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The lake that people used to flock to


Frozen Rudyard Lake, circa 1910Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

Revealing Photography from One Hundred years ago express how individuals flocked to a rural Staffordshire lake that was often called the Blackpool of the Potteries.

Within The Staffordshire Moorlands, on the perimeter of the height District close to the city of Leek, is a synthetic reservoir that for many years was once a place to the place crowds in their heaps flocked – in sun and snow.

Rudyard Lake attracted guests from the six cities that make up existing-day Stoke-on-Trent.

It earned the title the Blackpool of the Potteries, despite the fact that one local hotel preferred a extra continental comparison, dubbing it the Geneva of England.

Detail from a hotel menu - Rudyard Lake, Staffs

Up To 20,000 folks a day would go back and forth to the two-and-a-half of-mile-lengthy stretch of water in Nineteenth and early 20th Centuries – an early instance of mass tourism In The UK.

This subsequent picture presentations a busy lake gala in 1909.

Gala at Rudyard Lake, 1909Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

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Crowd-pleasers

Rudyard is returning to the late 1800s this Financial Institution Vacation weekend with the Day at the Lake Adventure – a re-advent of the lake’s day-travel heyday.

Situations embody a repeat of a daring tightrope walk in 1864, when African-American Carlos Trower crossed the lake on a rope suspended some hundred toes above the water.

Trower – often called “The African Blondin” after the French tightrope walker Charles Blondin – returned to Rudyard 14 years later, for repeat performances.

A poster advertising the African Blondin at Rudyard LakeImage copyright
Horton Parish / Rudyard Lake Archives

Captain Matthew Webb – who in 1875 changed into the primary man to swim the English Channel – additionally visited Rudyard.

In 1877 he was prime billing at a grand “aquatic fete”.

The Experience included an indication of his channel swim in entrance of a grandstand stuffed with people.

Although the Event used to be held on a Monday, an estimated 25,000 folks watched him – with stores and factories in neighborhood Leek closing for the party.

Poster from 1877Image copyright
Basil Jeuda Collection / Rudyard Lake Archive

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The Kipling connection

Many hundreds of individuals visited Rudyard to absorb the scenic lake views and breathe Within The fresh air.

North-west shore of Rudyard Lake, circa 1906Image copyright
Horton Parish / Rudyard Lake Archives

In 1863, dating couple John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Macdonald did the same.

They beloved the place a lot, that two years later they decided to name their son after the beauty spot.

Rudyard Kipling – pictured beneath – went on to develop into one of the vital UK’s easiest-beloved writers.

Rudyard KiplingPicture copyright
Getty Images

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Rudyard’s railway

The North Staffordshire Railway arrived in 1850. The tracks introduced day trippers to the lake – but additionally helped more than Forty local farmers.

They relied on the trains to take their produce to Leek and Macclesfield markets – and their milk additional afield to Manchester and London.

Rudyard Lake Station - postcardImage copyright
Basil Jeuda Collection / Rudyard Lake Archive

Passenger services to the lake stopped in 1960 – with freight services ending in 1963.

The observe used to be then lifted.

Locomotive at Rudyard Lake late 1950sImage copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

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On the water

Getting out on the water – with or without a canine – proved in style.

Day trippers at Rudyard Lake, early 20th CenturyImage copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

This subsequent Image from 1912 presentations queues at probably the most boat booking workplaces around the lakeside.

Boat stage, Rudyard Lake, 1912Image copyright
Basil Jeuda Collection / Rudyard Lake Archive

And via the Nineteen Twenties there could be as many as seven massive pleasure boats out on the lake at anyone time on a summer’s afternoon.

Boat trip on Rudyard Lake, 1925Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Collection / Rudyard Lake Archive

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On the ice

Cold winters did not deter visitors to Rudyard.

This used to be the snowy scene in 1890.

Snow at Rudyard Lake, 1890Image copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

Some years the lake iced over over – and paths had been cleared on the ice.

Frozen Rudyard Lake, circa 1910Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Collection / Rudyard Lake Archive

And all through the enormous Freeze of 1907, the lake become an ice rink.

Ice rink on Rudyard Lake, 1907Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

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Shoreside

The Brink of the lake equipped a backdrop for large social gatherings and trades’ union conferences.

On This photo from 1907 – as a brass band plays – males mostly dance with males, and girls with ladies.

Trade union gathering at Rudyard Lake, 1907Image copyright
Basil Jeuda Collection / Rudyard Lake Archive

And this subsequent Image – additionally from 1907 – shows part of a 25,000-sturdy crowd gathered for a exchange union Event.

Trade union gathering at Rudyard Lake, 1907Picture copyright
Horton Parish Council / Rudyard Lake Archives

Maypole dancing was once common Within The village too – this Image is from 1905.

Maypole dancing at Rudyard, 1905Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

From the beginning of the 20th Century, golf become an choice.

This next Image was once a postcard issued with the aid of the North Staffordshire Railway in 1906 – bought in packets of six at the station – and selling the newly-formed Rudyard Lake Golf Membership.

Postcard from 1906Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Collection / Rudyard Lake Archive

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Food And Drinks

These day trippers in 1905 were taking part in ice cream kept cool the usage of water from a close-by spring.

The chiller inside the cart required regular re-filling to ensure the ice cream failed to soften.

Day trippers at Rudyard Lake enjoying ice cream, 1905Image copyright
Horton Parish / Rudyard Lake Archives

The hotel by way of the station provided an in depth Foods And Drinks menu.

The Image on the left dates from the early 1870s, not long after Henry Platt took over the tenancy. Underneath Platt’s management the building was enlarged considerably – including a new wing with a ballroom.

The resort was once in new fingers by the time the wine list on the suitable was printed. The Brand New manager, John Gill, was once keen draw the comparison between Rudyard Lake, In The heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands, with Geneva, In The heart of the Swiss Alps.

Price lists from 1870 and 1890Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

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Boat stage at the south end of Rudyard Lake, 1905Picture copyright
Basil Jeuda Assortment / Rudyard Lake Archive

All Pictures topic to copyright.

Thanks To Horton Parish Archive / Basil Jeuda Assortment / The Rudyard Lake Archive.

Related:

A Day on the Lake – 30 April to 2 May 2016, Rudyard close to Leek, Staffordshire.

Historical Past of Carlos Trower “The African Blondin”

Rudyard’s 2016 tightrope walker – Chris Bullzini



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