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Passengers trapped in historic Leas Lift

Folkestone's Leas Lift gets stuck
Folkestone's Leas Lift gets stuck

A Victorian water lift due for closure made a disastrous final journey.

The last members of the public to travel on the tourist attraction, which links the Leas to the seafront at Folkestone, were trapped for 45 minutes in sweltering temperatures because of problems with the valve.

The valve leaked water which poured out of the 124-year-old lift meaning there was not enough water to make the water balance lift work.

The lift moved several inches down the track and then stopped.

Brothers Gary and Conolly Hall, 34 and 28, could not get out as they were part of the way down the steep cliff.

After his ordeal, Gary, who has lived in Folkestone for the past 20 years and last used the lift as a teenager, said: “It was pretty hot in there. Luckily, we had just bought some drinks.

“We saw the water coming out and thought it was to keep the track moist. Then we realised there was a problem.”

The brothers were using the lift as they knew it was the last opportunity they would have.

It has now shut following a dispute between Shepway District Council which has subsidised it and the owners, Radnor Estate.

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