Anderton Boat Lift holds free steam festival this May | Knutsford Times

Anderton Boat Lift holds free steam festival this May

By on May 6, 2019

It will be full steam ahead at Cheshire’s giant Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich in Cheshire when it holds a free, family-friendly, Steam Festival on Saturday 11 May and Sunday 12 May, between 10.30am and 3.00pm. The event will see the grounds of the Anderton Boat Lift, a pinnacle of Victorian industrial engineering, transformed by steam-powered traction engines (full-sized and miniature), historic narrowboats and a steam-powered car. In addition, the ‘Duke of Normandy’ tug, built for the German Customs service in 1934, will be available for viewing. The Anderton Boat Lift is owned by the Canal & River Trust. For more information visit or call 01606 786 777.

There will be seven traction engines ‘in steam’ on the day including three huge Aveling & Porter engines – ‘Vanguard’ (1893), ‘Oberon’ and ‘Avelanna’. It will be the first time that the ‘new build’ traction ‘Wanderer’, will be on display. It has been built to original designs from the manufacturer, Ruston Proctor. Miniature traction engines will be on display as well as the Bregazzi Buggy, constructed by its owner utilising steam boat technology.

Moored both on the Trent & Mersey Canal and the River Weaver will be historic narrowboats from the National Historic Ships Register, including the ‘Effingham’, ‘Rudd’ and ‘Thea’ as well as the ‘Lynx’, ‘King’, ‘Sweden’ and ‘Swallow’.

Timothy Turner, General Manager, Anderton Boat Lift said: “The giant Anderton Boat Lift is a spectacular setting in which to enjoy our Steam Festival. The lift is a pinnacle of Victorian engineering in its own right. It was the world’s first successful boat lift and its importance is recognised by its Scheduled Ancient Monument status. It is a testament to its Victorian engineers that this once steam-powered lift, continues to lift boats between the Trent & Mersey Canal and the River Weaver, to this day.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to this free event. There is nothing nicer than the sights, sounds and smells of historic engines under steam. This two-day festival promises to be a really special day out.”

The event is free and there is no cost to enter the site. Visitors can enjoy the traction engines which will be displayed on the terraced grounds leading down to the giant Anderton Boat Lift and River Weaver as well as near the entrance overlooking the Trent & Mersey Canal.  Also available free of charge is the interesting, interactive exhibition on the history of the Lift, the well-stocked shop and the popular Tree Top Coffee Shop serving a wide selection of drinks and freshly-made food.

Paid-for boat trips through the lift and along the picturesque River Weaver will be available during the weekend but booking is advisable on 01606 786 777. The Anderton Boat Lift is owned by the Canal and River Trust charity and was restored in 2002 after a £7 million restoration made possible due to a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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