HISTORIC 1890 Step Leas lift Carriage returns to Folkestone
THE historic 1890 Step Leas Lift Carriage finally returned to Folkestone last weekend after a five-year absence.
The carriage was removed from its tracks in October 2006 to be restored to its former glory.
Since then, the project team of Robert Mouland and Jack Gill has been working to raise the £35,000 needed for the restoration work, which was completed this week.
The future of the carriage is still shrouded in doubt as a permanent home is yet to be decided and it is currently stored in the car park of the Grand.
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Campaigner Jack Gill said: "As far as we are concerned we have completed our remit, we have returned the lift to Folkestone.
"It has been a difficult few years and at times we have wondered if it was ever going to be finished.
"Mr Mouland has been fantastic in helping to raise the money. Over the last few years he has been out in all weathers and he deserves a great deal of thanks.
"We have been overwhelmed with donations from the public, as well as some money from Shepway District Council."
The undercarriage and steel chassis were kept in Barham while joiner Jim Smith, from Lyminge, rebuilt the timber frame of the carriage.
Last week, the two parts were reassembled at the Grand, where it will be kept until a new home is found.
A spokesman from SDC said: "We have made several suggestions to Mr Gill as to places the lift can be kept, including the Dover Transport Museum and the Peene Railway Museum but we understand he is keen to keep it in Folkestone.
"We have advised Mr Gill to discuss the issue with the lift's owners, the Radnor Estate."