Sankey Brook Navigation, later, St Helens Canal, Fiddlers Ferry, lock to connect to the Mersey, Penketh, Warrington, Cheshire, England, UK
Contributor:Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:57.1 MB (3.5 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:5472 x 3648 px | 46.3 x 30.9 cm | 18.2 x 12.2 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:8 August 2020
Fiddlers Ferry Lock Between 1762 and 1833, this was the end of the Sankey Canal, where boats joined or left the tidal River Mersey. A second lock, now filled in, was built a short distance to the west, to enable more boats to lock through with each tide. The locks became disused after the canal was extended to Widnes in 1833. This lock was restored in the 1980s by Warrington Council and now gives access to a marina. Currently boats can either access the marina or a repair boat yard. Many use the marina as a shelter from the tidal River Mersey. Because the Mersey is tidal the use of the lock is restricted to high tides as at low tide there are only exposed mud banks on the Mersey. There is a swing bridge across the entrance to the lock which carries the towpath users including vehicles accessing the boat yard. When the canal was extended to Widnes in 1833 another lock onto the Mersey was created at that point and this lock closed. Except for a short stretch the canal is still in water between here and Widnes, although there is one fixed pedestrian bridge across the canal. With no major roads crossed, however, this is the easiest and most convenient section for restoration. There is currently a major new road bridge being constructed across the Mersey near Widnes (Mersey Gateway Bridge). The Linking the Locks project’s aim is to restore this section to navigation over the next three years (starting in 2014), via a joint project between Halton and Warrington Councils and the Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS). The contractor for the new Mersey Gateway Bridge has agreed to replace the fixed bridge to Spike Island with a swing bridge, and the task will be given to apprentices as a suitable project.