The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45638   Message #675828
Posted By: Dave Bryant
25-Mar-02 - 07:27 AM
Thread Name: Anderton boat lift reopens
Subject: RE: Anderton boat lift reopens
Just after the Anderton Lift was taken out of service in 1983, I was at a function at the Stoke Bruerne waterways museum. The coin-operated model of the lift had a sign on it saying "Out of Order" and I heard somebody remark "Such attention to detail !". Perhaps the museum will now have to get up to date, but modifications will be needed. The comment about the rope (or cable) breaking is no longer relevant for the following reasons.

When the lift was originally built it was operated by hydraulic rams from below. The rams used water from the River Weaver which was very corrosive and consequently, from 1904-8, Anderton was modified with the addition of A-frames, pulleys, and counterbalance weights so that the tanks were hoisted from above. This also allowed the tanks to be operated individually.

The reason that the lift was was taken out of service in 1983 (not long after a major overhaul) was that that after nearly eighty years, the A-frames were found to be in a dangerous condition due to corrosion.

The latest rebuild has reverted to hydraulic operation - the new rams are basically to the same specification as the originals (and were made by the same manufacturers on the continent). The main difference now, is that hydraulic fluid is used instead of water and separate pumps are used for each tank to allow independent operation. The only restriction (which I gleaned from one of the engineers at the "topping out" ceremony last year) is that the shared hydraulic reservoir doesn't contain enough fluid to have both tanks at the top simultaneously.

The A-frames and some (mock) weights and cables are being retained (at the insistence of English Heritage) in a purely cosmetic role.

It's great to have the lift restored so that we can once again get our boats between the Trent & Mersey and the River Weaver.