MORE than 2,000 visitors took advantage of free activities at an Anderton Boat Lift open day last weekend.

Despite Storm Ciara cancelling Sunday's event, Saturday saw families stream into the 'Cathedral of the Canals' site to marvel at the Victorian engineering masterpiece.

On Saturday, free angling and canoe sessions were available for families while children created a model of the lift in LEGO.

Scheduled repairs to the lift meant that visitors also had a rare opportunity of stepping down into the chamber beneath the lift to see the lift from an entirely different perspective as well as taking a trip up to the top of the spectacular 50ft lift.

Northwich Guardian:

Matt Ridge from Northwich, who was there with his daughter, Isla, viewed the dry well beneath the lift.

He said: “We love the Lift and walking around Marbury Woods nearby. We’ve never seen the lift from down here and it really interesting to hear about how it all works.”

Sam and dad Shane, locals from Anderton, came along to try out the free fishing session.

Sam said: “It’s nice to have a go at fishing. You need to find the right depth of water so that the float doesn’t go underwater, so it’s not as easy as it looks. But it is fun and I might want to try it another day.”

Northwich Guardian:

David Thorne, Canal and River Trust senior project manager, is responsible for the repairs to the lift.

He said: “It is a privilege to work on something put together by people with such ingenuity and technical expertise.

"In the day, the Lift’s Victorian engineers were using cutting-edge technology and their achievement – the world’s first successful boat lift – speaks for itself, even now.”

Northwich Guardian:

Graham Wood, duty manager at the Anderton Boat Lift, added: “We are delighted that the players of People’s Postcode Lottery have made this Open Weekend possible and pleased that so many people were able to make it along to see this engineering marvel.

"This was also made possible thanks to the hard work of our many dedicated volunteers and staff."

The Anderton Boat Lift re-opens following repairs on March 13.