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Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’ is to host an historic procession of Yarwoods boats through its lift on Sunday 19 June. The boats will be moored on the River Weaver Navigation in front of the Boat Lift from 2.15pm and then majestically travel through the Lift to the Trent & Mersey canal until 5pm. At 1.30pm, expert, Tim Coglan will give an informal talk about the history of the Yarwoods boats and the expansion of the canal network in the ‘Lift View’ marquee.

The event has been organised by Tim Coglan, owner of the Braunston Marina in Northamptonshire. The Procession will end five days later at the marina, where the boats’ arrival will mark the start of the Historic Narrow Boat Rally, the largest in the UK. During the procession, all the Yarwoods boats will moor on Sunday late afternoon near the Lion Salt Works Museum in Marston, near Northwich.

Leading the procession will be the ‘Nutfield’ (1936), built for the Grand Union Canal Company and later used as a passenger boat and the ‘Stanton’, also built in 1936. Both were working boats until 1970. Also in the procession will be the ‘Nuneaton’ an all-steel riveted boat (1936) and its butty ‘Brighton. Also present will be the ‘Towcester’, its butty and the ‘Sudbury’.

Tim Turner, Anderton Boat Lift’s General Manager, said: “Yarwoods Shipbuilders of Northwich are a huge source of pride to the people of Northwich and the surrounding area. Most of the boats we will see on Sunday would have travelled through the Anderton Boat Lift many times in their working life. But others, commissioned by the Admiralty and Air Ministry would have seen action much further afield and in rather less tranquil conditions. We are really delighted to see so many of these boats together. We hope visitors will enjoy coming to the lift to view the boats, free of charge, from the Anderton Boat Lift’s grassy terraces.”

Tim Coglan from Braunston Marina’s said: “This procession fulfils a long-held dream of uniting Yarwoods boats and bringing them from the place of their birth to the Branston Historic Narrow Boat Rally, taking place on 25-26 June. I think the boats will present an amazing sight and are a ‘must see’ for anyone who loves historic boats.”

The Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse in Northwich hosts an interesting permanent display about the history of Yarwoods boats in Northwich, including information on how Lawrence of Arabia came to oversee the fitting out of HMS Auxillary ‘Aquarius’. The display also includes fascinating interviews recorded with the men and women who used to work at the shipbuilders.

Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift is one of the seven wonders of Britain’s waterways and is an engineering masterpiece, being the world’s first ever successful boat lift. The Lift sits in a spectacular location between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey Canal and is an fascinating combination of working historic structure and fun, educational experience.

Throughout the year, the Anderton Boat Lift offers regular boat trips for which there is a charge*. Visitors can experience how it feels to be magically transported through the Lift by this piece of high Victorian engineering. Alternatively, guests can opt for a special boat trip and learn about the unique industrial heritage of Northwich, a town that has made its living on salt for more than 2000 years. For the boat trip booking is advisable on 01606 786 777.

Picture caption: Anderton Boat Lift from close up and overlooking the River Weaver Navigation

For further information, contact:
Fiona Young, Anderton Boat Lift on 01244 851867 or at [email protected]
Tim Couglan, Brauston Marina on 077207 00666