Lift supplier and installer Invalifts has successfully installed a lift in a barge in just two days.
The installation in the National Waterways Museum’s largest exhibit is part of the museum’s investment in disabled access.
Invalifts was asked to look at how disabled access could be provided to the lower level. By working with the restorers, Invalifts identified that an inclined stair riser lift could be suitable but the new stairs and the lift would need to be designed together in order to fit inside the barge.
Invalifts were able to provide their Inva Stair Riser, a platform lift with a 1000mm x 800mm platform size that was able to negotiate a 90 degree bend in the stairs midway through the travel.
By having special brackets made, the lift stanchions could be mounted on the stair stringer rather than on the steps themselves and saving vital space in the confined area.
The National Waterways Museum is located in a Grade II listed Victorian era warehouse at Gloucester Docks, the most inland port in the country.
Its largest exhibit is the Sabrina 5, a 90ft barge used in the war effort to deliver cargo. Number 5 was one of six unpowered barges built in 1944 by Charles Hill & Sons of Bristol.
The barge has been used over its life to convey many of the imports that landed at Avonmouth to inland locations such as Worcester and Stourport.
In 1988, Sabrina 5 was towed to the Waterways Museum to begin the long job of a full restoration and in 2017 the project was finally completed.
The barge now has a new role as an education centre and meeting place, creating an exciting atmosphere for children and students when they arrive on board.