Fred inspires book series

n AN author will visit Bolton tomorrow to sign copies of her children’s books inspired by steeplejack legend Fred Dibnah.

Tilly Walker, whose family started the Last Drop Village and owned a tannery in Bolton, has written three books featuring character Steeplejack Fred.

She had been invited to attend one of Mr Dibnah’s chimney drops in Chorley in 1997, where she said she witnessed the huge affection and enthusiasm children had for the steeplejack, who died in 2004.

This became the inspiration for the creation of the children’s steeplejack character, who appears in Fred’s Summer Holiday, Christmas at Little Tinkering and Branchline to Little Tinkering.

Mrs Walker will be joined by Fred’s widow, Sheila Dibnah, at the event at Waterstone’s, Deansgate, Bolton, at noon tomorrow. A percentage of the profits from the books, which are aimed at children aged three to seven, will go to an engineering apprentice fund, as Fred always wanted to introduce children to engineering.

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