Author Topic: Fred Dibnah - coal mining  (Read 634 times)


Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2021, 10:16:56 pm »
 :clap2:   :clap2:

He's great.  Love the bow & arrow trick   :lol: :lol:   :smartass:
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life waiting for us.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2021, 08:34:05 am »
I remember him climbing the magnificent India Mill chimney in Darwen. It's about the height of Malham Cove and ends with a huge overhang. Next time you peer (carefully!) over the edge of Malham Cove, maybe think of Fred. If you're ever passing it's worth stopping to look at that chimney and pondering on how skilled and brave he was. Here's a short video:

The chimney and the mill below it are architectural gems. The chimney itself is built on a gigantic cube of sandstone sourced from Cadshaw Quarry on the Bolton side of Darwen. I was told it was dragged the 2 miles there by a team of 70 horses. They didn't mess about in Victorian times.

Some of my earliest caving was done in that quarry as a child when a couple of us pushed one or two of the caves there. In one of them (I think we called it "Constriction Cave") we managed to pass a very awkward squeeze. Doubt I could get through it now, fully grown. Good job we didn't end up needing rescuing really!

Offline Fulk

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2021, 08:47:15 am »
"What did you say – lifeline?? – what's one of them?"

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2021, 09:05:36 am »
Precisely . . .    ;)

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2021, 09:17:23 am »
You only fall off a chimney once.

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2021, 09:19:04 am »

The chimney and the mill below it are architectural gems. The chimney itself is built on a gigantic cube of sandstone sourced from Cadshaw Quarry on the Bolton side of Darwen. I was told it was dragged the 2 miles there by a team of 70 horses. They didn't mess about in Victorian times.


It is a rather spendid consrtuction and a lovely sight when I run past Darwen Tower.

Online tony from suffolk

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2021, 09:19:51 am »
One of my old colleagues, who owned a traction engine (his hands looked pretty grubby, nails broken, usually covered in dressings. Heaven only knows what his patients thought), knew Fred pretty well. I asked him what Fred was like in real life & he told me he was just the same as he was on TV. A remarkable man, very knowledgeable, but an old-fashioned chap when it came to how he treated his wives.
"Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment"

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2021, 09:44:13 am »
I love Fred, he did have a big flaw - re: wives, but he was also diamond. Interesting guy and a great story teller.

My late grandad (maternal one, never knew the other) was a steel worker not steeplejack and 37 years older than Fred but he looked and dressed really like Fred minus the boiler suit (if Fred ever took it off?) and had the same Lancashire accent and turns of phrase, although my Grandad's was a bit thicker Lancashire (did Fred tone it down and talk posh for the cameras?). I love Fred and the content of those programs, but when I hear Fred's way of speaking it's like listening to my late grandad so for me it has that as an extra

If I'd questioned climbing a ladder without lifeline, sure my grandad would have said summut like  "eeeh, don't be such a mardy"

Edit: I did climb a ladder with some steeplejacks once years ago (they made me go last as I was unproven), to about 80m level on a 98 metre chimney, no lifeline or clipping anything. Did it without making a fuss or bother but definitely for me lots of "brown adrenaline" filling the trousers, wouldn't want to do that for a regular day-job, getting sweaty palms thinking about it
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 10:00:10 am by Cantclimbtom »
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 11:19:26 am »

The chimney and the mill below it are architectural gems. The chimney itself is built on a gigantic cube of sandstone sourced from Cadshaw Quarry on the Bolton side of Darwen. I was told it was dragged the 2 miles there by a team of 70 horses. They didn't mess about in Victorian times.


It is a rather spendid consrtuction and a lovely sight when I run past Darwen Tower.


If I had a fiver for every time I've run past Darwen Tower I'd be a wealthy bloke.

Tony is right; Fred didn't need to act in any way; that was exactly how he was.

I once got invited to an evening event at an engineering society's gathering (as a mate of mine who was a member had a spare ticket). It was in a big hall which was packed with very well qualified professional engineers. I remember looking around at one point and marvelling at so many experts absolutely spellbound by what this scruffy Bolton bloke was talking about. He was held in high regard by them. The thing was, I know very little about engineering but Fred explained thing in a way that even I could easily understand. He was very humorous and entertaining at the same time. Fred was also very handy with a pint glass.

Offline Paul Marvin

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Re: Fred Dibnah - coal mining
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 05:50:48 pm »
My Favourite was when he was dropping a cooling tower with his burning props technique,  stood up close watching right until it literally started falling down then running away papping a old bicycle horn. Or maybe stopping halfway up the longest ladder in the world and getting his flask out and a fag . Brilliant !   :bow:
I dont know where I am going, but will know where I am when I get there.

 

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