shone on the
restored 1890 Leas Steplift Carriage when it was returned to Folkestone
on Saturday (19 March) following its
blue skies, the sparkling carriage, in a smart red and cream livery, arrived at The
Grand in Folkestone to be reunited with its chassis which arrived
earlier in the day.
Super fundraiser Robert Mouland couldn't wait to sit in the carriage
Ann Houghton, Robert Mouland, Jack Gill and Michael Stainer
The dynamic duo, Robert Mouland and Jack Gill celebrate after years of hard work
After nine years, the 1890 Leas Lift Carriage Restoration project team has accomplished what it set out to do and is handing over all responsibility to the freeholder Lord Radnor and Shepway District Council.
The carriage finally arrives
The chassis is craned into position
Reuniting the chassis and carriage Photo: Max Hess
The future for the carriage however still remains uncertain after the owners have yet to find a permanent site to display this important part of Folkestone's heritage.
Shepway Council has been strongly criticised by supporters of the project over the lack of support given to the lift restoration and its siting once completed.
The 1890 Steplift Carriage
A view inside the carriage Photo: Max Hess
All that's needed now is an agreement for it to be given pride of place where it belongs, and not left to languish in temporary storage away from public view.
The Steplift supported by scaffolding
suitable site is found the carriage will be kept on land at The Grand in
Folkestone, which manager Michael Stainer has generously made
available, despite a reported last minute hitch with Shepway Council
over whether the land could be used for such purpose.
Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2011©