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Dudley Zoo's iconic chairlift is ready to roll

Dudley | News | Published:

It has been restored back to its former glory ready to start carrying visitors for the first time in 12 years. And Dudley Zoo bosses are giving a sneak peak at the newly-refurbished chairlift before the iconic attraction is finally unveiled to the public.

It has been restored back to its former glory ready to start carrying visitors for the first time in 12 years. And Dudley Zoo bosses are giving a sneak peak at the newly-refurbished chairlift before the iconic attraction is finally unveiled to the public.

Scaffolding has finally been dismantled from the towering structure – bringing an end to the four-month £100,000 project. Trial runs are being held over the next week.

Staff are being trained in how to use the chairlift before it is opened over the August Bank Holiday.

Bosses say they have been inundated in recent months with visitors asking when they will be able to ride it again.

Families will get panoramic views of the borough from the top of Castle Hill before gliding down 125ft on chairs attached to a cable.

The chairlift was first opened in 1958 by comic Richard Hearne. He played the madcap character Mr Pastry and John Price and was one of the first to ride it.

The design is similar to those in ski resorts and one of three in the UK with the others in Derbyshire and the Isle of Wight. Although there were no accidents, there were fears someone could fall out of one of the single-seat chairs or tamper with the mechanism.

Dudley Zoo spokeswoman Jill Hitchman today said everyone was excited that the end of the project was in sight.

The lift has returned to its original cream colour following the removal of 16 layers of paint. A roof has also been built on the shed at the start of the lift.

Chief executive Peter Suddock said:?"It's a fantastic piece of machinery and a tribute to 1950s engineering techniques."

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