Visitors will be able to venture down into the dry well, the chamber under the Boat Lift, to experience the structure from a very different perspective. Engineers will be on hand to talk to people about the skilled and important work they are carrying out on the Lift. There will be children's activities, free tours to the top of the Boat Lift and a chance to win a £500 boating holiday through Drifters Boating Holidays.
The free public open weekend is taking place during some scheduled maintenance works on the Boat Lift. Over the next few years, the Boat Lift will be getting some well-deserved attention to make sure it keeps running smoothly. Works will include refurbishing the hydraulics of the Lift, changing the ropes for the gates, moving the pumping system for the dry well and replacing the control system which operates the Lift.
Alex Parsons-Hulse, Canal & River Trust principle engineer for the works, says: “On average 2,750 boats use this scheduled ancient monument each year to travel between the Weaver Navigation and the Trent & Mersey Canal, so we need to make sure that it's working smoothly. Considering this structure opened in 1875, it's incredible to think that it's still operating after 144 years.
“We're delighted that we're able to hold an open day at the cathedral of the canals while we work hard to keep it chiming. Canals are a great place to slow down and take a moment to yourself. We know from research that people are happier and more relaxed when they are by water, so I'd encourage everyone who lives locally to visit us this weekend. It's quite an experience to walk down under the Boat Lift to look up and see the enormous structure from below.”
The Anderton open weekend is one of 10 free public open days across the country this winter, offering the chance to see a part of the nation's ‘hidden history' and some of our most extraordinary waterway locations as you have never done before.
Find out more about the Anderton Boat Lift Open Weekend.