I never actually knew Fred Dibnah but felt that I did having watched his documentaries over the years and when he died in 2004 I was sorry to hear of his passing, it was the end of an amazing life. Dr. Frederick "Fred" Dibnah MBE (1938 –2004) was an enduring character, born in Bolton he was a steeplejack and television personality with an infectious interest in mechanical engineering and the Victorian way of doing things and a passion for preserving it. So much so that he devoted his home/base of operations a former Park keeper's lodge originally built in 1854 to antiquated machinery and Victoriana. His legendary yard complete with 50ft chimney and 70ft mineshaft was cobbled together over a period of forty years and filled with various machines including a circular saw, lathes, planer, a band saw, hydraulic hammer and 7ft drills and all of them powered by steam! It must have been a marvel to see when he had the yard at ‘full-steam’ working on one of his projects.
When he was alive, Dibnah had hoped that his home would one day become a museum, where his life’s passions could be preserved and that’s just what happened, it is now the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre.
Although I am yet to actually visit the famed yard for myself (something I hope to do very soon) they have helped me to create my own tribute to the great man. So I am pleased to share the latest edition to my ‘Wonderments and Atrocities
’ with you all a genuine
boiler rivet from Fred’s workshop! Adapting an existing vintage glass display dome with rivets (some with light rusting) and finished off with a miniature locomotive style nameplate created by Andy Dingley
of Atelier Fabry-Pérot
. A small tribute to the great man in my own studio/base of operations!
Follow the link to find out more about the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre
and show your support!
2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world
My mother-in-law - also from Bolton - was always very scathing about Fred Dibnah! I never did work out exactly what she had against him...ReplyDelete
Oh dear, I know his methods of removing chimneys worried a lot of people… I wonder what it was then? I know two people that met him, and apparently he was as you saw him.Delete
I quite enjoyed his programme on the occasions I watched it. I see they're still being repeated on TV. Now, do you have a petrified poo from one of Barbara Woodhouse's dogs?ReplyDelete
I'm quite partial to his dvd's nice gentle viewing on Sunday afternoons when I am lazy. No Barbara Woodhouse dog poo, but what a marvelous idea! :)Delete