Our 1958 chairlift is launched!

DZG’s 1958 chairlift is well and truly launched following a £117,000 Heritage Lottery funded refurb.

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BBC Radio WM Presenter Jenny Wilkes – pictured with CEO Peter Suddock at the champagne launch – cut the ribbon yesterday morning and throughout the day hundreds of passengers took to the skies, many of them reliving childhood memories.

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One of the first passengers on the chairlift yesterday was Kim Fuller, of Dudley – pictured second chair on left –  who said the journey had brought back fond memories.

She said: “I was a frequent visitor to the zoo as a child and really enjoyed a trip on the chairlift.

“I’d forgotten how quiet and peaceful it is when you’re travelling, it’s like floating through the air.”

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For many youngsters it was their first experience of the country’s only vintage chairlift. Alex Round – pictured above –  said he felt a little scared when he got into the seat, but soon sat back and enjoyed the ride.

And eight-year-old Ryan Darby, of Sedgley, said: “My mom and grandad are always talking about the chairlift at Dudley Zoo and promised to take me on as soon as it was ready.

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“We queued to get on as it was really busy and I didn’t know what it would be like, but it’s a really good way to travel and me and my sister and cousin went on three times throughout the day, we loved it.”

Lots to celebrate

DZG CEO Peter Suddock said the launch heralded a new era for the 40-acre site.

He said: “”It’s a fantastic year; not only is it our 75th anniversary, we’ve also finalised plans for the new entrance, retail complex and Tecton interpretation centre, there have been important additions to the animal collection including the launch of £40,000 Penguin Bay and, of course, the chairlift is now restored, so there’s a lot to celebrate.”