ALWAYS fancied exploring hundreds of metres below the surface of Cheshire? Now’s your chance.

To celebrate the return of the Salt Fair, Winsford Town Council is offering six people the chance to venture down to the UK’s largest and oldest working mine.

Located 300 metres below the town, Compass Minerals will take six prize winners will on a two-hour tour of the Winsford rock salt mine.

The mayor of Winsford, councillor Ernie Welch, said: "The Salt Fair is a wonderful community event that has been missed over the last few years.

"The traditional world of fairgrounds is steeped in history and Winsford has its own unique history with the salt mine, apart from producing a valuable commodity of salt it also safely houses Government documents and criminal records.

"The chance to be able to win tickets to visit and tour the historic salt mine is an opportunity not to be missed!"

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Northwich Guardian: The mine is located hundreds of metres below the surfaceThe mine is located hundreds of metres below the surface (Image: Winsford Town Council)

The Winsford mine was launched in 1844 when local prospectors were searching for coal.

Due to the oversupply of the market, it was forced to close down in 1892 before reopening in 1928 when the last mine in Northwich flooded.

Today it is Britain’s largest supplier of natural rock salt, used by maintenance companies to thaw icy roads in the winter.

It has also started to serve a second purpose, storage.

Years of mining left a huge void the size of 700 football pitches under the Cheshire countryside which is now being used to store treasured paintings, historical records and architectural models.

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Northwich Guardian: To be in with a chance of winning, you will have to answer one questionTo be in with a chance of winning, you will have to answer one question (Image: Winsford Town Council)

"Compass Minerals U.K. is pleased to support the Winsford Salt fair for the eigth year running," said a spokesperson for the company.

"This year, we are delighted to announce the return of our annual competition, offering a chance for six winners to have the opportunity to tour the Winsford rock salt mine, the U.K.'s largest and oldest working mine.

"To take part in the competition please follow the instructions provided by Winsford Town Council."

To be in with a chance of going on the tour you will need to purchase a Winsford Salt Fair programme for £1 and answer one question – how many miles of roadway are there underground?

Programmes can be purchased from The Old Star pub, Wharton and Over recreation grounds, and the festival itself on Marina Island on Saturday (September 16).