Making the most of our town centre mooring we walked up to Aldi and filled the holds with essentials. On the way we passed many black and white wooden building, looking just like Tudor ones, in fact they were the Victorians answer to the problem of collapsing and subsiding building caused by the salt, both rock and brine that was being extracted from right under their town. Some of these construction, like The Post Office, now the Penny Black Pub, were four storey high and were all built so that they could be jacked up, several feet in many cases or even moved to a securer location, (sorry about the picture, it does look as if the building is sliding down the hill). We also saw much newer homes that were built on a steel girder base frame so that they also could be jacked level.
Such clever people those Victorians, the two swing bridges that were built in 1899 were the first in the world to be electrically driven, but more surprising the centre support of the bridge rest on a floating pontoon, thereby reducing the amount of energy needed to swing the bridges to a fraction of what otherwise would be required.
In the afternoon we visited the Salt Museum, which is now based in the old workhouse and the friendly curator showed us plans and photos of the mines old and new and told us that it was only eighteen months ago that the pumping of enormous amounts of concrete into the worked out mines had been completed, hopefully stabilising the town. A short film and the displays increased our understanding of how important salt production had been to this area from Roman times.
The Anderton Lift had been booked for the last upwards trip of the day and spot on time we slid into the caisson. No briefing required this time, but we did notice the cogs on top of the lift that were in use when the lift was converted to electricity in the early 1900's. The shape of the cogs is a clue as to who designed them; Dr. Citroen, we were told by the lift attendant, now we know where the double inverted V logo for Citroen cars comes from. As the lovely River Weaver dropped below us, we said a sad goodbye having had a wonderful week upon it.
Back onto the Trent and Mersey Canal, heading West and almost immediately through the two tunnels. Entrance to the Saltersford Tunnel is timed, from the East it is from the hour to twenty past, this is because it is to bendy to see to the far end and meeting a boat coming the other way is not advisable. Soon we were back into open countryside with views back down to the river and it was here we stayed for the night.