Lift-off for half term!

The seats are back on and we’re ready for lift off! Our wonderful vintage chairlift has just undergone its annual overhaul and is up and running today.

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All 41 seats – some of which are shown above by curator Matt Lewis – have been removed, sand-blasted and repainted by an off-site specialist and refitted by our maintenance team in time for our half-term visitors.

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The lift’s lock mechanisms have also been refurbished and ropes inspected as part of the £9,000 annual makeover. The work was carried out by John H Rundle Ltd, of Lincolnshire.

DZG CEO, Peter Suddock, said: “We’ve carried out all our yearly checks to make sure the chairlift is in good working order but we’ve also had the seats covered with a special powder paint coating.

“We believe this finish will be more durable. It should last us about five years.

“The overhaul has gone very well and we’re delighted the lift is back in action and looking splendid in time to take our half-term visitors up and down the hill.”

In the past two years more than 300,000 visitors have been transported by the vintage chairlift – the only one of its kind in the UK, which was relaunched in August 2012 following a £117,000 Heritage Lottery-funded refurb.

It was the first passenger-carrying aerial ropeway to be installed in England and transports visitors from the zoo’s lower zone to the 11th century Dudley Castle on the upper level, with the two-minute free trip offering panoramic views across Sandwell to Birmingham.