IT will be full steam ahead at Cheshire’s Lion Salt Works Museum this weekend, as the Transport Festival returns.

This year marks the museum’s third free festival, on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10.

The action-packed weekend of free family fun at the industrial heritage museum will include historic narrowboats – located on the canal next to the museum – up to four large steam traction engines, and 12 miniature steam engines as well as a selection of vintage cars.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Cheshire West and Chester Council cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, said: “This action-packed and fun event is fast becoming a firm favourite in the museum’s varied calendar and what’s more it is completely free.

“There is no need to pay to go into the museum to enjoy the weekend activities or enjoy the industrially-themed playground, café, shop or lovely butterfly garden. Parking is also free.

“The Transport Weekend has something for everyone and is an event well worth pencilling into the diary.”

In addition to live music outdoors, there will also be a series of children’s craft activities and stalls.

All these activities are free, although donations are gratefully received, and there is no charge to visit the café, play area or butterfly garden.

The event will run from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Steam engines will be on display along with historic boats – Northwich-built Yarwood narrowboat ‘Shad’, and ‘Saturn’, a 70-foot narrowboat built in 1906 and one of the last horse-drawn Shropshire Union Canal flyboats in the world.

The fully-restored boat, originally built to travel non-stop – day and night – transported good such as Cheshire cheese, salt and other precious cargo.

It is now used to educate future generations about the fascinating but hard lives of the waterways men, their boats and horses.

Live music, organised by music promoter Iain Stead, will play on a small outdoor throughout the weekend featuring bands playing a variety of music as well as a bar. There will also be craft activities for children.

The Lion Salt Works Museum is one of the foremost industrial heritage sites in the UK.

It is one of the last open-pan, salt-making sites in the world and is a scheduled ancient monument.

It tells the story of salt through fun, interactive displays and has won nine awards since opening in June 2015, after a four-year £10m refurbishment, including the National Lottery’s ‘Best Heritage Project 2016’. The restoration by Cheshire West and Chester Council was made possible thanks to a £5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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