On Saturday, the August Short-ARS (Audlem Ramblers Society) walk headed off from Marbury Country Park, north of Northwich and, after an hour's walking, arrived at the famous Anderton Boat Lift.
The timing was immaculate – or planned according to some – as the walkers were treated to the sight of one boat being lowered and two narrow boats being raised by the mighty structure.
The Anderton Boat Lift provides a 50-foot (15.2 m) vertical link between two navigable waterways – the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Built in 1875, it was in use for over 100 years until it was closed due to corrosion in 1983. Restoration work started in 2001 and the boat lift was re-opened in 2002.
Curiously, on a recent Audlem History Society walk on 15th June, canal expert Graham Dodd related how, in 1943, a plan was developed to extend the Weaver Navigation down southwards to Audlem and a boat lift would then connect that waterway with the Shropshire Union canal.
As anyone walking on the canal northwards of Audlem can testify, the plan did not come to fruition. Graham, however, described how an Act of Parliament was passed immediately after World War II approving the scheme. It would appear the idea foundered soon after.
If anyone has any more information about this proposed link and Audlem Boat Lift, please let the webteam know – it would make a fascinating article.
Our thanks to Chris Knibbs for the photographs from Saturday's expedition.
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