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These photos show the opening ceremony of the Liverpool Canal Link on March 25th 2009.
VIP guests board the Pride of Sefton at the new lock in Princes Dock.
The Pride of Sefton sets off from Princes Dock lock, heading towards the tunnel under St Nicholas Place that will take it to the Pier Head. A BBC camera man is recording the journey for the regional news.
Pride of Sefton, with VIP guests aboard, emerges to loud cheers from the second tunnel into the stretch of canal in front of the Port of Liverpool Building.
Large crowds are gathered around the water to witness the official "first boat through" and opening ceremony.
British Waterways Chairman Tony Hales thanks the crowd for coming and praises the successful efforts of the various parties that have worked together to ensure the creation of the link. He is watched by the Mayor of Liverpool, Steve Rotheram, who said that the Pier Head was now a must-see destination.
Children from New Park Primary School then unveiled a plaque to officially open the Canal Link. With them are Debbie Lumb, BW North West Manager (left of plaque) and Robin Evans, BW Chief Executive (right of plaque). The words on the plaque say "Liverpool Canal Link. Officially opened by the children of New Park Primary School 25th March 2009".
Speeches and ceremony over, the Pride of Sefton continues into the final tunnel, under the not-yet-open Museum of Liverpool, towards Mann Island Lock and Canning Dock.
Pride of Sefton emerges from the new lock at Mann Island and enters Canning Dock which, by this time, was also lined with spectators.
After travelling through the famous Albert Dock, Pride of Sefton moors up in Salthouse Dock for the guests to disembark.
The flotilla of boats that had travelled down into Liverpool for the opening arrives in Salthouse Dock and moor up on the new pontoons. They will spend the night here before going back up through the Link. The Link will not open for boaters properly until April 20th. More information for boaters considering coming to Liverpool can be found here