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LMS Route: The Shakespeare Route

East & West Junction and SMJR liveries

East & West Junction Railway

Dick Bodily
Revised with extra information from Simon Dunkley, members of the SMJ Society

According to JM Dunn's revised 1977 edition of The Stratford & Midland Junction Railway (Oakwood Press)

Locomotives No 1 to No 12 prior to 1908 carried crimson lake livery, lined out with black edged on both sides by yellow, but locomotives No 13 to No 18 were painted dark blue. Oval metal numberplates were carried on cab sides and similar 'E&W' ones on the tendersides of tender locos. Looking at old photos it can be seen that many if not all locos carried polish metal domes, at least for some of the time and some were photographed carrying polished metal bands around their chimneys and some had metal trimming edging splashers and a metal band where the smokebox joined the boiler. It's not possible to tell from the photos what metal(s) were used ,but presumably the domes and chimney adornments were brass or copper.

But here is some possibly contradictory infomation obtained from 'Britain's Railway liveries 1825 -1948' by Ernest F Carter - believed to be out of print (many thanks to Colin Franklin for discovering this information) 'Locomotives were black, and dome casings were also painted black.' Either EF Carter got his facts wrong (not an unknown occurance!) or the E&W repainted its engines around 1908 and Dunn didn't record this fact.

Thanks to Simon Dunkley for finding the following information. ''According to Riley and Simpson, the old Manning, Wardle was brown, lined yellow-black-yellow, as was number 2, at least until rebuilding in 1903/4. This may have been true of locomotives No 3 and No 4, but I am less sure of this (even as a guess!) locomotives No 5 and No 6 would have already been in red, for delivery to Swindon's other railway, and it is likely that the trio of DX goods locos arrived in unlined black and stayed that way until scrapping, save locomotive No 7 which appears to be lined in a photo dated 1915, although it is not totally clear locomotives No 10, No 11 and No 12 were apparently delivered in crimson lake, and No 13 in blue! This was also applied to locomotives No 14, No 15 and No 16. Early photos of 3, 4, 5 and 6 show them without the E&W plates: my guess here - and it is just a guess - is that these were applied to 7,8,9 on arrival, to avoid confusion at Blisworth, and then applied to other locos as well. Locomotive No 10, of course, had a cab numberplate with E&W incorporated into it at one time.'

Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway

According to Dunn the SMJ painted all its locos black, lined out with green and yellow. They retained their E&W numberplates but had 'SMJ' painted in plain gold capitals on their tenders. Som elocos carried their power class (lettered A to D, and in order of ascending power C,B,A,D) on their buffer beams. Coaches retained Midland crimson lake.

Again Carter differs and again quoting him:
1910 - Engines were painted black and lined out in yellow. Coaches were chocolate-coloured, with cream upper panels.
1914 - Locomotives were black and coaches crimson-lake.
1915 - Locomotives were crimson-lake, lined out in yellow. Underframes were black. Coaches were crimson-lake with cream upper panels, and lined out in red and yellow.
1918 - Locomotives were lake and black, lined in yellow. Coaches were crimson-lake lined out in gold and lettered "SMJ".
1922- Engines: black and lake, lined out yellow, coaches: lake, lined out in gold.'


So did Dunn omit some information that Carter found out, or was some of Carter's information suspect? Who knows? We know that Dunn had access SMJ records belonging to BR's London Midland region and that he had access to Beyer Peacock's loco data as well. I'm inclined to accept his version of livery events as more likely as he was limiting his research to the E&W's and SMJ's liveries whereas Carter was trying to write a more general book about Britain's railways' liveries. Furthermore E F Carter was often rightly or wrongly criticised for his alleged lack of factual accuracy in reviews of his books that appeared in Ian Allan magazines such as TI during the 50s and 60s, although I don't recall this actual book being slated. Simon Dunkley is of a similar opinion. ''Whether 17 and 18 were delivered in blue or red or black, I do not know, but as far as I know - outside of Carter (frankly, I doubt the accuracy of his work with regard to such a minor line) - the SMJR livery was always black, lined green-yellow-green'. To a large extent, the modeller of the EWJR can pick and choose with respect to locomotive liveries: a layout set in 1903 could have brown, red, black and blue locomotives running on it, all on a line with about a dozen locomotives!

E&WJR & SMJR Carriage & Wagon Liveries

According to JM Dunn up to 1909 the E&W painted its coaches crimson lake below the waistband and cream above, then for a very short while they were painted crimson lake all over apart from a cream waistband, before changing later that year to all crimson lake similar to the Midland Railway when the SMJ came into being.

As for coaches, they are described as lake with cream upper panels and waist on the EWJR. Unfortunately, the lake bit is where the consensus stops, as various sources describe it as lake 'like the LNWR', 'like the GWR' and 'like the Midland' (all of whom employed a version of 'lake' as their coach livery). Similary the cream can vary from a very pale colour to cream. In practice, if the 'cream' was an off-white, the varnishes used at the time would have added a significantly yellow tinge to things, especially the white. At this remove we will never now. From the Railway Magazine article which sells the new SMJR very well (it couldn't have been written better by either of the Mr. Wilmotts - draw your own conclusions) the coach livery had become crimson lake with cream panels, and soon after this, with the arrival of coaches from the Midland, all over crimson lake seems to have been adopted. General practice at the time would suggest black ends as well as underframes, but you never know!

As for wagons, they seem to have been a mid-grey, but since this was based on white lead as a key ingredient, it would have darkened over time. White, unshaded, lettering seems to have been the norm. To a large extent, the modeller of the EWJR can pick and choose with respect to loco liveries: a layout set in 1903 could have brown, red, black and blue locos running on it, all on a line with about a dozen locos!

Dunn makes no mention of wagon liveries but according to E F Carter - '1908 - Some Midland brake vans were lettered "EWJR" for working over the East and West Junction Railway on the 3½ miles of this Company' s track on the route from Broom to London.

With many thanks to Colin Franklin for providing the information obtained from E F Carter's book and to Simon Dunkley for carefully checking Riley & Simpson and for providing most of the information about Carriage & Wagon Liveries.

Please feel free to add comments and possibly between us we will discover further information.

Comment by Mike Musson

Arthur Jordan noted in his book on the SMJ, 'Coaching stock liveries went through several changes in the lifetime of the line. The East & West Junction Railway settled for crimson lake on both upper and lower panels separated by a broad band of white ai the waist. In 1910 the SMJ changed to chocolate and cream and in 1914 to crimson lake but only a year later added cream to upper panels with red and yellow lining. Crimson lake all over, lined gold, was decided upon in 1918 and this saw out the days of the SMJ with ihe LMS in 1923 decreeing crimson lake with chrome yellow and black lining'.