© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 Many years ago, as I child, I met the words "Wicksteed Kettering" long before I had any idea what they might be - on every riser of a huge playground slide. Today we would visit Wicksteed Park, Kettering - the creation of Charles Wicksteed, owner of the engineering company which built that slide... The 2' gauge Wicksteed Park Railway was opened in 1931, a 1¼mile circuit around the lake. Open carriages (park benches on flat wagons!) were hauled by the two Baguley steam-outline diesels, "Lady of the Lake" (Bg 2042) and "King Arthur" (Bg 2043). In 1966 they were joined by a more-powerful Motor Rail diesel "Cheyenne" (22224 of 1966) - the only steam-outline build from the Bedford company, recognisably a Simplex despite the smokebox (which encloses the usual north-south radiator and fan assembly...). Still doing the job it was built for too! The railway was perhaps of limited appeal to the enthusiast - steam-outline diesels are not everyone's "cup of tea" - even such fine and well looked-after examples as these. However, in 2005 the first steam weekend was held and, proving popular, has become a regular annual event. The railway possesses no steam locomotives, of course, so the event relies on visitors - members of that breed of wandering 2' gauge engine. This year's visitors would be the well-known and well- travelled Kerr Stuart "Peter Pan" (4256 of 1922), Hunslet "Alice" (HE780 of 1902) and the unique Baguley "Rishra" (BgC 2007 of 1921). Little more needs to be said. We took a ride, then walked our way around the circuit (pausing occasionally for refreshments...), recording the trains as they passed. On returning to the station area, the three diesels had emerged from their shed for exhibition in the pleasant sunshine. Duly recorded, little remained but the long drive home. A very enjoyable afternoon! Alice enjoys a little attention Alice is steaming well... Alice rounds the end of the lake Peter Pan and Rishra at the lake's end Peter Pan and Rishra - reflections in the lake Peter Pan and Rishra crossing the dam Lakeside broadside Interesting contrasts - rides ancient and modern Narrow gauge in the park "Lady of the Lake" Bg 2042 Alice arrives at the station King Arthur shunts the freight Baguley and Motor Rail Motor Rail "Cheyenne" Motor Rail Video Alice, Peter Pan and Rishra in action on the Wicksteed Park Railway