Anderton Boat Lift

ANDERTON BOAT LIFT HOSTS BEHIND-THE-SCENES PUBLIC OPEN WEEKEND (February 26 and 27)

The Canal & River Trust invites people to go behind-the-scenes of Britain’s first boat lift, Anderton Boat Lift, Cheshire’s historic Cathedral of Canals, at a special free open weekend on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 February.

Anderton Boat Lift blue trip boa

Visitors will be given unique access and insight into the Victorian boat lift’s complex mechanism, including a chance to view work to replace the gate seals on one of the caissons – the giant tanks which transport boats up and down the lift.

Engineers from the waterways and wellbeing charity will shine a light on the challenge of keeping the lift in good working order and reveal plans for a major upgrade and repair project which is in the pipeline for 2023/24. Visitors will be able to choose from a range of activities, including Let’s Fish angling taster sessions, Let’s Paddle canoeing, walking tours, children’s Lego and a chance to get a stunning bird’s eye view from the top of the lift.

Article continues below...
Advert

Enjoy Towpath Talk reading in the monthly paper, delivered to your door.
Click here to subscribe.
ABL opening 2002 with Army band LR
ABL opening 2002 with Army band LR

This open weekend marks the start of a special celebration year for Anderton Boat Lift, which was reopened 20 years ago after a major restoration. Originally constructed in 1875 to connect the Trent & Mersey Canal with the River Weaver Navigation 50 feet below, the boat lift operated for just over 100 years before it was closed in 1983 due to safety concerns caused by extensive corrosion.

More than £7 million was raised to fund a major restoration and the boat lift started operating again on 26 March 2002. Since then it has attracted thousands of visitors to Northwich to marvel at the incredible Scheduled Monument and enjoy a trip aboard the Edwin Clark boat, named after the lift’s designer. A similar fund is likely to be needed to undertake the forthcoming renewal and repair works.

Anderton Boat Lift under construction
Anderton Boat Lift under construction

Daniel Greenhalgh, North West director with the Canal & River Trust, said: “We are delighted to host two special behind-the-scenes open days at Anderton this February – our first in the region since the Covid pandemic.

Article continues below...
Advert

“They will provide visitors with a chance to get close and personal to the lift in a way that is not possible on a normal boat trip. During the tour, we will also be sharing news of a major refurbishment. The black iron structure needs repainting, the control system upgrading and the hydraulic ram cylinders, which support the two caissons, potentially need remedial work.

Anderton Boat Lift

“The Trust is awaiting specialist engineering reports to guide exactly what needs to be done, in the least obtrusive way. A comprehensive timetable and schedule of works are currently being prepared, which are also likely to include proposals for updating the visitor centre, new interpretation, re-landscaping, new learning play area, community engagement and a green ‘village’ to replace the temporary marquee, which will house visitor facilities for schools, events, conferences, weddings, exhibitions and crafts. Work on the project is likely to start in the winter of 2023/24 and could take up to three years to deliver.

“It is an exciting period for the lift and the Trust is currently working with the National Lottery Heritage Fund on a major funding bid to potentially cover some of the significant investment needed to preserve Britain’s first boat lift as a living, operational structure.”

Article continues below...
Advert
ABL caisson gates open day Feb 22

Entrance to the Anderton Boat Lift open day, visitor centre and café are free but certain activities, like Let’s Fish and Let’s Paddle taster sessions, need to be booked in advance. Booking opens on 7 February. For more information, please go to https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/events/2022-02-26-open-day-at-anderton-boat-lift

#canalandrivertrust #andertonboatlift #towpathtalk #canals #canalsandrivers #narrowboat #rivers #waterways #lifeonthecut #boating #boats

Subscribe to Towpath Talk Enjoy more Towpath Talk reading in the monthly paper. Click here to subscribe.

Towpath Trader


See more boats for sale and sell your boat for free with Towpath Trader.

Article continues below...
Advert