Wednesday 21 June 2023

The Lift, salt and Bob

All this hanging about had been a right nuisance, had we not had to have hung around waiting for this car to be recovered, the car that we were both heartily sick of now, we just might have gone down onto the river Weaver.  But as things stood now we were a teeny weeny bit short of time.  So this am we walked along to the visitor centre of the Anderton Boat Lift and read all about it instead.

It was a tad chilly, the breeze swept up along the river right into the visitors centre, I dashed out when we though the lift was lowering, but its hard to see if anything is moving.  I took a few photos.

So this is it, we watched a narrow boat go ever so slowly into position within the structure.

We stood like lemons for a minute or two, I thought it had started lowering, David huffed.

Not a picturesque setting by any means, but it was very much a working part of the local industry.

 We went back inside with our fleeces zipped up to the neck.  I brought four ice-creams, the server was impressed by our hardiness, but they were for two days time when the weather was turning warmer, so much so the BBC had issued one of their weather warnings to be careful of the heat.  Right now I was frozen.

We walked back to WaL a short distance away, catching a glimpse of the Lift at the same level as ourselves where we could clearly see the narrowboat only now having the gate closed down behind him so it hadn't been moving at all.

David made coffee, I found my coat and then David turned WaL around and we departed southwards again.  A short distance away was a water point which we used.  While we were moored up NB Alton (I think it was that fuel boat, might have been Halsall, I can't remember) came into view.  
We had filled up on the Peak Forest Canal a few weeks back so were glad to repeat the exercise.
It was a lady helm of NB Alton (or Halsall), she said she knows where all the nice shower blocks are along her route and she is onboard for three straight weeks at a time with no running water.  Personally I think that is quite an undertaking but I was very glad to see her.  
She pulled away from us and went on her merry way, David finished up and set off in the same direction but we didn't see her again.

A short distance further along was the Lion Salt Works, right by where we had moored up yesterday to cycle to the museum.  We went into the Salt Works which is right on the canal side.

The attendant asked if we might be interested to have an introductory talk from Bob.
Very much so.  Bob turned out to be an retiree from the salt industry who had worked for ICI hereabouts.  
Such an interesting man,  really engaging about the subject.  Definitely worth a visit, the  works only closed in 1986, when you look around you'd be forgiven for thinking it closed in 1926 or even earlier.  Most unpleasant working condition's and dangerous too the poor workers endured for such a commonplace part of our everyday lives.

HERE for a wee film about the museum.

On this stretch of the canal you go around a bend then suddenly the canal goes right through the centre of a modern chemical plant.  Presumably it was the site of a salt works and the canal was used for transport.  It comes upon you suddenly form either the north or the south the viewer is unsighted by trees, then almost as quickly another bend and its gone from view  again.

Not crazy on this mooring, but, no neighbours either.


Clever, one leg.

Back on WaL we toddled off south towards Middlewich again.  I had requested that we might stop on one of several Flashes, so called as wide parts of the canal in places, but when we got to them one was busy with boats and another only had Mallard ducks on so we didn't bother instead we we arrived in time back at the outskirts of Middlewich at the other end of the very sunny moorings we had enjoyed only a day ago.  

The weather had improved all the way down and it was lovely to enjoy warm sun.

The car is still not collected. 

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