Digital Pictures IndexThe Trent & Mersey Canal

12 July 2002  Some heavy showers in the early afternoon but it brightened up again later.

A narrowboat approaching Preston Brook

Entering Preston Brook tunnel (length 1236 yards - 1133m)

Natural beauty on the canalside

Unnatural beauty on the canalside

The Anderton Boat Lift, newly reopened after a 7 million restoration

One of the greatest monuments of Britain's canal age.  The world's first boat lift, it was built in 1875 to allow the passage of boats between the river Weaver and the Trent & Mersey canal - a fifty foot height difference.  The original structure used water driven hydraulic rams to lift the caissons, one descending as the other ascends.  Corrosion and other problems resulted in modifications having to be carried out in 1908.  The rams were replaced with external counterbalance weights and the lift was now operated by electricity.  This had the advantage of allowing each tank to be operated seperately.  In the 1980's corrosion again forced its closure and after a long campaign the money was found to restore this unique structure, which reopened earlier this year.  It is again operated by hydraulics, but this time using oil powered ceramic coated rams.  A trip boat operates, so you don't have to have your own boat to experience the ride, and there is a very informative visitor centre.

Further information.....  Anderton Boat Lift  or  British Waterways
Also, take a look at a 21st century boat lift... The Falkirk Wheel

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