Historic Shropshire Union Fly Boat Free to visitors to the Lion Salt Works
from Tuesday 14 July – Thursday 16 July
Visitors to the newly-opened Lion Salt Works Museum in Marston, near Northwich can enjoy a fascinating free attraction from Tuesday 14 July – Thursday 16 July, when the historic ‘Saturn’ fly boat will be moored next to the Museum. Visitors to the Lion Salt Works, owned and run by Cheshire West and Chester Council, will be able to view the crew’s cabin, cargo area and hear all about the working life and conditions of boatmen thanks to Saturn’s dedicated volunteers.
‘Saturn’, a 70-foot narrowboat was built in 1906 and is the last horse-drawn Shropshire Union Canal Flyboats in the World. It is owned and run by the Shropshire Union Fly Boat Restoration Society Limited as a registered charity, with the aim of bringing alive the history and working lives of the Victorian fly boatmen. The fully-restored boat, originally built to travel non-stop – day and night – transported good such as Cheshire cheese, salt and other precious cargoes. It is now used to educate future generations about the fascinating but hard lives of the waterways men, their boats and horses.
Katherine West, Museums and Arts Manager, Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Saturn to the Lion Salt Works Museum’s mooring. The Trent & Mersey Canal was built next to the Lion Salt Works in order to transport the Works’ salt to Liverpool and then on across the world. This means the role of the flyboats, narrowboats and barges is an integral part of understanding the story of salt at the Lion Salt Works.” Subject to clearance
Susan Cawson, Chair, The Saturn Project, said: “We are really excited to be visiting the newly re-opened Lion Salt Works and we look forward to building a close and lasting relationship with the Museum. People always enjoy visiting the Saturn and seeing it in the context of the Museum will make it an even more memorable experience.”
The Lion Salt Works Museum opened last month after a four-year, 10m restoration and refurbishment. It is one of the last open-pan salt-making sites in the World and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The Museum houses fun, interactive and imaginative educational exhibits, including a theatrical light and sound show evoking the giant cloud of steam once produced by the site’s huge salt-boiling pans. There is also a fun walk-in subsiding house.
A café, imaginatively-designed play area and Butterfly Garden are available to visitors free of charge. This is a particularly good time to visit the Butterfly Garden as the buddleias are in bloom and attracting lots of butterflies.
Saturn will be open to visitors, 10.30am – 5.00pm and will also be available on from 2pm on the afternoon of Monday 13 July, when the Lion Salt Work is closed.