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Thread: Fred Dibnah climbing a chimney (without a safety rope)

  1. #1
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Fred Dibnah climbing a chimney (without a safety rope)



    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  2. #2
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
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    Remarkable man. Fearless but not foolhardy because he'd done the safety work in his own head first.

  3. #3
    What maybe looked like safety glasses (!) and a flat cap. Aye lad, priceless. I have to confess I can barely watch it. Toe-curling.

  4. #4
    Master Thewatchbloke's Avatar
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    Climbing those ladders is exhausting enough but it pales into insignificance compared to putting the ladders up. They're all fixed to the brickwork with rope tied to iron spikes that you drive into the mortar joints with a 3lb lump hammer. You're meant to rake out the mortar, drive in a wooden dowel first, then bang the dog (iron spike) into the dowel to split it afterwards so it holds firm but a lot of steeplejacks back in the day didn't bother with the dowel, consequently a lot of them had accidents! No screws or bolts were used and getting them out again is no fun either as they can become stuck fast and once they are out you have to have a bucket of mortar and a trowel with you to make good the holes afterwards.

  5. #5
    Master BSB's Avatar
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    Some good advice for Fred from Viz


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thewatchbloke View Post
    Climbing those ladders is exhausting enough but it pales into insignificance compared to putting the ladders up. They're all fixed to the brickwork with rope tied to iron spikes that you drive into the mortar joints with a 3lb lump hammer. You're meant to rake out the mortar, drive in a wooden dowel first, then bang the dog (iron spike) into the dowel to split it afterwards so it holds firm but a lot of steeplejacks back in the day didn't bother with the dowel, consequently a lot of them had accidents! No screws or bolts were used and getting them out again is no fun either as they can become stuck fast and once they are out you have to have a bucket of mortar and a trowel with you to make good the holes afterwards.
    Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    Absolutely brilliant! A proper chap if ever there was one. :)

  8. #8
    Master Mouse's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that he can move his legs with balls that size! Absolute legend!

  9. #9
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    Watched it through my fingers, just as I did when I first watched it as a kid.

  10. #10
    Master arthurDALEY's Avatar
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    Do you like that

    I alway"s liked this one of Fred no health and safety and his Klaxon didnt work either !

    (Click to view)

    Last edited by arthurDALEY; 13th October 2016 at 08:12.

  11. #11
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    Gulp - found that very difficult to watch!

  12. #12
    Craftsman Roy_Drage's Avatar
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    Brilliant, brings back some great memories. I was sad when he passed away.

  13. #13
    That made me feel sick

  14. #14
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    Anyone remember Blaster Bates... of similar vain?

    One of his funnier tales...


  15. #15
    Master BEZELBOY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    Anyone remember Blaster Bates... of similar vain?

    One of his funnier tales...

    I remember him well,
    Much to the chagrin of my old man, my thoroughly Yorkshire Music teacher used to play these to me, I was a bit young but got most of the humour most of the time, great to hear him again!

    Andy

  16. #16
    Master
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    Industrial hero.

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    A true legend. Loved how he would set a fire to the wooden props under a chimney after knocking out strategic bricks to make sure it would fall in the right direction.
    The amazing bit is when he would walk back to it and check all was well before honking that daft horn he used and running like hell as it started to topple.

  18. #18
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Clucking bell!

  19. #19
    Like the comment when he got to the top...

    "Eeee you could ride a bike round ere"

  20. #20
    Thoroughly enjoyable if that had to be repeated these days, well it just couldnt be done

  21. #21
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  22. #22
    ^^^^

    That is excellent!

    Watching the video made my legs shake.
    Last edited by Tony-GB; 13th October 2016 at 11:40.

  23. #23
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    An everyday legend , I always enjoyed his programs.

  24. #24
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    "Did ye like that?"

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  25. #25
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    Much love for fred was it on here someone posted a link to a pilot for a series with Fred son? Uncanny resemblance to his old man

  26. #26
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    Fred was legendary. We inspect cranes and only do them from a MEWP harnessed on. Makes our work look soft.
    I had a sky dish put on side of a bungalow, honestly you could have stood on a kitchen chair to put it up but lads turned up with ladders, put a hilti bolt in brickwork, lanyard to ladders, put harness & hard hat on whilst his mate footed the secured ladders.

  27. #27
    Craftsman Go Big's Avatar
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    I watched him climb the one at India Mill Darwen (I think this one may be it) many moons ago.

    I don't don't know about him, but I had sweaty palms just watching.

    It never ceased to amaze me how blasť he was about climbing these monsters.

    I particularly remember him saying "one mistake up here and it's half a day out with the undertaker"

    His programmes were great viewing.

    I had a look at his old house after he died. It's quite unassuming from the front, until you peer over the wall.

  28. #28
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    50 years old he mentioned?
    No chance of me doing that I would be a jelly.

  29. #29
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    **** that, a better man than I.

    I didnt know this guy existed, thanks Eddie

    just spent the last half hour watching videos about him on youtube, felling chimneys etc, amazing man, bless him
    Last edited by soundood; 12th October 2016 at 20:35.

  30. #30
    Whoever would have guessed he would die of natural causes. Proper old school .

  31. #31
    Master Ticker's Avatar
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    Proper bloke! Like an old school Guy Martin.

    I cringed as I watched and my ass was twitching like a rabbits nose.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Go Big View Post
    I had a look at his old house after he died. It's quite unassuming from the front, until you peer over the wall.
    I made a small detour to have a peek at his house a few years ago whilst on my way back from a tour on my motorbicycle.
    It was not long after he passed away and you could still see all the machinery in his garden as seen on his TV series (if a little overgrown by that time).
    There`s no-one left quite like Fred these days...
    Last edited by E_2_Right-Force; 17th October 2016 at 19:40. Reason: gerbils

  33. #33
    F*** THAT for a game of soldiers!!! I've had to lie down to stop feeling dizzy.

    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    Anyone remember Blaster Bates... of similar vain?
    Remember him indeed. I first saw Blaster at a working men's club in Liverpool where he was the 'act' for the night. He was brilliant, stayed on for over 2 hours (most acts did a max of 60 minutes) and had everyone in stitches for the whole time. We don't seem to have the likes of him or Fred nowadays, more the pity.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  34. #34
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Wow... something else that

    I could barley contemplate anythjng like that... balls of galvanised steel

  35. #35
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    A proper bloke!

  36. #36
    Journeyman yogi bear's Avatar
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    Proper Man

    Love Fred!

    Watched all the shows & read his book!

    He was A "Mans Man" & an inspiration!

  37. #37
    Master robcuk's Avatar
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    He was a lovely man, met him multiple times in my childhood as my dad would take me to various steam festivals. Many years later l was working in Cambridge when he was fixing a steeple, was stunned when he broke off from his TV interview to shake my hand and ask after my Dad!



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  38. #38
    Grand Master andrewcregan's Avatar
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    Remember watching Fred on TV many years ago.
    Watching nowadays led to butterflies in the stomach, and sweaty palms - yikes

  39. #39
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    Fred was an absolute Legend a nice chap to speak to, and a proper grafter. I saw him many times around Bolton my home town.
    There is a nice bronze statue of him in the town centre. He is buried in Tonge cemetery at the back of his house.

  40. #40
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Holy s**t!

    I get dizzy going up the step ladders to clear out the gutters on my bungalow

  41. #41
    Master aldfort's Avatar
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    As many have said a proper bloke. Sadly Health and Safety would have rendered his business obsolete some years ago. As a preserved steam enthusiast I can tell you H&S creeps in everywhere. How much longer before operating a steam locomotive or traction engine is outlawed in the interests of keeping us all safe. I love working on a loco footplate inches away from a boiler at 200 psi with the skill of the footplate crew being the only thing keeping it all under control.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldfort View Post
    As many have said a proper bloke. Sadly Health and Safety would have rendered his business obsolete some years ago. As a preserved steam enthusiast I can tell you H&S creeps in everywhere. How much longer before operating a steam locomotive or traction engine is outlawed in the interests of keeping us all safe. I love working on a loco footplate inches away from a boiler at 200 psi with the skill of the footplate crew being the only thing keeping it all under control.
    too true :-( The likes of Dibnah and Bates would both be outlawed today... a good thing? Not IMHO!

  43. #43
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Brilliant.

    As mentioned above the HSE would have stopped all of that now.

    Breeding a nation of poofs.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  44. #44
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurDALEY View Post
    I alway"s liked this one of Fred no health and safety and his Klaxon didnt work either !

    (Click to view)

    I understand "Health and safety" and see why it works in the work place.

    But for Fred it worked well until some office wallers thought it better to complicate the working mans day by putting in place enough red tape to make it much harder to carry out a simple task.And taking the scene here for eg,no persons other than Fred near the chimney,and were anyone else stupid enough to be there when they should not have been,is IMO natural selection to rid the planet of idiots that don't see the danger!.

    Generalising.......I know it does and has saved many lives,but some health and safety IS bolx and we've all been witness to that at some stage when doing a simple task that is now so dangerous it requires triplicate signatures numerous cones hard hats hivis vests gloves and steel toe boots to put a kettle and toaster in the workplace!.

  45. #45
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    I used to enjoy seeing Fred on TV. I used to spend a lot of time working off the head of ladders, the furthest we climbed was 100ft to the top of a Turntable Ladder. Hook ladders needed good balance and a lean back to keep weight on the heel of the ladder and stop it swinging, however watching Fred climb that chimney had my toes curling and tingling! That's a long way up and down. We were the only station in the brigade that carried hook ladders, for the back of some old streets with yards leading down to the Wear that had no access for extension ladders. Even in the late 1970s H&S was creeping in, and you could only go to the second floor when training. This chap makes hook ladders look easy...


    Last edited by magirus; 13th October 2016 at 19:40.

  46. #46
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    I was fully puckered for the whole video.

  47. #47
    ^^^ Interesting to see the 'flex' in that ladder!

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  48. #48
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    A legend!

  49. #49
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    ^^^ Interesting to see the 'flex' in that ladder!

    R

    Comparatively light weight Ralph, for obvious reasons. However most Fire Service ladders are a lot heavier than stuff the public buys. The annual Standard Test for even a triple section short extension ladder would involve it being fully extended on the face of the tower with the two ends of a 50 foot line tied to the centre round and the weight of two men applied for a set length of time. Quite a lot of deflection but they are very over engineered so can take it. Once they were taken out of service after so many years they were sold via sealed bids to any personnel who wanted one. I have a double and triple extension, and a hook ladder with the bill removed.

  50. #50
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
    Gulp - found that very difficult to watch!
    See what happens once he's got his ladder fixed: How to erect a chimney scaffold.

    It's from the same collection and there are a couple of others that are worth a watch.

    Thanks Eddie, that gave me something decent to watch for a while and brought back some memories too.

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