One for the lads

Dads and lads have been showing a keen interest in the engine of our vintage chairlift.

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The 1958 engine was given a complete overhaul two years ago as part of a £117,000 Heritage Lottery-funded refurbishment.

CEO Peter Suddock said: “The engine is British-made AC electrical driven with a reductions gearbox and is a masterpiece of 1950’s engineering.   dzg_chairlift_arty7   “As part of the restoration project we made the decision to expose the engine behind a glass viewing panel at the chairlift’s upper level allowing passengers to see the working parts of the gearbox, winding gear, brakes and motor – it really is a superb piece of kit.”   dzg_chairlift_arty7   He added: “There’s a huge interest in engineering at the moment as we see a revival in the manufacturing industry, and it’s good to see such a regard for this magnificent engine.”     dzg_chairlift_arty7   Our chairlift 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, within a two-minute journey.   The country’s only vintage chairlift, it offers panoramic views across Sandwell to Birmingham, travelling directly over flamingoes a family group of Gelada baboons.