Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Where Dibnah mucked around

As Fred Dibnah’s former home comes to the market, Matthew Steeples is reminded of a true BBC legend

 

As the nation continues to cringe in horror every time the name “Savile” is mentioned, memories of another BBC relic of the 1980s resurfaced when it was revealed that Fred Dibnah’s former home is for sale.

 

Fred Dibnah 450 1
Dr. Frederick “Fred” Dibnah MBE (1938 – 2004)

House front 450 1
121 Radcliffe Road, The Haulgh, Bolton, Lancashire, BL2 1NU (originally known as Park Cottage)

For those of our readers who weren’t fortunate enough to be alive when Dibnah graced our screens, he, unlike Savile, was a legend who truly deserves the accolade of such a title. This thrice-married Lancastrian was a steeplejack who became a television personality just as his breed died out. He didn’t understand why he’d become famous and of it commented:

 

“It’s a funny thing, this celebrity. If you don’t wave back you’re a miserable bugger, if you do wave back you’re a big-headed bugger. I don’t know.”

 

Dibnah in his garden 1
Fred Dibnah in his garden

Dibnahs garden 450 1
A view of the “garden”

Fred Dibnah preferred to think of himself as “just a bum who climbs chimneys” but he ought instead be remembered for his forthright manner. Amongst the legendary comments this “chimney feller” came out with were remarks like:

 

“The modern world stinks… We’ve become a nation of con men, living by selling double-glazing to each other… Teaching boys to bake cakes? That’s no way to maintain an industrial empire… Them fancy London types don’t know the pleasure of eating chips with fingers… I prefer the past to the present. Because life today, with all its modern technology, isn’t very good, is it? And the future looks even worse.”

 

Dibnah bought 121 Radcliffe Road in Bolton in 1967 for £5,000. A Grade II listed former park keeper’s lodge, the building is known as “Two Cats” locally because of the coat of arms of the Earl of Bradford on one of the gables features two leopards and is said to have been built in 1854.

 

The cottage was the setting of the filming of many scenes from Dibnah’s shows and it was here also in 2003, whilst undergoing chemotherapy, that Dibnah decided to embark on the construction of a replica coal mine with his friend Alf Molyneux. His rationale for this was simple: “It’s not everyone who has a coal mine in their back garden.”

 

Rear of house 2007 450 1
An attempt to auction the house with a guide price of £300,000 to £350,000 in 2007 failed because of a boundary dispute

Civic Trust Plaque 1
A Bolton & District Civic Trust plaque commemorates Dibnah having lived there from 1967 until 2004

Leon and Jeanette Powsney purchased the derelict property in 2009 for £185,000 and set about turning part of it into a 5-bedroomed home for themselves and the remainder into The Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre.

 

Visitors, who come by the coachload, are able to tour the yard and see Dibnah’s machinery. Amongst that on show are steam-powered workshop with a circular saw, a band saw and a hydraulic hammer. The 70ft mine shaft remains and in addition there is a 50ft chimney, a gift shop and a small tearoom. The venture turns over about £100,000 per annum and is now for sale through agents Intelligent Business Transfer.

 

Mr Powsney, who is planning to move abroad, commented:

 

“We’re selling it as a going concern. It was a business set up against all the odds, we saved it from being flattened and from being redeveloped. We have worked hard to make the centre what it is, and have invested a lot of money in it. We think there’s potential for a buyer to make a tidy profit from it, but we’re looking to relax a bit more now.”

 

If the asking price of £1,250,000 sought by Mr & Mrs Powsney is achieved, I’m sure the legendary steeplejack wouldn’t disagree that here is a case of: “Where there’s muck, there’s brass.”

 

For further details about 121 Radcliffe Road, The Haulgh, Bolton, Lancashire, BL2 1NU contact Intelligent Business Transfer on +44 800 612 7718 or go to: http://www.intelligentbusinesstransfer.com/index.php/heritage-centre-meseum.html

 

To visit the museum contact Leon Pownsey on +44 (0) 1204 531303 or via email at: freddibnahtours@live.com

 

Watch a video of Fred Dibnah in his garden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFJq2zayy1s

5e3b97728b2e4bf58c9ff7822befe328?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The Steeple Times
We research and background check our articles. If you believe we have made and error in some detail please get in touch, we seek always to write the truth and stand against a press owned by a self selected few. Please help us, we will accept all your likes, subscriptions and anonymous suport. The Editor and his team at the Steeple Times.
  1. That’s a lovely piece Matthew and I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. I am part of the family company who made all of Fred’s later programmes for the BBC (from 1998 until his death). And was lucky enough to be there when some of those famous quotes were made!
    Along with all the programmes that were made for TV we’ve also produced other Dibnah DVDs. They’re all available in our shop at http://www.theviewfromthenorth.co.uk/shop/ with a free Dibnah gift with every purchase. If you think it may be of interest to your readers I can give you an exclusive code for a 10% off anything in the shop.
    One particular disc that may be of interest based on your piece is the Dig with Dibnah DVD as along with the full 1hr programme there are another 2hrs of extras not seen on TV.
    Just get in touch if you’d like the code for your readers

  2. Dyou what, after all these years Fred, I mean the Great Fred will not be forgotten. Not while I’m alive. Never met himself but did meet Alf at a show. Still remembered with great affection. As he said once on screen ‘He was born in the wrong times’. Respect. RIP Fred Dibnah.

  3. Fred was a great soul who always made time for people,one of a kind. He will never be forgotten,a true guiding light that’s sadly missed love and light Fred.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertisement
Advertisement

Become a Patron of The Steeple Times

Independent journalism will only remain independent if it is supported by clear-thinking people like you. We each have the command to make a real difference. Join us.

2,588FansLike
2,068FollowersFollow
10,903FollowersFollow

Subscribe For DAILY NEWS

Please subscribe, like and share this very British site, it helps us grow. Your data is protected and The Steeple Times will send you an email at noon everyday that we rather trust you will enjoy.

Advertisement

Other Stories You May Enjoy

Bargaining Britain’s Northernmost Castle – £130,000 for Muness Castle, Unst, Shetland Isles, Scotland, ZE2 9DL, United Kingdom – Grade A listed freehold Scottish castle with cottages, barony title, gold and copper reserves and 240 acres of land goes to auction for just £130,000 just as plans for a space centre are announced in the vicinity – To be sold by Future Property Auctions of Glasgow on 23rd April 2021.

Bargaining Britain’s Northernmost Castle

Grade A listed freehold Scottish castle with cottages, barony title, gold and copper reserves and 240 acres of land goes to auction for just £130,000 just as plans for a space centre are announced in the vicinity.
Epstein Gets The Wrecking Ball – £13m Jeffrey Epstein crib demolished – Wrecking ball sent in to destroy Prince Andrew’s paedo bestie Jeffrey Epstein’s £13.2 million Palm Beach mucky mansion at 358 El Brillo Way, Palm Beach, Florida, FL 33480, United States of America – Purchased by Miami developer Todd Michael Glaser.

Epstein Gets The Wrecking Ball

Wrecking ball sent in to destroy Prince Andrew’s paedo bestie Jeffrey Epstein’s £13.2 million Palm Beach mucky mansion.
Hospitality vs. Headbangers 2021 – Hospitality vs. Government – Legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s government’s illogical refusal to allow indoor hospitality venues open whilst allowing indoor retail to be decided on this week.

Hospitality vs. Headbangers

Legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s government’s completely illogical refusal to allow indoor hospitality venues to open whilst allowing indoor retail to open to be decided on this week.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.

Flattening a Fountain

Boxy “Town Hall classical style” dictator crib ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
A BIG Bugatti – £1.55m for 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport – Theodora Ong lusts after a 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport that currently sports the registration plate ‘BIG 3’ – For sale through Graeme Hunt for £1.55 million ($2.14 million, €1.79 million or درهم7.88 million).

A BIG Bugatti

Theodora Ong lusts after a £1.55 million 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport that currently sports the registration plate ‘BIG 3’ – but could become ‘BUG 8’
Don’t Come On Carrie! The nation does NOT need Carrie Symonds – Matthew Steeples argues that Daniel Johnson’s “Come on, Carrie: your country needs you!” call to Boris Johnson’s wine chucking latest baby mama is nothing but claptrap.

Don’t Come On Carrie!

Matthew Steeples argues that Daniel Johnson’s “Come on Carrie: your country needs you!” call to Boris Johnson’s wine chucking latest baby mama is nothing but claptrap.
Theresa’s in the Trough – Theresa May MP’s £1.2m in 2020 – 2021 – Matthew Steeples highlights that it is not just David Cameron who has been sticking his piggy fingers in the trough; Theresa May also ‘pocketed’ over £1.2 million in the last year alone.

Theresa’s in the Trough

Matthew Steeples highlights that it is not just David Cameron who has been sticking his piggy fingers in the trough; Theresa May also ‘pocketed’ over £1.2 million in the last year alone.
The Spectre Shooting Brake – 1 of 1 Rolls-Royce Wraith shooting brake – 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith converted to a shooting brake by automotive genius Niels van Roij for sale for 157% more than it originally cost – Bonhams at their ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ sale in Monte Carlo on 23rd April 2021 with an estimate of £320,000 to £480,000 ($440,000 to $660,000, €370,000 to €550,000 or درهم1.6 million to درهم2.4 million).

The Spectre Shooting Brake

2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith converted to a ‘Spectre’ shooting brake by automotive genius Niels van Roij for sale for 157% more than it originally cost.
Courting Expletives 2021 – Emma Rivers v Jigsaw Homes Tameside – Extraordinary official civil judgment from the County Court at Manchester packed with expletives sums up the state of once Great Britain; one is simply left wondering if potty mouthed Emma Rivers was trained by the creosoted napkin slapper Dawn Ward.

Courting Expletives

Extraordinary official civil judgment from the County Court at Manchester packed with expletives sums up the state of the nation; one is simply left wondering if potty mouthed Emma Rivers was trained by the creosoted napkin slapper Dawn Ward.
Beecher’s Muck – Far right Jay Beecher supports Ghislaine Maxwell – Ghislaine Maxwell’s latest supporter revealed to be Jay Beecher, a far right-wing political writer and ex-Ukipper with associations to the quite rightly banned-from-Facebook ‘Politicalite’

Beecher’s Muck

Ghislaine Maxwell’s latest supporter revealed to be Jay Beecher, a far right-wing political writer and ex-Ukipper with associations to the quite rightly banned-from-Facebook ‘Politicalite’

Popular Articles From The Past

Weather

London
broken clouds
11.7 ° C
12.8 °
11.1 °
54 %
7.2kmh
75 %
Wed
12 °
Thu
13 °
Fri
14 °
Sat
13 °
Sun
12 °