life for world famous Anderton Boat Lift
Following a flagship restoration project by British Waterways the
world famous Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich, has reopened after
almost twenty years.
The impressive Victorian structure, known as the "Cathedral
of the Canals" was built in 1875 and is one of the greatest
monuments to Britain's last canal age.
It was designed by Edwin Clark and was a world-first, the prototype
for boat lifts at Le Canal Du Centre in Belgium and Les Fontinettes
in France. The Anderton Lift was built to speed up the movement
of cargoes between the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal,
the 50ft height difference between the two waterways was a constant
Clark's solution was to use a revolutionary new system of hydraulics
which could transport canal boats between the two waterways without
the need of loading and unloading.
By 1904, a major overhaul was needed. The use of river water had
caused serious corrosion to the Lift's hydraulics. The hydraulic
rams were removed and a massive assembly of shafts, gears, weights,
wheels and pulleys erected over the Lift. With the addition of an
electric motor the modified Anderton Lift was completed in 1908.
In 1983 the Lift was closed after serious corrosion was discovered
during a routine safety inspection.
This ambitious scheme which has culminated in the reopening is due
to a partnership of public, private and voluntary organisations.
The Heritage Lottery Fund granted £3.3 million to the £7
It means that boat owners and visitors alike will be able to ride
the Lift once again and a new Operations Centre now houses education
and visitor facilities.
The Lift is 85ft in length and the Aqueduct 165ft in length. Each
tank in the hydraulic system weighs 91 tonnes empty and 252 tonnes
when full of water.
For further information on the Anderton Boat Lift, the website is:
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