

Mark Barnes

Mike - Enjoyed the site which I found whilst doing some railway research. Might I suggest that the photograph: Rugby Station: lnwrrm732, is in fact Jubilee 45673 Keppel (not 45573 Newfoundland) as it appears to have a very small nameplate.

Good luck, Vic Smith

Vic - Many thanks for the correction and kind words.

A hugely interesting and enjoyable site, even to a dyed in the wool 'Swedie'. I think I will spend a lot more time in the future just browsing! By the way - there is a broken link in the Alcester section 'alcester_gwr.htm'. The first image, referred to as 'mra453' actually tries to load 'gwra435'. I have tried a couple of different things to get it to load and I think it should actually point to 'mra453.htm'.

Graham Roper

Graham - Many thanks for the kind words, especially from someone who is a GWR enthusiast! Thanks too for pointing out the broken link. I think it must have occurred when I revamped the GWR part of the site - hopefully I have now fixed the problem. However it did make me realise that I needed to upgrade the MR section of Alcester station, so that was Bank Holiday Sunday gone. If you see any others please let me know.

May I congratulate all involved in putting together a highly entertaining package for us old ultra-mature railways enthusiasts. I could go on but, suffice it to say, I can not find on any other geographic allocation capable of producing such an enthralling package. Hasn't Lancs or Yorks or even the South- East come up with anything comparable.

Best Regards - Paul Longhurst

Paul wrote an article in Issue 214, April 2005, Steam World 'An Old Boy Reminiscences'. Steam World did not use even 10% of the photographs submitted, and he would like to find them a home - Paul describes them as a mixed-bag of appreciation photographs of steam. My advice to anyone wishing to find a home for their collection depends on whether they are the photographer or where they own the copyright compared to just having collected photographs taken by others - as in my case. If the former and a little extra income would help then you could consider loaning the negatives to Roger Carpenter or someone similar in return for a percentage of the sale of prints. If however you wish to donate them then you should consider the HMRS, RCTS, Kidderminster Railway Museum or a society. All of the organisations I have named will make the photographs available to enthusiasts at very reasonable rates whereas the NRM or other public sector organisations often charge ten times as much and therefore few people will be able to benefit from your foresight to have taken the photographs.

What a wonderful website. Brings back many memories of days spent at Rugby and Shilton. So informative many of the scenes I had forgotten but thanks to all the hard work and effort they are fresh in the memory. Problem is that once on this website I don't want to come off it. Seeing old locos like 41902 and 41909 takes me back to the days of the 1950s when short cab rides were not beyond a friendly driver. How those days were taken for granted, nothing was ever going to replace steam, something else I got wrong. Please keep up the excellent work.

Peter Cox

Hi. I spent a whole afternoon and part of the evening browsing through your web site, and as others have stated, it most certainly brought back many memories of my younger life spent in the midlands. I was born in Birmingham in the mid 1930s, I lived and worked there until early 1970 when I finally moved south to Dorset. I was absolutely enthralled with what I found, to such a degree that it has inspired me to do something I have always wanted to do for many years now. That something, is to fine scale model Birmingham New Street Railway Station circa 1938. The information your web site exhibits is most informative and the photo's are delight to observe. Although one particular picture did bring tears to my eyes, however , that is a personal matter and I shall not go into it any further. Thank you for such an entertaining afternoon, I will most certainly keep an eye on your web site from time to time.

I do have one question though, and that is can you possibly tell me where I might get a full size copy of one of your images? The image in question is 'lnwrbns_str1310' the 1950 layout plan of Birmingham New Street station, as this will then be the initial basis of my modelling. Needless to say I need as large a size of this drawing image as I can get in order to be able to accurately scale from it. A further point, if the drawing is taken from a book, would you be kind enough to let me know which book so that I may be able to trace the original source drawing to obtain a large copy for scaling purposes. Thank you so very much.

Kindest regards, Brian Nicholls.

Brian - I am very pleased that you enjoyed the photographs and are inspired enough to build a layout of New Street in the 1950s. I trust you have plenty of time on your hands! The plan is not accurate enough to use it for scaling if you want a perfect representation of the station but if its only to capture the look and feel it should be good enough. I will contact you via your email. You should refer to the excellent books on Birmingham New Street Station by Richard Foster and an article by Mike Hitches in British Railways Illustrated Volume 2 No 5 June-July 1993 published by Irwell Press. If still available try their back order facility on 01525 861888. Let us know how you get on with the layout.

Following my response to the above email Brian wrote the following:

Hi Mike, Thank you kindly for the prompt response and included information. As you say the image copy may or may not be large enough to accurately scale from however, as they say, every little helps. I will investigate further into the information you have provided. My intention is to produce an accurately scaled working model of the station in what is referred to as P4 Fine Scale Gauge, which is scaled at 4mm to 1ft. I will keep you posted from time to time on the progress of the modelling, perhaps even send a few photos. However, as you may conclude, I am at the research and planning stage at this time. Clearly it is not a five minute job and is going to take some time before any recognisable form emerges. Who knows one day it may be exhibited! Bye the way, a fellow called Jim Smith-Wright whose web site may be found at p4newstreet.com has modelled a very fine example of this station in its current modern state (electrification and all), and his attention to detail is very admirable. I have spoken to Jim and he stated that he new little of the older station (prior to the 1964 re-construction) but has kindly offered some drawings and information on certain parts of the station that have remained, relatively speaking, as was. Incidentally, if I come across any interesting information or photos during my research I will keep you in mind and pass on to you what I can. Finally I would like to say again, that I really did enjoy your web site, and I sincerely hope it will flourish and go on for many years to come.

Kindest regards, Brian Nicholls.

Hi. Just been having a look at some photos, and can clarify a couple of points. Photo 'lnwrrm850'. The bridge in the distance is Clifton Rd bridge (275). However the lines from the left are: Up Northampton Goods, Up Northampton, Up Fast. Down Peterborough, Down Northampton (both at higher level). Down fast coming out of the hole, and the Down Goods extreme right. The signal on the right of the picture on the gantry reads off the Down Peterborough, This signal, along with two other colour light signals off the Down Northampton and Down Fast which are out of view, replaced the massive gantry provided by the GCR at Rugby South. Photo lnwrrm888. This photo shows the up platform line (Up Slow), and siding 6 under the roof. The Up fast line (commonly known as the Up Through) is to the right of the roof supporting columns. Siding 6 was known as the 'Up Pilot', and in later years usually held a Black 5 which was for shunting duties, and to assist trains that were in trouble. There was a similar siding, the Down Pilot (Siding 4) at the North end of the Down platform. Another Black 5 would be kept there for shunting and standby duties.

Hope this info clarifies. Andy Taylor. Operations Manager South. West Coast Railways.

I can only offer my congratulations to all those involved in creating this site. I'm in the process of researching my first large model-railway layout and I find it wonderfully comprehensive with regards to information both written and visual. It's a great resource and enjoyable to peruse just for enjoyment. I especially like the idea of links along the route to stations and sheds etc.. Do you have anywhere that viewers can offer contributions to it's upkeep? I'd be happy to donate a few pounds to this end..

Regards, Kevin Riches

Kevin - Many thanks for both the kind comments and offer of financial support. Because 'Powweb', who host the site, do not charge a lot for their hosting service - despite it having more than 6500 pages - I am able to finance the cost myself. However as retirement looms - possibly enforced within a year after the election as I am a contractor in the public sector - I might have to look for financial contributions. At the moment what would help is identifying sources of information and photographs on the Coventry to Nuneaton line and most routes out of Birmingham towards Tamworth and Lichfield. Books which contain photographers names and information on the stations on these routes are very rare indeed. Mike

A superb site, the two Jubilees on Coventry shed in the 1960s solved a 45 year old mystery for me! Arthur Flowers and I corresponded in the early 1980s and he kindly sent me copies of his Birstall photos for exhibition at my library. His and all the rest of the photographs are excellent.

Ken Wheatley

Ken - I am pleased you like the site and that its helped to solve a mystery for you. Arthur was a gentlemen of the old school very helpful to me. For about a year I was fortunate enough to work in Foleshill near to where he lived and spent many a pleasurable hour listening to his stories and looking at his photographs. He was taken into care by the council some years later and I have no idea as to what happened to his negatives. Someone said his sister might have them but that's speculation. I thought Pat Whitehouse was going to be the beneficiary but apparently not. At least some of us have prints as testament to his photography.

The web site links will allow me to research GWR in the West Midlands. From my first look I'm going to enjoy this.

Mike Turner

Mike - I hope you make use of the Bibliography too as there are a number of journals and books that will help.

Hi, I enjoy your great site, my special area of interest is the Monument Lane/Harborne Junction part of the Stour Valley line. I was wondering if you have access to all of Peter Shoesmiths photos? As he seems to have taken many in this seemingly overlooked area. If you do have any photographs of this area other than those already posted I would be grateful if you could let me know on the given email address.

Kind regards Peter Quigley

Peter - I have some of Peter Shoesmith's photographs but not necessarily of the Monument Lane/Harborne route. I have a number of interesting photographs yet to upload on the Harbourne Line which I hope to do soon. I am just completing the Stratford on Avon to Pebworth section of the GWR's line to Honeybourne after which I will be returning to the Leamington to Coventry line (just three locations) followed by revisiting the lines emanating from Birmingham.

Hi Mike - You may or may not be able to help. My wife's grandfather (Archibald Cook ) was a driver of a LMS train during WW2 where by acts of bravery driving his train full of munitions he was awarded the George medal. I have attached the London Gazette with the story for your perusal (pasted below - Mike). I am in the process of trying to locate records of this incident, Including which train he was driving at the time, the route etc. Eventually we would dearly love to obtain a copy of his service records. So if you can help us with any of the above or put us on to others that may help we would be appreciated.

The following appeared in the London Gazette on Friday 18th December 1942
Awarded the George Medal:— Archibald Cook, Engine Driver, London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company. George Herbert Simkiss, Fireman, London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company.
Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division): — Richard Edward Barrett, Kitchen Porter, Birmingham. George Carter, Warden, Civil Defence Wardens Service, Birmingham. William Eric Deakin, Machinist, Birmingham. Henry Jacob Harrison, Length Ganger, London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company.

Incendiary bombs set fire to a train which was carrying high explosives. Driver Cook brought it to a standstill but could not extinguish the flames. He decided to isolate the burning van and, with the help of Simkiss, uncoupled it and drew the front portion of the train forward. It was then found that a second vehicle in the rear portion was on fire and Simkiss isolated this also. Carter, Deakin and Barrett, although they were warned of the contents of the wagons and understood the danger, rendered every possible assistance to prevent the fire from spreading. It was eventually brought under control by the National Fire Service, and it was then found that boxes of explosive would have to be unloaded. Carter and Deakin helped to pull open the door of one of the vans.

As it opened, flames and smoke were emitted from the interior of the truck and Carter, Deakin and Barrett sustained burns to the face and eyes, and all three had to go to a first aid post. Ganger Harrison entered another van and threw out boxes on to the line. Whilst so doing, one of these fell and pinned him down by the leg but, with help, he freed himself and continued to work until the van was emptied. The lines were blocked with heaped up boxes of explosive and Harrison, though wet through by water from the hoses and suffering from an injured leg and burnt hands, continued to work alone for thirteen hours to clear the lines and allow traffic to proceed. All the men showed great courage and devotion to duty. Enemy--^aircraft were operating, a heavy anti-aircraft barrage was in progress at the time and the men were fully aware of the danger from the explosives to which they were exposed.

Kind Regards David & Margaret Young (Maiden name Cook)

David and Margaret. A really wonderful story of bravery on the home front by people just going about their everyday business. I will contact a number of people that might be able to help but hopefully if anyone reading your request can help with any information then if they send it to me I will certainly forward it on to you. If you do find out more please let us know as I would love to put your grandfather's story on the website. Best wishes Mike.

Colin from the Birmingham On-line Forum replied, 'The incident is recorded in the book Heroes of the Birmingham Air raids by Michael Minton :- At about 1:45am Thursday 30th July Driver Cook , Fireman Simkiss and Guard James Reynolds arrived at goods yard ..proceeding from Bordesley Junction toward Lawley Street...and shortly after passing Coventry Road Bridge two wagons were hit by incendiary bombs There follows a detailed report and includes a picture of Harrison, Cook and Simkiss. It also mentions that details were taken from the book Heroes of Road and Rail by George C Curnock'.

I hope the following will be of help. When I was a boy in the 1940s & 1950s I lived near the Coventry Loop line. In the 1940s I lived near the Bell Green good yard and from my bedroom I could watch the shunting engines working there. I recall there being various 0-6-0s and 0-8-0s, being used as the main engines. During the war, when Coventry was being subjected to regular bombings, I remember seeing a train going regularly along the line with a large anti-aircraft gun mounted on a long flat wagon. I think it was being used to defend the large factories in the area, (e.g. Alfred Herbert, Morris Engines, etc.). During the above time I recall that every lunchtime, a small freight train used to leave the Bell Green yard and head to Gosford Green yard. On route it would stop at the Morris Engines factory to shunt wagons into the factory and collect wagons from there. The Morris factory had a small 0-4-0 diesel to marshal the wagons around the factory. There would also be a pickup and exchange of wagons at this stop from sidings on the other side of the main line which were used by the Royal Ordinance factory. Their factory was about half a mile from the main line and they had a spur line from the sidings to the factory. There main motive power was provided by a small 0-4-0 steam tank engine. If I recall correctly the line went right through the factory, across the Stoney Stanton Road, via a level crossing, to a large scrap yard at Priestly Bridge. I think that the line may have continued to Courtaulds factory, and perhaps link up with the Coventry – Nuneaton line near Foleshill Station. After this round of shunting the freight train continued onto Gosford Green Yard. I am sorry if the above is a bit vague but it is now my memory trying to drag back events from 60 years ago!

R A Walford

Many thanks for sharing your memories of both the the war and immediate post-war period, the latter when I was wearing short trousers. Vague or not they are still very interesting and unless someone like you commits pen to paper, they will be lost forever. Best wishes Mike

Great website with plenty of foresight. Keep up the good work it is appreciated.

Patrick O'Sullivan

Many thanks for the excellent site. I spent many a happy hour on the Trent Valley Line and The Wolverhampton to Rugby route in the late 1940s and the 1950s and the photographs, some of which I had never seen before, were a real nostalgia trip. Just one observation regarding print 'lnwrbw536' taken at Brandon and Wolston. The locomotive cannot be either Phoenix or Comet, or indeed any of the rebuilt Patriots, but is one of the Scots as only these had the small footsteps on the front of the inside cylinder cover. Also, the gap between the top of the cover and the bottom of the smokebox was less on the Scots than it was on the other two classes. Hope I have won the 'anorak of the month award, but this is the way we could recognise a Scot from a distance when we were spotting at Rugeley TV. Many thanks for the fine site.

Regards Pete Kibble

Many thanks for the corrections to the two photographs. The photos are in print as being Rebuilds of Jubilees and Patriots but I cannot blame this error on others as I should have made the same observations as you did. 'Anoraks' are much abused people today. There is nothing wrong in trying to get something right for the sake of accuracy which is how we stop dumbing down to the lowest common dominator. If you see any more please let me know.

Mike. The unidentified 4-2-2 at Somerset Road 'mrsr27' on your excellent Warwickshire Railways site is one of the piston valve 115 series with the distinctive front end framing (similar to the 60 class 4-4-0s) Nos 126-8/30-1 built in 1899 were based at sheds on the west road so this engine would be from this batch. The headlamp code is that used by the Midland for express trains before the introduction of the RCH codes on 1/2/1903. From the composition of the rolling stock I would put the date around 1899-1900. I will check through the other Midland related images to see what I can add.

Peter Witts Information Officer Midland Railway Society

Peter - Many thanks for the information on the photograph and your offer to add other information to other photographs on the website. It all helps to make the website a better resource for enthusiasts, historians and anyone interested in the railway heritage of the county which has now long disappeared.

An excellent site with great contributions both photos and captions. I am particularly interested in north of Birmingham and would like to see more contributions of Bescot, South Staffs., Walsall, Cannock Line etc, if possible. Keep up the good work.

Mike Shaw

Mike - Many thanks for the kind comments on the website. Unfortunately I am going to have to disappoint you regarding adding more contributions of Bescot, South Staffs., Walsall, Cannock Line etc. I believe that Great Barr is the last station in Warwickshire nearest to the area that interests you. I still have several years of work ahead to revisit sections completed several years ago. They need to be upgraded with larger and clearer photos and better captions plus I need to add many new photos of other stations. The task is therefore too great for me to extend the remit of the website to go beyond the border of the County of Warwickshire.

Hi! Some friends of mine have recently taken over the Coventry Arms (formerly the Railway Inn) in Rugby Road, Leamington and have asked me if I could provide any photos or information about Milverton Station. I have selected 2 nice ones lnwrwar_stn1405 and lnwrwar_stn1408 from your site and would like to know if I could obtain any copies of these two pictures to be displayed on the wall of the pub. I am quite willing to pay for these and think it would be nice to obtain permission from the owner of the pictures before we use them. Can you help in any way? I think this is a wonderful website and never tire of looking at it. I live in Leamington but work in Alcester and Stratford so have used the site for research on many occasions.

Thanks - Mick Chapman

Mick - For some reason I haven't recorded the source of the photographs so I will have to find the postcards to check. Memory says that they are from Real Photos which I think have been purchased by one of the Railway Magazine publishers or by the NRM who are much more expensive compared to the KRM, Lens of Sutton, Roger Carpenter etc. You maybe interested to know that after I have completed the North Warwickshire line (I am currently starting Stratford on Avon working southwards) I will be starting at Warwick Milverton to work my way towards Coventry.

A great site with lots of fantastic images. I have one very (very) minor bit of useful (useless?) information which you might want to add. The wooden platform at 'Berkswell and Balsall Common' was still there and still in use as late as 1984. I don't know if it is still there. I doubt it. But it was definitely there then, in 1984. I know because I slipped on it in the freezing fog one night and got a sprain for my trouble! There's a bit of local history for you...

David Ewing

Great to see the photos of Alcester station. I can remember going with my father, John, to pick up coal from the station goods yard in the fifties! Shovelled by hand into sacks!

Ian Fisher

It would seem that the gentleman 2nd from the right, back row in image 'lnwrrm885' could very well be my great grandfather Sam(uel) Collier (born 1850). He worked his way up from the bottom to be a station inspector at Rugby. Due to retire just before the outbreak of the First World War he was asked to stay on until the end of hostilities. Eventually dying in the 1920s. There was an obituary in the Rugby Advertiser and a portrait photo in his inspectors cap. The photo alongside the previously mentioned one also appears to have him in its midst . . but a lot younger then! An interesting number of photos and information of Rugby where I was born and grew up . . now in Australia

Maurice A. Collier

First of all Mike can I please say thank you. I was born in 1979 and am now 30 years old so I have missed out on all the memories of railways long since disappeared from the Warwickshire towns, villages and countryside I thought I knew so well. I grew up in Warwick and now live in Rugby. I work in Leamington Spa and as part of my job tour the county every week now trying to spot details from your collection of pictures. If I'm honest then I've never really had an interest in trains, and the trains are not the draw, for me, to your web site. Its more of the way of life the railways had, the buildings that have been lost and trying to plan out the original locations and routes with Google Earth. I also feel huge disappointment over the losses Dr Beeching brought to this and other counties. I know it would never happen but I would love to see all the lost railways re-instated around Warwickshire in order to ease the traffic on today's roads. I sure it gets harder and harder to find new material for the website so good luck with that. Please feel proud that it brings enjoyment to thousands.

Thanks again. - Paul Carey

Paul - Many thanks for giving us the view of the website from someone too young to have seen steam railways in the county. I agree with you that railways are more than just the trains. In many ways it was the infrastructure and social history that attracted me to building the website.

Fascinating and inspiring! Please keep up this good work.

Canon Ian Shelton

Thanks for your hard work in putting this site together. As an Ex Brummie brought up in Tyseley where I was a keen trainspotter, but living in Bolton, Lancashire since 1957 Your site is a Gold mine of info as I'm 2 years into building a OO gauge layout based on Tyseley and Stratford on Avon. I'm now beginning to replace kit buildings by scratch models to improve accuracy, so your photos are very helpful. Well Done.

Regards Colin

Colin - Thanks for the kind words which are now in the guest book. You will have noted that currently I am working my way down from Tyseley to Stratford on Avon station so you will be pleased to know that I have a lot of photographs to add for Stratford on Avon station including aerial shots. Did you know that the Stratford on Avon versus Stratford upon Avon debate is still continued to this day? The district council is Stratford on Avon whilst the town council is Stratford upon Avon. So in GWR days you could travel by train to Stratford upon Avon and get off at Stratford on Avon station and then cross the town to get on the former SMJ now LMS service at Stratford Old Town.

The Warwickshire website is so good and so near-definitive I wish we could have similar ones for other counties. If any web-savvy person wants to do one for any other Midlands county I would be glad to help with info and research.

Geoffrey Kingscott

Dear Mike. I love exploring your Warwickshire Railways site and recently looked at your Birmingham Central Goods Yard photos. It made me recall taking a shot of the offices to the yard in October 1964 just before they were demolished to make way for the inner ring road scheme. After much rummaging in the attic I've found it and attach herewith (see image 'mrcgy691'). On the map shown on your site you will note there is a little triangle of land at the east end of Holliday Street where it joins Suffolk Street. The offices were located on this triangle with roads on all three sides. The building in the background is the former Central Grammar School then housing the Matthew Boulton Technical College. I shot the film to record buildings about to be lost with the redevelopment of the city centre and there are some of New Street Station, Queens Hotel and Snow Hill (none particularly brilliant) but I will copy and forward if you would like to see them.

Michael Ellis

I think your website is great. Of special interest to myself is the information on the North Warwickshire Line as I grew up in Earlswood, went to school in Henley and college in Stratford in the 1980s. My friend's dad was a train driver on the route and used to let me sit in the cab if I got on his train, which was awesome! Not sure if you could do that now though. Thanks for a great informative website.

Nigel Whitehouse

Thanks- love this site- especially the stuff round Leamington, GWR and LMS as I live in Leamington. Born 1970, these photos all pre-date me, so some 'then and now' comparisons would be nice!

Steve Baker

Hi Steve. Many thanks for the kind comments regarding the site. I am afraid that if I added the 'now' aspect to the site I would not stand a chance of completing the 'then' side of warwickshirerailways. If you want a 'now' version you should visit Andy Doherty's http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/ which provides modern images of most of the stations on this site as well adding others from the north of the West Midlands.

Good morning I am interested in purchasing a book which explains the origins and the demise of the railway lines/stations around the Rugby/Warwickshire area before/after Dr Beeching closed them down in the 1960s e.g. The Great Central Railways now a nature reserve where people walk/cycle/walk their dogs.. I wonder if you could point me in the right direction for the above? Many thanks in advance.

Patricia Boyd

Patricia - Your timing is absolutely perfect as I have recently received a copy of Geoffrey Kingscott's book 'Lost Railways of Warwickshire' published by Countryside Books (ISBN 976-1-84674-174-6) and retailed at £11.99.
Part of the 'Lost Railway Series' its Geoffrey's fourth book in the series and despite his fulsome credit to www.warwickshirerailways.com I had very little involvement in this invaluable source of information. Its a perfect compliment to my website because Geoffrey's book is not the normal 'before and after' photo format frequently seen, its a well researched book that provides a good understanding of the development of each route and the stations along the line.
My only complaint is that publisher was too narrow in their definition of the county of Warwickshire so we have another book covering the parts of Warwickshire swallowed up by the now defunct county of West Midlands. This book 'Lost Railways of Birmingham & The West Midlands' is written by Terry Moors (ISBN: 9781846741098) and retails at £10.99. I have yet to see a copy of Terry Moors' book.
If you visit their website www.countrysidebooks.co.uk, the discount they offer on their on-line orders can cover the cost of post and packing if the two books are purchased.

I have just visited your website. I have recently bought the Colour-Rail business mentioned on the site and thus the contact details have changed. We also now have B&W material back to 1900 and sell prints and downloads as well as slides.

Paul Chancellor

Paul - May I wish you all the success for the future as your taking over the Colour Rail business ensures that this invaluable resource is still available. What I really like now is that I can peruse your website and see what I am buying rather than hope a description accurately portrays the composition of the image. The fact that you also supply black and white photographs and other subjects too makes it a real bonus.

Congratulations on an excellent and interesting website. As a Coventry kid who spent his formative years alongside the Coventry to Nuneaton line may I be permitted to make some observations about two of the photographs featuring Coventry shed. Image 'lnwrcov654' is of, I believe, No 40002 and not No 40032 as stated in the text. Fowler 3MT No 40032 was fitted with condensing equipment and spent most of its' BR life at Kentish Town. The locomotive in the picture is not fitted with the equipment and No 40002, which was never fitted, was a Warwick locomotive in early BR days. May I also point out that image 'lnwrcov659' which shows locomotive No 48526 inside Coventry shed may have been taken at Rugby and not Coventry as the caption suggests. Keep up the good work.

Best regards, Phil King

Phil - Many thanks for the kind comments. Upon closer examination of the two photographs I can confirm that you are indeed correct on both accounts. I have corrected the description of No 40002 and have moved No 48526 to the Rugby shed pages.

I was very interested to find this site as my grandfather, Mr E Kilby, was Stationmaster at Studley for many years, my mother grew up in the station house. I have a couple of pictures of the station while he was active, and as a child, spent many hours with Grampy Kilby on the allotments that used to be on the embankment. Further history of my family is that my Grandfather on my Fathers side was the carpenter at Coughton Court, where my father grew up.

Best regards Mike Boote

I am an amatuer film maker, making a film of the Market Harborough to Northampton railway. I have located a photograph of Lamport Station in a book and it is credited to 'Lens of Sutton' but I cannot locate it on your site. Is this (or any other pictures of this line) available.

Thanks - Colin Sullivan

Colin - Lampton does not fall within the county of Warwickshire so its not on my website. Your best bet is to contact Lens of Sutton or Roger Carpenter as they will have access to the photograph you require and possibly others of the station. Best of luck with the film. Regards Mike

Found your pages on Stonebridge Railway very interesting, having walked part of route. Your website is excellent. You mention a bridge failure at 'Packwood' on the Hampton in Arden station page. I believe this should read 'Packington'. Packwood is several miles away near Dorridge/Hockley Heath.

Noel Kemp

Hi Noel - Many thanks for spotting the typo it should have said Packington.

A wonderful website, and one I visit regularly - many thanks. I would like to advise a small error in one of the captions, as follows: Under LMS, Trent Valley Railway. in Part 3 of the Lineside views, the third photo by G Coltas, ref: 'lnwr tt1218'. The caption reads Town Thoms as a location, but should read Town Thorns cutting. Again many thanks for hours of pleasure.

Roger Clemons

Hi Roger - Many thanks for your kind comments and for pointing out my error. I obviously read the 'r and n' as a 'm' on the reverse of the photograph.

Mike. Thanks for the photos on the Snow Hill page. There are photographs which I have never seen many examples of before such as the 3900 class and some of the 4-4-0s.

Peter A Montarlot

Excellent site and photos! However one small quibble. Hawthorns Halt was not one of the original stations along the line to Wolverhampton as it was opened on 25th December 1931. And no, this is not a mistake! At that time football matches were played on Christmas Day and some trains ran. As the whole purpose of the Hawthorns Halt was to cater for match day traffic, and as West Bromwich played Birmingham City that day, it makes sense. (The return match was on Boxing Day) I do wonder though, how many other stations opened on the 25th December? Information from Main Line to Metro, by John Boynton, Mid England Publishing

Tony Martin

Thanks Tony for pointing out my mistake which I had taken from a book on Snow Hill. Its now been deleted from the list of statioons opened with the line to Wolverhampton.

Excellent website.It brings the memories all flooding back. PS On the Snow Hill section photo gwrbsh1246 is wronly captioned.

Dave Hands

Dave - Many thanks for pointing out my error (I had left the previous photos caption on the thumnail) and for your kind words.

Hello Mike, I for one appreciate your efforts to bring such decent pictures to a wider audience, please continue.

Thank you, Graham Beare

For a historian of canal and railway goods traffic this website is wonderful because it looks at the whole life of the railway. Many sites focus on locos or prestige trains, or on individual wagons. This one sees the railway in the round and is very well presented. A good innovation would be to enable all the photos of a particular location to be viewed sequentially instead of having to go back to select the next shot.

Richard Simmons

Thanks for all your hard work, mike. Your site is a treasure!

Kester Eddy

Hello Mike, Your site is the best I've seen. A really good effort of research and planning and dedication. It is very kind of you to devote so much time to your Warwickshire Archive. I think that the crediting of DS Barrie for some of the Shipston-on-Stour branch pictures is an error - they were supplied by me and were from Dr. Jack Hollick's negatives. All those marked DS Barrie should be credited to Dr or J Hollick. I have three views of 46251 at Snow Hill in June 1964 - are these of interest to you? I can also provide some views of the Warwickshire SMJ including Fenny, EHLR, Stratford and Broom Junction. I have views of the signalling at Leamington north end but towards the end - horrible LMR signals I think I have a view of the Great Alne station from the road approach, Lilbourne appears to be in Warwickshire - just.

Best wishes. Adrian Vaughan

Extremely good website. Particularly interested in pictures of the old Coventry station. Brought back memories.

Paul Waters

Mr Musson: Your warwickshirerailways website incorporates a splendid selection of very fine photographs. Thank you for making it available to a huge audience. May I question the text accompanying photograph 'gwrs1017' (part of your Solihull collection), which you say shows a train on the up slow line. If my memory is correct, the picture will have been taken from Streetsbrook Road bridge, looking towards Leamington. The fast lines are on the left and the slow on the right. The train is therefore on a fast line. I hope that my observation is correct and helpful to you.

Regards John Greenway Billericay, Essex

Many thanks for the kind comments and the correction to the caption which is now updated. Observations such as your helps to ensure that the website is as accurate as possible. If you see any others or can add to the text please do not hesitate to let me know. My knowledge of most lines in the county are very limited so I rely on others to flesh out my brief descriptions.

A splendid and enjoyable site and a good source for reference. Photo's bring back a flood of good memories. I plan to model the North Warwickshire Line at Shirley. I had track plans of Shirley & Hall Green but they have been lost or mislaid so my search goes on.

Robert Hall

Enjoyed the nostalgia as I was a fireman at Monument Lane between 1956 to 1959 after which I then moved to Saltley where I remained until 1993.

Frank J Carter

What a superb site which has brought back many memories and pictures of some of Aston shed's 'Black 5s'.

Paul Underwood

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