It's been nearly five years since the East Cliff Lift was taken out of action by the force of a devastating landslide.

East Cliff Lift – also known as East Cliff Railway – was built for the Bournemouth Corporation and opened in April 1908.

It was the first of three similar railways built in the town, the other two being the West Cliff Railway and the Fisherman's Walk Cliff Railway – both opened in 1935.

Bournemouth Echo:

At the time, there was only a seafront promenade between Bournemouth Pier and the lift, despite Boscombe Pier having been opened in 1889. Bournemouth beach was much narrower with rings hanging from the promenade sea wall every 15ft for mooring boats.

The electrically powered East Cliff Lift was driven by a motor attached to gears and rode upon rails across fifteen cross-walls of concrete.

Bournemouth Echo:

The line was controlled by a driver at the top station who was assisted by a colleague at the bottom.

The original cars had wooden bodies but were replaced in the 1960s by aluminium cars that were interchangeable with Bournemouth’s other railway systems.

Bournemouth Echo:

The railway went through further renovations when in 1987, the track was re-laid and in the 1990s the line was modernised with an electronic control system.

The lift was damaged by a landslide on April 24, 2016, when the clifftop pathway and steps near the Jon Egging Memorial were ripped apart

Bournemouth Echo:

Tonnes of boulders and material obliterated a cafe and toilet block at the base of the cliffs as well as the lift toll booth. The buildings were pulled down soon after.

One of the lift cars was knocked off its rail from the force of the impact and the cars were removed from the track by crane on May 21, 2016.

The landslide occurred due to the cliff's sandstone layers becoming saturated with water and the lift has remained closed since the incident.