By Diana: The Anderton Boat Lift, a masterpiece of Victorian engineering near Northwich in Cheshire, was the destination for a study tour for Glossopdale W.I. The tour included the excellent on-site exhibition and an expert commentary on the ride on the boat lift itself and the trip along the River Weaver.

The Anderton Boat Lift was constructed in 1875 to improve the flow of goods between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey canal. Salt from the Cheshire mines was shipped along the river to be exported via the port of Liverpool. Pots from the Staffordshire potteries were shipped along the Trent & Mersey canal and thence to Liverpool. The Boat Lift connected these important trade routes: with its 2 caissons the Lift could raise the boats arriving from the river to the level of the canal and simultaneously take boats arriving by canal down to the river.
The original hydraulic system was replaced with an electric operating system in 1908, to cope with increased trade. However a subsequent drop in trade, lack of investment and patchy repairs led to closure in 1983 on safety grounds.

After a public campaign money was raised for a complete restoration using the original hydraulic system and the Lift was re-opened in 2002. It now provides an enlightening and enjoyable tour, much appreciated by our members. The next meeting of Glossopdale W.I. is 9.30-12 noon on Wed Sept 19 at Glossop Labour Club. Visitors are welcome.