Anderton Boat Lift, Cheshire’s historic Cathedral of the Canals near Northwich, will reopen for boat trips on Good Friday, thanks to a £450,000 emergency repair programme carried out by the Canal & River Trust charity.
On Friday 7 April, the waterways and wellbeing charity will again start operating the world’s first major commercial boat lift for private and public cruises aboard the Edwin Clark trip boat, after a break of more than seven months.
The Easter weekend heralds the start of an exciting summer season for the Anderton Boat Lift visitor centre. Over the bank holiday, chocolate treats will be on offer for children taking part in a special spring treasure hunt and for motor enthusiasts there will be classic car shows on Easter Sunday and Monday.
Public boat trips through the lift and along the River Weaver to Northwich will be available four times a day at 10am, 11.15am, 1.30pm and 3pm.
Anderton Visitor Centre Manager Phil Gibson said: “We are looking forward to a fantastic 2023 season, with some great special events in the pipeline, including a special Steam Festival over the Coronation weekend. It is brilliant to have the boat lift operational again after it had to be shut unexpectedly last August due to a problem with one of the gate safety mechanisms.
“Riding through the Victorian boat lift gives visitors a special thrill and a unique sense of the rich waterway history of the area. It will be wonderful to see it working again, transporting boats between the Trent & Mersey Canal and the River Weaver Navigation, as it has done since 1875.”
Over the winter, Trust engineers have been working hard on the emergency repairs to meet the Easter deadline for reopening. The pair of giant hydraulic ram cylinders, which support the metal tank caissons, have been given a much-needed overhaul and new gate safety systems have been installed in each of the lift’s five sets of gates.
For more information about visiting, check out the Canal & River Trust website: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/anderton-boat-lift-visitor-centre or call 01606 786777. Entrance to the Anderton Boat Lift visitor centre and café are free, but boat trips need to be booked in advance to guarantee a place.