Ladders, Hammers and Steam.
From the BBC archives of 1982 comes the series that made Fred Dibnah a household name. A man born a hundred years or so too late, for his liking. Now on DVD this BAFTA award winning series is now yours to own.
We follow a forty year old Fred as he goes about his work, through two hundred and sixty minutes of pure joy.
We see Fred going about his business as he plies his trade of climbing huge Bolton chimneys and erecting scaffolding in the traditional manner of using a ladders to get to the top and then hanging from a long rope and using a bosons chair. He uses hammer and chisel to anchor the pieces of wood that he uses to make the base for his scaffolding. With his workmate Donald they erect Fred’s scaffolding for him to do his solitary job of dropping the chimney by forty foot all by hand.
The other love of his life is steam and his road roller that he has spent the last fourteen years restoring back to working glory. His wife Alison brings up the kids while Fred looks after his pride and joy also called Alison. Many years ago he and Alison eloped to Gretna Green to get married, but they couldn’t get married straight away so Fred ended up re-pointing the gable ends of the hotel to pay the bill.
We follow Fred as he scales chimney’s and church steeples to acquire enough funds for his next project a steam tractor, that can have rubber wheels and a modicum of suspension, with the aid of Donald and a few of his connections to start the rebuild. But when you have a teenage family and a wife that hasn’t had a holiday since Gretna Green things have to go on the back burner, or do they?
This is just pure joy to me as I wanted to be an engineer but recession put paid to that, listening to Fred is just awesome as he imparts the knowledge of old. A must own for anybody with oil in their veins as we see Fred wear most of his beloved Alison’s hot oil.