On Thursday 14 December, Santa Claus took a break from his Santa Cruises at Cheshire’s Anderton Boat Lift near Northwich to practice his abseiling skills down the giant lift. With millions of homes to visit during the Christmas season, Santa’s climbing and abseiling skills need to be in tip top condition and he regularly challenges himself with a difficult climb close to Christmas. The huge Anderton Boat Lift, the world’s first successful boat lift (and still in operation today), towers more than 50 feet above the River Weaver. It is part of the Canal & River Trust charity.
An elf representing Santa Claus, said: “For much of the time, the reindeer make it easy for Santa to deliver presents. But not all homes have chimneys and some are very difficult to access, so Santa needs to keep up his abseiling and climbing skills. To stay in condition, Santa practices for most of the year at the North Pole but just before Christmas he likes to limber up somewhere different and interesting. This year he has decided to come to Cheshire and tackle this wonderful example of high precision Victorian engineering.”
Carly Graham, Duty Manager, Anderton Boat Lift, said: “Every year, Santa hops on our boat and gives cruises that delight children and adults alike with festive family fun such as games, songs and stories. These cruises are such a hit that, like other years, we are fully booked for weeks in advance. We are delighted that Santa, with the help of Crewe-based Up and Under Group has decided to undertake this year’s big climbing practice on our giant lift. It was quite a sight.”
The Anderton Boat Lift is one of the seven wonders of Britain’s waterways and is an engineering masterpiece, being the world’s first ever successful boat lift. It transports boats from the Trent & Mersey canal to the River Weaver by transporting the boats into giant boxes, then floating them through the air to the River Weaver (and vice versa). The Lift sits in a spectacular location between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey Canal and is an interesting combination of working historic structure and fun, educational experience. There is a new £50,000 play area on site, a tree-top Coffee Shop and a shop packed with interesting and unusual Christmas presents.