Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tour K - AIA - Nantwich, Middlewich and Northwich

On Wednesday 10 Sept 2014 Andrew Fielding led a tour of the salt landscapes of Cheshire, visiting Nantwich, Middlewich and Northwich.
It was a hot and sunny September day and was a highly enjoyable day accompanying 50 members of the Association for Industrial Archaeology.
The tour left Chester at 9.30 arriving at Nantwich Museum at 10.30 where the group was received by Graham Dodd and shown their exhibits of lead salt pans and a rare,wooden 'salt ship', a hollowed out tree trunk used as for brine storage.
We arrived at Murgatroyds Brine Pump at 12 noon to be guided around the site by Kerry Fletcher, Heritage Officer, Middlewich Town Council and three of her volunteer guides. The group then strolled along the Trent and Meresy Canal to have lunch at The Big Lock.
We moved on to Northwich at 14.15 to visit Ashtons and Neumanns Flashes, a country park created around the area of collapsed rock salt mines on the north side of Northwich, before walking the short distance to the Lion Salt Works at Marston to be given a guided tour of the almost completed restoration works at the last surviving open pan salt works built and operated by the Thompson family, which also is situated on the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Many of the founder members of the AIA had visited the Lion Salt Works when it had been operational and had a good appreciation about the difficulties of preserving and restoring a salt making site where all the component parts have suffered through dilapidation or the aggressive and corrosive nature of the process and the materials. The AIA have made a special grant to the Lion Salt Works Trust towards the restoration of the salt van which sits at the entrance to the site.
Murgatroyds Brine Pump, Middlewich.
Lunch at The Big Lock, Middlewich.
Lion Salt Works, Marston, Northwich.
Salt van can be seen on the right.
Chris Hewitson describing the restoration works inside the Lion Salt Works.

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