￼August at Rudyard lake,
Heat, sunlight, memories of warmth. Memories of the lake and the little narrow gauge (miniature?) railway that runs along side it. I think it’s 18 inch gauge.
The lake surface was very smooth apart from ripples caused by a few rowing boats. We had sandwiches and ice creams at the cafe and caught the train there and back to see how far it was (one of my Dad’s phrases).
I miss the sunlight and the warmth. It’s only two months ago and it’s literally freezing outside tonight. We had frost this morning…. Let me go back into my memories, time travel, back, to summer.
This is a drawing of a railway line plan my husband drew in 1969 when he was about 16. He has always loved railways and was on the last steam train to leave Manchester Victoria station to Rochdale in 1968. He tells me this was a Stanier black 5 steam engine 460 (which means 4 leading wheels, 6 driving wheels and no trailing wheels).
He actually made the minature railway layout , including bushes and trees, a signal box and a station building and railway tracks on Triang 00 guage.
He had a Jinty 060 number 47606 3F class, an 040 diesel and a GWR single, Lord of the Isles. I guess any railway enthusiasts out there will understand this, but others won’t.
A Jinty was a nickname for a particular type of engine that did shunting, banking, pilot duties and local freight. This was a small type of engine which had a short wheelbase and could get round curves easily. It was designed by Sir John Fowler.
47606 is just its running number which identifies it. 3F means its power classification (3 freight).
040 diesel is a small dock shunter used by the sea or rivers to carry freight from ships.
A GWR single has a 422 wheel configuration. It’s classed as XP, (express) and could travel at 80 Miles an hour. It could pull up to 400 tons of passanger coaches ( 6 coaches including the guard’s van).
He has so much knowledge but its locked up in his mind. when I asked him it all came out, how do people learn all this stuff!?
This is a drawing I did last year of the dam, a little station on the Rudyard Lake railway, a miniature railway which runs over a railway bridge above the road going out of Rudyard village towards Macclesfield.
The station for the railway is situated just beyond the bridge on the land alongside it, you can drive up a slope to get into the car park. The miniature railway consists of small steam engines (I’m not sure of the scale, maybe a 5th or a 6th of the size of a fully grown one). There are small passenger carriages some with windows and some without that are towed behind the engine.
The line is open at weekends in the summer months to take you along the wooded valley that leads up to the lake. (Not sure how much it costs sorry). The first stop is at the Dam (pictured) which is where the lake has been dammed to collect water. That is because Rudyard Lake is a reservoir for the local canal system. The train journey then continues down the length if the lake to the far end of it.
The journey is very scenic, with views over the lake with boats sailing on it and the wooded hills beyond. Sometimes we get out of the train at the dam station so I can do a drawing or painting.
The railway was built by a school several years ago. It’s on the track bed of the Great Central railway which went from Manchester to Birmingham and then London. The track was taken up in the 1950’s we think. It went through Rushton Spencer and on to Macclesfield then Manchester apparently.
Anyway, I think the lake was named after Rudyard Kipling? But it might be the other way round. His parents used to visit the area, but I don’t know the story about that I’m afraid.
The miniature railway has a snack bar with teas and coffees. Rudyard Lake has a tea room and other facilities. Parking can be difficult by the lake but you can also park at the railway and walk along the track bed which is also a footpath up to the dam where you can walk across to the little area with the tea room. This is where the boat club is based together with a little visitor centre. The footpath continues along the track bed up to the head of the lake and there are also little paths that you can follow to get closer to the lake.
Other access to the lake is along a narrow road which takes you into the Rudyard lake hotel carpark. I’m not sure about the parking there. I don’t remember having to pay but it can get crowded.
Rudyard lake is a couple of miles away from the main road between Stoke-on-Trent and Leek. You can also get to it from the road between Leek and Macclesfield.
I’m not a travel writer so this may not be totally accurate.