Friday, September 11, 2015

Filling The Day

We had almost two full days in Anderton before we pick up the boat and begin our actual boat trip, This gives us time to find everything and get supplies for on the boat as well as giving us some room incase of delays etc. As a result, we had a day here with nothing planned to do.

The day began with an “English Breakfast”, and anyone familiar with these knows that it is an overwhelming meal which results in having no room for food all day. It did however give us time to plan how to fill and unplanned day. Fortunately, the cheerful waitress at the B & B had a couple of useful suggestions, including a castle, and Regis simply cannot pass up a castle visit.
Going UP!
Going in.
Our day started with a visit to the Anderton Boat Lift. This is what happens when you challenge Industrial Revolution engineers with a problem. The Canal which was used to transport pottery and goods around the Midlands, was 50 feet above the River Weaver which connected to the ocean. Both were busy transportation routes, but goods transferring between the two had to be unloaded, carted up the hill and reloaded (And vice-versa of course). The solution to this problem was to build a “lift” to take the boats from the one to the other. Simplifying it a bit, the boats are floated into a tub of water, which is then lifted or lowered by hydraulics to the other level. Two of these tubs operate side-by-side, thus creating a balance and actually used very little energy. Originally operated by water hydraulics, this proved to be very corrosive due to the salt and chemicals in the water due to industry in the area. The system was converted to counter-balanced weights powered by electric motors, but this finally jammed and shut the lift down. It sat rusting for years, but has recently been restored and is now operated by oil hydraulics. We watched a couple of boats being moved up and down, and it is a fascinating process which we hope to fit into our schedule at the end of the trip.
What a View

Next we took Regis out to her castle. This was an amazing visit. The Beeston Castle sits on a beautiful 40 acre hill with a view over 60 miles of English countryside. You can imagine how this 4000 year old castle could control the entire area. Unfortunately it was not invincible, and lost to a siege and was mostly demolished, so is mostly a ruin now.

Pretty well exhausted from a day with nothing to do, we required a visit to a nice English pub for a good beer and some pub food to recover from the day. 

1 comment:

  1. Amazing that you had room for the pub food after that English Brekky!