CHESHIRE’S Victorian boat lift was immortalised in paint after the unveiling a commemorative mural.
The Anderton Boat Lift, the country’s only fully operational heritage monument, was fully restored in 2002 after a £7m restoration project.
Eight years on, a huge piece of art has been created to commemorate the restoration work while the boat lift’s supporters hope it will help attract more than the annual 100,00 visitors to the Mid Cheshire tourist attraction.
The mural is also a tribute to the three engineers primarily involved in constructing the lift in 1875 and its major conversion in 1908: Sir Edward Williams, Edwin Clark and John Saner.
Friends of Anderton Boat Lift chairman Richard Drake said the occasion was poignant for many people.
“As Anderton Boat Lift Trust is currently in the process of winding itself up, we thought a unique piece of commemorative art would provide a lasting tribute to everyone who strived so hard to see this wonderful structure restored to its former glory,” he said.
Known as British Waterways’ ‘Cathedral of Canals’, the boat lift connects the River Weaver with the Trent & Mersey Canal – 50ft above and transfers vessels using revamped Victorian-style hydraulics.
The imposing mural was created by Cheshire artist Bernice Tackley and is now mounted on one of the lift’s original retaining walls.
A British Waterways spokesman said: “The Cathedral of Canals stands as a lasting testament to Victorian industrial ingenuity. Its operations centre offers a unique insight into this iron leviathan, while the viewing platform enables visitors to enjoy the spectacle of boats being moved effortlessly. The special mural takes pride of place at the mighty structure.”