Although I live within easy driving distance of Anderton, I somehow have never taken the plunge and visited there. I think this is probably because I thought that it would be disappointing in terms of its industrial surroundings. As a young man brought up in St Helens, Lancs, I cycled and then drove through this area of Cheshire and was not impressed (having escaped industrial St Helens I didn’t want more industry!). Today, what I found was enormous chemical works around Northwich and Middlewich which are now owned by one or more very large Indian corporations. Do we natives own any of our important infrastructure industries these days, I wondered? However, the surroundings of such industry, like the canals, have matured and been taken back by nature so that, if you turn a blind eye to the actual factories, the area is really very attractive.

This was the first day of a four day expedition to photograph this part of the Trent and Mersey, the Macclesfield and the Peak Forest canals. The weather had suddenly recovered from the post March (2012) false summer aftermath of gloom and rain. How lucky I was because I had booked the hotels for the trip in mid February!

As you may have now guessed from the foregoing I was really surprised with the approach to the Anderton lift, and with the clear blue skies and very green rural scene (due to much recent rain) a smile soon spread across my face. Superb! I said to myself.

The boatlift itself is impressive and very attractive in an engineering kind of way. I had to turn a blind eye to the large chemical works across the River Weaver at the bottom of the boatlift but this wasn’t difficult.

The Trent and Mersey canal at the top of the lift is really attractive thanks to a large extent to the local inhabitants in making their properties attractive and also to the caring attitude of the local BW  (soon to be C&RT) staff. And whilst on the subject of such staff, I must say that I found them were very friendly, enthusiastic and informative.

So, here is a slideshow of photos I took while there.

For more information on the history of the boatlift and its engineering click here.

For an account of who I met there click here.

Below is an aerial view of the scene from Google maps.

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