To celebrate Heritage Open Day, a nationwide event that gives everyone a chance to celebrate history, culture and visit hidden places, Cheshire’s iconic Anderton Boat Lift is holding a series of free events on Saturday 9 September and Sunday 10 September.
Events during the weekend will take place on the magnificent terraced slopes overlooking the River Weaver and the giant lift. Events will comprise:
Top of the World Tours – a chance to learn about the history of the Anderton Boat Lift while enjoying the panoramic views from the top of the lift. There will be three free tours on Saturday and Sunday at 10.30am, 12 noon and 2.15pm. Booking is essential due to the limited space on each tour. Call 01606 786777.
Steam Wagon – on both Saturday 9 September and Sunday 10 September, everyone can enjoy looking at ‘Lillibet’ a half-size scale model of a Foden C-type steam wagon owned by Jason Dean. Built in 1976 for Mark Bamford (owner of JCB), this engine was an exhibit for 25-years in the Bamford collection before being bought and displayed four years ago by its present owner. Set against the giant lift, this fully steamed up machine will recall a bye-gone age.
Music & Drama performances On Saturday, Manchester Metropolitan University contemporary performing arts students will use music and drama to interpret the theme of ‘Stories by the River’ in two 20 minute performances at 12 noon and 2.15pm. This has been commissioned by Animate! (part of the Saltscape Landscape Partnership).
On Sunday, Paperwork Theatre will be performing ‘Typhoon and the Pedal Players’, using the Steam Punk Time machine to imaginatively re-tell local heritage tales. The three 30 minute performances will take place at 11am, 12 noon and 2.15pm.
One-man band – with over 15 instruments tied to him, Laurence Marshall is a highly energetic and versatile performer who will dazzle with his large musical repertoire and his sense of fun. He will be giving performances at 1230pm, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4pm
Graham Wood, Duty Manager at the Anderton Boat Lift, said: "Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture and brings together over 5000 events to celebrate heritage, community and history. We are very pleased to be part of this amazing weekend.
"This will be a great free day out - with something for everyone. There is no charge to visit the site or look at the hands-on exhibition. In addition, our new £50,000 play area, opened less than a month ago, is providing a tremendous hit with our youngest visitors. We warmly welcome visitors for this great weekend of history and fun."
The Anderton Boat Lift has a tree-top Coffee Shop selling fresh, affordable food and a shop selling a wide variety of gifts, games, books and canal-related merchandise. For those who wish to pay and take a boat tour down the River Weaver or experience what it feels like to be transported through the Lift, boat tours will be available throughout the weekend. For all boat trips, booking is advisable on 01606 786 777.
The Anderton Boat Lift is owned by us and was restored in 2002 after a £7 million restoration made possible due to a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is the world’s first successful boat lift and a masterpiece of Victorian engineering.