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Thread Dibnah visit - crumbled like a chimney stack


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#31 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:22 PM

I went round one afternoon when Fred was up and running, he was the very best sort. Heavily biased since my Dad's a Horwich/Rivington lad with mucho engineering in the genes.
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#32 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:39 PM

Fred was down to earth, everyone was his 'mate', Shielah his final Mrs could swear like a docker as well, she was all heirs & graces on the telly box but in real life she was nowt of the sort, but she loved Fred. was so glad to meet him many moons ago at a steam rally, but he did have a pop at the organisers, as they didn't publicise Fred was going to be there, and if they had, loads more would have visited, must have chatted a good half an hour with him, such a nice, funny and warm chap really, wished I'd kept my Lledo Dibnah Sentinal with the signed serstificate, which Fred kindly obliged to sign in his fantastic signature. He was a national treasure, and always talked down about himself, refering to himself as Fred Dribble. And yes when I was chatting to him he was sober and drinking a coffee, even though he was in the real ale tent


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#33 OFFLINE   doubleyeller

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 05:52 PM

His first programs were only really produced with the intention of showing a relatively interesting man living somewhat after his time.

The waistcoat, pocket watch, broad accent etc etc etc that came later were just utterly fake and playing up to a stereotype for tv. Fred Dibnah was a Steeplejack with a genuine personal interest in steam. He was very talented at presenting programs. However imo he didn't genuinely exist in the guise he presented on tv. I met him in person, and he was an interesting and knowledgeable individual, but equally you could meet an equivalent to the REAL Fred Dibnah at any steam rally Imo.

Heritage centre? The man and his engines have gone. I would have been interested to visit his garden when it was complete and in steam. I wouldn't pay £12 a head to see anything else.

#34 OFFLINE   richardthestag

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 06:23 PM

even though I is miles away and didnt really have any intention of going I r disappoint that all his kit has gone.

 

suppose it is not surprising really. Any ideas where it all went?


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#35 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 06:32 PM

The steam tractor lives with a Lancashire based enthusiast, but IRRC the Lanny and roller are on the I.O.M with his lads


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#36 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 07:55 PM

His son, Jack - "I've been involved with steam since I was 6" has been helping restore a Manx steam loco.

He also had his hands on Dads old puffer...

http://www.bbc.co.uk...hester-12722332


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#37 OFFLINE   AlabamaShrimp

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 08:07 PM

It sounded really good until you look at their website and see it's all gone.

Bit weird that you can go look at the house, even stay there, yet 99% of the stuff is gone.

I would have been in but now I'm out.

#38 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 09:11 PM

I think Jack is on good terms with the engine's new owner, Fred's gaff was bought by someone just after making a few quid on the back of Fred's name, and had no idea about steam or engineering at all. A lot of the workshop was vandalised and the 2 engines whilst the battle of his estate turned very, very ugly, and both engines were removed in a very hastily organised operation, which was sad. Jack is a big steam enthusiast, and I think he actually works on the railways on the IOM, and he's just like his dad when it comes to stopping off at pubs when out on the roller, Fred would be so proud of him


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#39 OFFLINE   Justin Case

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 12:03 PM

I went to the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre shortly after it opened, it was owned by someone called Leon, who gave us an introductory talk and I think is the person now trying to sell it. to be fair he had ploughed some of his hard-earned in to get it up and running and his ultimate aim was to hand it over to a trust, but that has never happened. The two engines and Land Rover weren't there, initially they were removed because of security concerns, but the fact that they had not returned several years later may say something about the long and bitter wranglings over Fred's estate.

 

Fred's old mate Alf was there to give us a conducted tour. The steam engine driving the workshop machinery was up and running, and Alf was actually quite amiable, far from the dour character portrayed on the box, but then the First Law of Directing Television Programmes states that if you have two main characters, they must be as unlike each other as possible :(

 

The trust never got of the ground, possibly due to the difficulty in getting the finance and volunteers to run a trust, and I'm not including buying the property. Also the problems would have included getting planning permission for the mine shaft due to the jobsworths on Bolton Council and as the house had originally been owned by that greedy bastard the Eal of Bradford, he would have retained the mineral rights (now with British Coal) when he sold it off. HLF funding is difficult to obtain and i know that it is not dependent on the 'coolness' of the project (our bus museum got one FFS) but it depends on the purpose of the bid (education is often important) but also on having the management in place to spend the money as granted, and also sustainability, in that the museum , etc will be able to continue after the project has finished.

 

I don't think that would have been possible with the set up as it was, and although I obviously don't know the full story, it might have been that although starting with the best intentions, perhaps he finally had enough and threw in the towel.

 

Disclaimer - this may all be total bollocks, but other versions of total bollocks are also available :)


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#40 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 12:39 AM

I think one of the steam engines from the workshop is now on long term loan to a museum in Bolton as well. One of the problema as well was finding someone insane enough to maintain Fred's home made workshop, which was basically made from scrap, and when going a H&S minefield, but Fred was one of those blokes who didn't really care for H&S, especially when it came to hard hats


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#41 OFFLINE   Bobthebeard

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 02:28 AM

Nothing to do with it, but many years ago Mrs Beard knew Fred. He was a mate of Ronnie Carter. A local blacksmith. Both died young but what a life eh?
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#42 OFFLINE   sierraman

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:57 AM

I read somewhere he’d been married about four times but it kept going wrong cause he’d spend all his time farting about with his Machines all day, by the time it was tea time he’d be fit for nothing.

I liked his programs though but I can’t imagine it was easy, him coming home treading grease into the cream carpets. My wife says this is what I’ll end up like.
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#43 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:00 AM

I think the term 'life/work' balance was invented for Fred.

I think a lot of 'Jollities/lend a friend/Saturday Spannerinn' planned and discussed, on here, evokes "mucking in" with a job - but, I may surmise, a full time mechanic [with overtime] would need a PinkPass OUT from management to eschew 'home duties' for MORE greasy handed hours...

SiC hit the nail on the head :-

She complains I'm spending more time under the MGB than her!

... well said ;)


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#44 OFFLINE   sierraman

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 10:38 AM

I think that was the problem, his work was his life. Did all his shit get auctioned off then?

#45 OFFLINE   plasticvandan

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 11:34 AM

His sons own the roller and living van,his daughter Lorna owns the Landrover (and traced and restored his previous lightweight landrover) and both are rallied and shown at shows around the country.

The workshop engine,Caroline is in the Bolton steam museum.The traction engine was auctioned off and owned by Michael Oliver.


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#46 OFFLINE   flat4alfa

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 03:32 PM

The traction engine went for over £¼M, well over the £100k auction estimate

 

It was sold to settle the estate with his last wife



#47 OFFLINE   Wack

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:11 PM

This is how I remember Fred, no H&S or fear of heights

 


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#48 OFFLINE   Heritage motor centre

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:41 PM

I see Bolton steam museum mentioned earlier. Went there aged 10 on a school trip on a GM BUS. 10/10 A* wud recommend. Was nearly 30 yrs ago now but it still sticks in the memory.
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#49 OFFLINE   beko1987

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:57 PM

This is how I remember Fred, no H&S or fear of heights

https://www.youtube....h?v=3R3-YwDZrzg


Fucking hell I feel ill just watching that! How did they get the ladders up there in the first place though?
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#50 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 07:04 PM

Install them as they build it I think.

 

 

But aye, bugger that for a lark. I'm not even over keen about standing on a chair.



#51 OFFLINE   Wack

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 07:08 PM

Fucking hell I feel ill just watching that! How did they get the ladders up there in the first place though?

 

 

Fred puts them up, when I moved to warrington I bought a new house, builders had made a crap job of staining the woodwork so I bought some ladders, I went about as high as fred putting that first ladder on and thought, ooo this is higher than it looks, they've been in the garage for 25 years

 


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#52 ONLINE   warren t claim

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 07:41 PM

Fucking hell I feel ill just watching that! How did they get the ladders up there in the first place though?

Oddly enough right up until my kids came along I had no fear of heights whatsoever, as far as I was concerned I'm no more likely to fall from the floor than standing on the edge of the roof of a tower block. Something broke in my brain when I became a parent and now the thought of heights now makes me sick.


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#53 OFFLINE   beko1987

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 08:12 PM

See I'm not bad with heights, used to run up and down the spire at alwalton church when I was a boy and Granny did the flowers, but I think I've found my limit watching that!

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#54 OFFLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 08:33 PM

Fred = you WILL die @35foot+.

Fred = I earn a Wedge£ "cos you wimp, M8"

Fred = where is it??

Fred = Hero :)


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#55 OFFLINE   DodgeRover

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 03:51 PM

Heights effect people in different ways, as a child I was once absolutely petrified going up a working windmill till my dad pointed out that it had stood 200 years so why would it collapse now? So that's what I always remember when going up inside tall buildings.

Outside it's only going from the top of a ladder onto a roof I really don't like doing.
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#56 OFFLINE   Wack

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:28 PM

It's the climbing up the ladder that's sticking out 5ft when he reaches the overhang that gets me , but he's right , lifting 1 ton lumps of stone that high over 100 years ago was some feat of engineering
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#57 OFFLINE   Yoss

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:31 PM

This is how I remember Fred, no H&S or fear of heights

https://www.youtube....h?v=3R3-YwDZrzg

Fred on reaching the top: You could ride a bike round here.

And so calm with it. I'm still in awe.
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#58 OFFLINE   New POD

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 09:07 AM

It's the climbing up the ladder that's sticking out 5ft when he reaches the overhang that gets me , but he's right , lifting 1 ton lumps of stone that high over 100 years ago was some feat of engineering

 

Having done a little Safe Indoor climbing, I don't think the overhang would cause me a  technical difficulty. It's the lack of a harness, and the previous 10 minutes of climbing that would tire me out so much that my brain would be saying "erm are you sure"



#59 OFFLINE   chodweaver

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:31 PM

I felt exposed just watching Fred do it. My stomach was doing somersaults the whole time.
I'm guessing a long zoom lens was not available to the camera crew - I kept waiting for the shot that pulls back from a full frame of Fred, to show the whole chimney with him just a speck on it...

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#60 OFFLINE   richardthestag

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:16 PM

Fucking hell I feel ill just watching that! How did they get the ladders up there in the first place though?

 

 

I reckon Fred would have liked to have given ^^ that one a go


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