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Dudley Zoo - Chairlift Restoration

Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:52 pm

The iconic Chairlift at Dudley Zoo & Castle is due to re-open this Bank Holiday Weekend.

A visitor chairlift was erected between the zoo's entrance and the castle in 1958. It was taken out of use in 2000 due to health and safety concern.

The £100,000 scheme to refurbish the lift has taken four months and will bring the chairlift back into use for the first time in 12 years. The ride has been refurbished by Rundles of Boston who normally restore fairground rides.

Final preparations are being made including installing the 42 seats which will carry people from the zoo’s lower level near the main entrance, high above the animals, to the 11th century Dudley Castle in two minutes.

There will be panoramic views across Sandwell to Birmingham while families travel directly over flamingoes, llamas and rare breed sheep grazing on the banks.

I was there yesterday and managed to get some photos.

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And as it was in the 1950's....

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Boz
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Re: Dudley Zoo - Chairlift Restoration

Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:22 am

it's always great to see investment in older attractions. *hint* merlin  ;)

Whilst I wouldn't want to see it torn down, that does seem like the most pointless chairlift. The hill doesn't seem very big, and I'm sure it wouldn't take much to walk it. I might be wrong, that's just how it comes across in the pics
 
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Re: Dudley Zoo - Chairlift Restoration

Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:06 pm

The only other way up to where the top station is, is a series of near vertical walkways which takes ages.
 
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Boz
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Re: Dudley Zoo - Chairlift Restoration

Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:06 pm

fair enough, it' just looked like a hill that could be easily walked up via a series of zig zag pathways.
 
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Re: Dudley Zoo - Chairlift Restoration

Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:28 pm

Good to read - thanks for the photos Mark.

This has been an eyesore for years so I'm glad they're doing something with it, and not just pulling it all down. There is a landtrain that does the rounds (at least in Summer), but this will be helpful for elderly guests etc and is a little bit of fun for the kids.

Both of my children were born after this stopped so as I'm only a couple of miles away, I might take them on that weekend :)

Cheers,
 
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Re: Dudley Zoo - Chairlift Restoration

Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:36 pm

I remember using this just before it was taken out of action. My only memory was just how unsafe it felt, I can't even remember if it had a proper harness at the time.

It's great to see it making a return. It was an ideal way to get to the upper tier of the Zoo. I am surprised its remaining fairly similar to how it was before but I'm glad it has.
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Re: Dudley Zoo - Chairlift Restoration

Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:28 pm

Graeme67 wrote:
but this will be helpful for elderly guests


As far as I know the chairlift doesn't stop (like a ski lift system) so the old biddys might struggle!

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