The last trip before lockdown

Excerpt from Rich’s Diary about going up the Anderton Lift

Roach waiting to be called for the Anderton Lift

“We were booked on the lift for 10am but were called forward at about 9.15am to go up with the earlier boat. 

Once we were called forward we realised that the lift wasn’t actually ready and we had to wait outside and the wind was coming right across Roach and catching the tarps and was taking full control of her. 

In extremely windy conditions we somehow managed to bump our way into the lift.

The other boat went in first and I managed to get Roach’s bow in between him and the side of the lift and used this as a bit of a lever to get into the lift. I had to accelerate to force the back of Roach around and it was a bumpy ride to get into the lift chamber in the wind.

Roach only just fitted into the lift with her fenders intact. 

I was told to stay in reverse gear on tick over in the lift so that the Roach would stay away from the front gate and it could close.. even though all the signage said to turn engines off.

It didn’t take too long to go up in the lift. When the bottom gate first came down we had our hearts in our mouths as it seemed to stick but luckily the assistant rejigged it and it slotted into place. As we went up there were the most amazing views and a seriously cold wind coming across – I had to put my hat on! We had a great view of the old balance weights which had been made into a maze by the look of it.

At the top we had to wait for the gate to open and then we had to pull forward onto the aqueduct and wait for the second gate to open once the first gate was closed. An amazing piece of engineering. These gates literally stop the Trent and Mersey Canal from emptying and dropping 50 foot into the Weaver navigation so its crucial that they close one gate before opening the next.

We followed the other boat out and passed him on the water point and decided not to stop and carry on for Middlewich. We opened champagne to toast our achievement en-route! It was very windy and on one very exposed part we got stuck having been blown into the bank by the wind.

We got to Middlewich and moored just below the big lock. Very relieved to have made it through the lift.”

Liz says “It was just an absolutely fabulous day, having always wanted to experience a trip on the Lift, and being able to do it on Roach, a historic working boat, and not least the fact that we were the first ones to ascend on the opening day… and with special friends. Just amazing”

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Comments

  1. Only just caught up with the blog. What a great day with great friends.
    ……… and in hindsight, our last day of freedom before lockdown. A brilliant way to spend it.

    Maybe next time we’ll carry a bit less sail !

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