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Old 14-05-2019, 08:09 PM
Holly Goodhead's Avatar
Holly Goodhead Holly Goodhead is offline
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Location: Hay-on-Wye in Wales
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Enjoy todays video with Fred and friends
It's been our Tribute to a great man



A 19th-century man wearing jacket trousers and waistcoat, hands in pockets, cigar in mouth, wearing a tall stovepipe top hat, standing in front of giant iron chains on a drum.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was much admired by Dibnah.

In 2001, to mark the centenary of the death of Queen Victoria, the BBC transmitted a season of programmes based on a Victorian theme and Dibnah presented Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes. He had long been fascinated by the Victorians, especially Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whom he regarded as his hero. During filming he visited a number of locations including the 245-foot (75 m) high Clifton Suspension Bridge and the slipway for the SS Great Eastern.

In early 2001 Dibnah was due to begin filming Fred Dibnah's Building of Britain, but suffered severe abdominal pains and was admitted to hospital for tests. He was discharged and began filming at locations around the country, including the Globe Theatre, Ely Cathedral and Glamis Castle. Dibnah was the chairman of the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society and an episode on the construction of Britain's canal network was therefore of particular interest to him.

Toward the end of filming, Dibnah went to Bolton Royal Hospital for a check-up, where a tumour was found on his right kidney. The kidney was removed and the tumour was found to be malignant.
He went to Christie Hospital in Manchester, where further growths were discovered around his bladder.
On the same day, Sheila's father fell from the roof of his house and died. Dibnah underwent chemotherapy and once his treatment was finished tests showed that he was free of cancer.

Filming for Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam began early in 2003, at the Trencherfield Mill, near Wigan Pier.

The film crew visited a number of locations, including a steam rally in Cornwall and the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.
Dibnah was travelling around the country working on a subject that fascinated him, visiting old friends and making money from his hobby.
The restoration of his traction engine was almost complete; later that year, however, Dibnah had another checkup at Christie Hospital and was told that a large tumour had been found on his bladder.

Dig with Dibnah

Dibnah had another course of chemotherapy, but this time the treatment was unsuccessful.
Undeterred, he began to dig a replica coal mine in the back garden of his home.
Although the sight of pithead gear may have been considered by his neighbours to be unusual, as a child raised in Bolton he had been surrounded by pits such as Ladyshore Colliery and had long harboured an interest in mining.
He had already assembled the wooden pithead gear and was planning to sink a 100-foot (30 m) brick-lined shaft below this into the hillside.
At the bottom of the shaft, a horizontal tunnel would have led out to the steep side of the valley above which his garden sits.
The intention was to have a narrow gauge railway running along the tunnel, back up the hillside on a rope-hauled inclined plane, returning to the pithead. The ultimate aim was to be able to demonstrate the basic working of an early colliery.
Seven years before his diagnosis, therefore, Dibnah had sourced drawings of suitable pithead gear and built a frame from timber and iron bolts.
He had applied for and was given planning permission to erect the structure, but made no mention of his wish to dig a shaft underneath it.
The BBC decided to make a documentary on Dibnah's proposed mine, which would entail his once again travelling around the country, visiting working collieries and heritage mines.
Filming started late in 2003, by which time Dibnah and his friend Alf Molyneux had already made a start on the shaft.
The pithead gear at the rear of the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, previously Dibnah's home.

Using traditional shaft-sinking techniques and the labour of mining friends Alf Molyneux and Jimmy Crooks, the shaft was sunk to a depth of 20 feet (6.1 m) and lined with brick.
The work had been undertaken without planning permission and, when the council eventually found out what was happening, they insisted he apply for planning permission.

Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain

Despite Dibnah's best efforts, planning permission was refused.
Although he appealed against the decision, a new series diverted his attention.
At the end of 2003 production began for Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain. With his friend, Alf Molyneux, Dibnah would tour the country on his completed traction engine, visiting the workshops that still could produce the parts needed for his antique vehicle.
His engine, however, was not yet complete and Dibnah's medical diagnosis was not good: he knew he had only a short time to live.
His traction engine developed a serious fault, but with the help of friends it was quickly repaired and its restoration completed.
Dibnah visiting the Great Central Railway works at Loughborough, as part of his final televised tour of Britain's industrial heritage.

In December 2003, his traction engine was now in working order and planning for the new series commenced.
Dibnah's illness necessitated that he sleep in hotels, rather than the living van the engine would tow during the trip.
For the long distances between locations, the engine would be transported on the back of a low loader.
Dibnah's engine suffered early mechanical problems; it could barely tow the fully loaded living van uphill, as the cylinder had been placed very slightly closer to the footplate than it should have been.
As a result of this, every time the piston was fully forward it covered the steam inlet port.
The engine was repaired, and with some minor engineering work to one of the pistons was brought up to full power.
The team was joined by Dibnah's sons, Jack and Roger.

The production crew made every effort to reduce Dibnah's workload. Changes were made to the filming schedule, to allow Dibnah more time to rest at home between filming days.
The crew visited the Forth Road Bridge and Dibnah became the first man to drive a traction engine under its own steam across the bridge.
Such pleasures provided a welcome distraction for Dibnah, who was by then ill and in pain. By the end of June he was so ill he could not continue filming.
He was sent home to rest and given medication to alleviate his condition, so that he could collect his MBE.

In mid-2000, Dibnah was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology for his achievement in engineering by Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and on 19 July 2004 he was made an honorary Doctor of the University by the University of Birmingham.

Dibnah was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to heritage and broadcasting.
He said "I'm looking forward to meeting the Queen but I shall probably have to get a new cap.
And I'd like to meet Prince Charles because we share the same views about modern architecture."

On 7 July 2004, Dibnah went to Buckingham Palace to receive his award from the Queen. He initially planned to drive his traction engine into the palace grounds, but was refused as the Royal Parks Agency feared that its weight would damage the surface of The Mall.

Eventually he was allowed to drive the engine to Wellington Barracks, a short distance from the palace.
He collected his medal wearing morning dress and a top hat.
I was slightly nervous shaking hands with the Queen. She asked me if I was still climbing chimneys.
It beats me how she keeps tabs on everybody. I never thought I would be receiving an MBE.

Fred Dibnah

Filming continued at various locations around the country, with sons Jack and Roger, who had become essential members of the tour, providing much-needed support for their father.
By the end of July, the crew had filmed only 34 days with Dibnah, out of a planned 60.
It was becoming more difficult by the day for Dibnah to fulfil his filming duties and the crew decided to cut short the schedule.
Once home, Dibnah decided to creosote the pithead gear in his garden but fell and injured his back.
He was adamant that he would continue filming, however, and made the trip to North Wales to complete filming.
He later made a partial recovery and completed his last day's filming at an Ironworks in Atherton.
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Old 14-05-2019, 09:17 PM
Dongo's Avatar
Dongo Dongo is offline
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Location: Hertfordshire
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Thank you very much for the history - a great man, as indeed was I.K.Brunel.
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Old 14-05-2019, 09:28 PM
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set track set track is offline
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thank you Holly , sad but a good tribute .

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Old 14-05-2019, 09:39 PM
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Dongo Dongo is offline
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Oxford Models produce this Land Rover in OO gauge, product code : 76LRL006

at £5.95.

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Old 15-05-2019, 01:47 AM
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carlys_guy carlys_guy is offline
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Location: NEW ENGLAND U.S.A.
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real shame, some people should live forever. another great person i would have liked to meet, shame i am just learning about him.

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Old 15-05-2019, 09:23 AM
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Bob the Boss Bob the Boss is offline
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Location: Madley in Herefordshire Uk.
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This has completed our series of videos on Fred


Dibnah's coffin being drawn along the streets of Bolton

Fred Dibnah's grave in Tonge Cemetery

Dibnah died at Bolton Hospice, surrounded by his family, on 6 November 2004, after suffering from cancer for three years.
He was only 66 years old.

Eleven days later, thousands of mourners watched as Dibnah's coffin (on top of which his trademark flat cap was placed) was towed through the centre of Bolton by his restored traction engine, driven by his son. A cortège of steam-powered vehicles followed, as the procession made its way to Bolton Parish Church.
During the hour-long service, David Hall told the congregation "He wasn't a posh TV presenter. He was recognised as a working man who had learned through experience." Following the service, led by the Vicar of Bolton—Canon Michael Williams (a friend of Dibnah)—he was buried at Tonge Cemetery, behind his home.

At the time of his death, his estate was estimated as being worth about £1 million. It was later revealed that Dibnah's wife Sheila, and her son Nathan, had been left nothing from the estate.

Statue of Dibnah in Bolton

Through his television work Dibnah became famous for felling chimneys (by the time of his death he had felled ninety), although it was one of his least favourite jobs.
As he made more films with Don Haworth, his outspoken views on changing society, work ethics and delinquency, made him the embodiment of the views of many of his fans and epitomised the view of a northern working man.

Dibnah was praised by many notable British people.
After reporting on his death, television presenter Peter Sissons remarked: "They don't make them like that any more". Comedian Peter Kay said: "It's very sad news. He was one of a kind and now he has gone I think there will be no one else like him. He was enthusiastic about a way of life that has virtually disappeared now." Brian Tetlow, chairman of the Bolton and District Civic Trust, said: "He's unique, not just to Bolton but to Britain and the world.
Our thoughts are with his wife and children."

An 8-foot (2.4 m) bronze statue of Dibnah was unveiled by the Mayor of Bolton, in Bolton town centre, on 29 April 2008. The sculpture was created by Jane Robbins.
His home was later converted into a heritage centre but its contents were sold at auction in March 2018.

A play titled The Demolition Man, based on his final years, was staged in 2011 at Bolton's Octagon Theatre.

The life and times of Dibnah were celebrated by St Helens comedy folk band the Lancashire Hotpots, who released their song "Dibnah" with a music video in 2016.
Band member Dickie Ticker said of Dibnah "When Fred came on the screens – other than on Coronation Street – there was no one with a broad Boltonian accent.
He was a working class and genuinely nice bloke.
Since posting the video we have had dozens and dozens of comments and no one has got a bad word to say about him."

The American rock band Tuff Sunshine released a song, "The Steeplejack" in 2019 that was inspired by the BBC documentary Fred Dibnah: Steeplejack.


Fred Dibnah: Steeplejack (1979)
Fred (1983)
Fred – A Disappearing World (1983)
A Year with Fred (1987)
A Year with Fred – New Horizons (1991)
Fred Dibnah – Getting Steamed Up (1991)
Life With Fred (1994)
Fred Dibnah's The Ups and Downs of Chimneys (1994)
Fred Dibnah's All Steamed Up (1994)
The Fred Dibnah Story (1996)
Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age (1999)
Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (2000)
Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes (2001)
Fred Dibnah's Building of Britain (2002)
Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (2003)
Dig with Dibnah (2004)
A Tribute to Fred Dibnah (2004)
Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain (2005)
Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (2006)

Bob the Boss
Gibbins Motors Technology Uk
The more you know the less you know!!
Bob the Boss forum owner
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Old 15-05-2019, 03:25 PM
carlys_guy's Avatar
carlys_guy carlys_guy is offline
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really enjoyed the videos about fred he was a little hard to understand at times but still interesting to watch. the world needs more people like that these days.

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Old 15-05-2019, 05:06 PM
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Dongo Dongo is offline
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Many thanks for these interesting postings.
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Old 16-05-2019, 07:52 AM
miss Lisa Shufflebum's Avatar
miss Lisa Shufflebum miss Lisa Shufflebum is offline
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Posts: 128

thanks for posting , much enjoyed

Lisa & Tina and mr Track xxx
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