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Time out

Rachel Hornby is deputy head at Comberbach Primary School in Northwich My classes are fascinated by why the lift is here and how it was built.

When we explain how old it is, they're amazed it's still working. A visit can cover loads of curriculum areas, but it also picks up the threads of things beyond the curriculum, which sometimes threaten to drop out of sight.

We've studied canals and rivers, and looked at the natural environment.

We've designed mosaics and tapestries based on drawings of the lift. I've used it for literacy projects and we've looked at the technology.

But most of all, I think it is important for the children to see how the community around Anderton has evolved. They get a chance to become part of this long local tradition and to share some of the unique memories about working on the lift or the canals.

Visiting sites by water can seem such a lot of extra work. The risk assessment can be really daunting when you're looking at getting children on and off boats. It's quite traumatic, but in the end it's worth it for what they get out of it.

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