Posted 20 hours ago

Fred: The Definitive Biography Of Fred Dibnah

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The book features a brief introduction to Fred's early life but it is his work that the book is based on. If you haven’t already read about him in the Middleton Guardian’s popular Bygone Days pages, Alan McEwen is fast becoming Middleton’s very own Fred Dibnah. It's his biography that tells the story of his life, from childhood right through to his last years and it's heartwarmingly open, honest and genuine. You'd have to be a Fred Dibnah fan to truly enjoy this book - if you're not, I'd probably give it a miss. It is broken down into stories about individual chimney demolitions, with illustrations of the mill and often of the chimney drop itself, as well as Fred.

His interest and vast knowledge of all things railway stem from being brought up in the North West of England as part of a railway family. Such was its popularity that a subsequent volume swiftly followed, offering many more memories of Fred through, images from throughout his life and insights into his fascinating story. It is not only a glorious testament to our nation's industrial achievements but also a story of the friendships, unfailing courage and determination of the nation's favourite steeplejack. Fred’s untimely death meant the BBC series would be his last, and Keith decided it was time to record in writing his shared experiences with the Bolton-born steeplejack.Especially poignant for me, as my father died a few years back of cancer and he was very much build of the same stuff. DAVID HALL, once a journalist and teacher, has been producer for over 25years, making programmes for the BBC, ITV Network, Channel 4 and other broadcasters around the world. This second of two hugely successful volumes on Fred Dibnah MBE commemorates the life and times of a truly Great Briton. Before his death in 2004, Fred presented many popular series, including Magnificent Monuments, The Age of Steam and Made in Britain, all of which attracted viewers in their millions.

The steam bug infected Fred at a very early age possibly following his illicit visits to his father's place of work, a bleach factory. With his trademark flat cap, enthusiasm and knowledge of the country’s steam past, his gift for storytelling, and his cry of ‘Did you like that? The Age of the Carpenter' sees Fred learn all about the way that carpenters have used their skills to transform medieval castles into homes. For the young Fred Dibnah was captivated by the gigantic, gleaming steam engines with their enormous whirling flywheels that powered the cotton mills and that were jammed cheek by jowl into Bolton’s townscape.It covers most of the later tv series he made and gives enough depth into his life, not to go into the technical details of steam engines, but enough to make good reading. Fred clearly loved all aspects of British industry and was fascinated by the numerous ancient coal pits with their distinctive headgear that he saw when taking a regular walk along the towpath of the Manchester, Bury and Bolton Canal. The resulting book included contributions from many people who knew Fred well, including some of his closest friends. The biographer of Fred Dibnah, he was also Fred's TV producer for many years, as well as a close personal friend, and has published a number of books celebrating Fred's life and interests. As well as the good times and the not so good times there are also so brilliant, laugh to loud moments too, particularly when he relates some of the scrapes he got into.

This is a nice book to own if you were a fan of Fred’s or simply interested in entertaining stories about his exploits.We are a sister company of the Slovenian Publishing House Pipinova Knjiga – which literary translates to Pipin’s Book. But to just place an explosive charge in the chimney’s base and blow them down when they came to the end of their lives, did not appeal to Fred for to him there was another more traditional way of felling these chimneys that embodied respect for the old time chimney builders and would demolish them with great aplomb and not a little drama”. The book can of course go much further than the series, including an extraordinarily account of Fred's childhood which evokes a lost England and our great industrial heritage. Please keep in mind that because we deal mostly in used books, any extra components, such as CDs or access codes, are usually not included.

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