The narrow gauge railways of Britain have seemingly had the gift of choosing some of the country's most beautiful scenery through which to run. The Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway was no exception, running for eight winding miles through the valleys of the rivers Manifold and Hamps. Situated in the north-east corner of Staffordshire and the south-west corner of the Peak District National Park, where the one spills over into the others, the Manifold Valley possesses a scenic grandeur all of its own. The valleys cut through an area with few inhabitants and little obvious economic prosperity. Agriculturally the land is poor, except when used for the raising of cattle and the production of milk, and the latter product was envisaged as providing the bulk of the railway's freight traffic while the passenger service, it was hoped, would bring in day-trippers from the neighbouring urban areas. This then was the great idea and it is to the credit of this predominantly rural corner of England that there were found locally enough men of vision to back the dream with hard cash. This is the 'Manifold's' story from conception to closure and conversion to idyllic rural footpath.