Birthday pilgrimage to Fred Dibnah’s old home

Joe Cross shows his mini Scammell truck to visitor Will Tempest aged 13

Rebecca Scoular enjoys a cuppa with volunteers Clare McDonald and Ray Guffick

Dave Tempest with his model Burrell Traction Engine

Joe Cross shows his mini Scammell truck to visitor Will Tempest aged 13

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FANS of legendary steeplejack the late Fred Dibnah came from far and wide to his former home to celebrate his 76th birthday.

The doors of the house in Radcliffe Road, The Haulgh, which is now the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, were thrown open to visitors on Saturday to mark the occasion.

Leon Powsney, who owns the house and runs the heritage centre, holds the bash every year on the Saturday closest to his birthday, which is actually today.

Mr Powsney says he thinks Fred would have been looking down at his former home with a smile on his face.

He said: “I think he would be pleased that his home has been preserved, it was in a bit of a state when we took over.”

Entertainment on the day came from Eagley Brass Band, as well as displays of mini steam engines and refreshments.

The Tempest family came from Lincolnshire to be at Fred’s house for his special day.

Ashley, aged 33, who builds and trades live model steam locomotives for a living, came along with his six-year-old daughter Abi and his father Dave.

He said: “We were all big Fred fans, so to come down and have a look at the place and being offered the chance to bring your own engine is an honour.

“I think Fred would have enjoyed the day, I met him a few times and he was always very generous with his time.”

Fred died from cancer in November 2004, aged 66.

Mr Powsney, who bought the house in 2008 for £185,000 with his wife Jan, now says it is time for him to move on and is asking fans of Fred to pitch in to help preserve the house in the future.

He wants a charitable trust to take over the venue which, and is asking for people to pledge money to the project.

Comments (10)

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8:29pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Reciprocativemagic says...

Fred Dibnah earned his name after lifetime of hard graft . I don't think he ever thought his house + name would be used to raise a million pound to feather someone elses nest.
Fred Dibnah earned his name after lifetime of hard graft . I don't think he ever thought his house + name would be used to raise a million pound to feather someone elses nest. Reciprocativemagic
  • Score: 23

8:39pm Mon 28 Apr 14

proforma says...

Looks like none of Fred's family were there again
Looks like none of Fred's family were there again proforma
  • Score: 18

9:56pm Mon 28 Apr 14

thomas222 says...

Leon give it up for Gods sake it will never make you the money you wanted to. What happened to the raffle please ?
Leon give it up for Gods sake it will never make you the money you wanted to. What happened to the raffle please ? thomas222
  • Score: 19

11:28pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Lucidmetal says...

Why use the word pilgrimage to promote a private business? Doors were not thrown open, entry was £15 ( something Dibnah himself wouldnt approve of) Its not 2 minutes ago the BN were reporting attempts to sell this place for a over £1miilion to local residents. Stop trying to play on fans emotions it is getting boring now
Why use the word pilgrimage to promote a private business? Doors were not thrown open, entry was £15 ( something Dibnah himself wouldnt approve of) Its not 2 minutes ago the BN were reporting attempts to sell this place for a over £1miilion to local residents. Stop trying to play on fans emotions it is getting boring now Lucidmetal
  • Score: 21

11:33pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Lucidmetal says...

proforma wrote:
Looks like none of Fred's family were there again
Fact Jack and Roger don't support it speaks volumes
[quote][p][bold]proforma[/bold] wrote: Looks like none of Fred's family were there again[/p][/quote]Fact Jack and Roger don't support it speaks volumes Lucidmetal
  • Score: 18

11:42pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Lucidmetal says...

LeonP quote from Old Glory in March 2012. “Fred’s home and workyard with all his fantastic collection of artefacts and tools, his mineshaft, his chimney etc., is totally unique and almost impossible to place a value on. I personally value it at around £1m and this is the figure we are looking to raise, which isn’t too far off the offer I recently received

and he bought the place in 2008 for £185,000?
yeah, right!
LeonP quote from Old Glory in March 2012. “Fred’s home and workyard with all his fantastic collection of artefacts and tools, his mineshaft, his chimney etc., is totally unique and almost impossible to place a value on. I personally value it at around £1m and this is the figure we are looking to raise, which isn’t too far off the offer I recently received and he bought the place in 2008 for £185,000? yeah, right! Lucidmetal
  • Score: 17

3:01pm Fri 2 May 14

Palmera says...

Here we go again, all the moaners having a moan.
Here we go again, all the moaners having a moan. Palmera
  • Score: -17

9:30am Sat 3 May 14

Lucidmetal says...

Quote from The Telegraph 24 Oct 2012
Leon adds that while he hopes to remain involved with the centre in some ways, at 65 he no longer has the energy to do it full time. “There’s potential for a buyer to make a tidy profit,” he says. “But we’re looking to relax a bit. I have always dreamt of having a little place in Spain – and there’s never been a better time to buy one. We want some privacy, too. This will always be Fred’s home.”
Quote from The Telegraph 24 Oct 2012 Leon adds that while he hopes to remain involved with the centre in some ways, at 65 he no longer has the energy to do it full time. “There’s potential for a buyer to make a tidy profit,” he says. “But we’re looking to relax a bit. I have always dreamt of having a little place in Spain – and there’s never been a better time to buy one. We want some privacy, too. This will always be Fred’s home.” Lucidmetal
  • Score: 8

1:15pm Sun 11 May 14

Dorsetbabe says...

Sponsor a Brick at the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre | Daly ...
dalyhistory.wordpres
s.com/.../sponsor-a-
brick-at-the-fred-di
bnah-heritag...
anybody got any idea of who the winners were back in 2010 there is nothing about them anywere on the web?

To raise funds a ‘Sponsor a brick’ campaign has been launched. By sponsoring a brick with donation of £10 you will get a free entry into a Spot the Ball competition if you are in the UK, and the lucky winner will get £7,500 Cash, with a runner-up prize of £2,500. The third prize is a half days Land Rover experience (care of land Rover UK) for 3 people. There are also 10 other runner up mystery prizes.

Not only will the campaign be raising funds towards building the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, but 25p from every Brick sponsored will go towards Cancer Research. This is very fitting, as Fred himself was a victim of cancer.
Sponsor a Brick at the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre | Daly ... dalyhistory.wordpres s.com/.../sponsor-a- brick-at-the-fred-di bnah-heritag... anybody got any idea of who the winners were back in 2010 there is nothing about them anywere on the web? To raise funds a ‘Sponsor a brick’ campaign has been launched. By sponsoring a brick with donation of £10 you will get a free entry into a Spot the Ball competition if you are in the UK, and the lucky winner will get £7,500 Cash, with a runner-up prize of £2,500. The third prize is a half days Land Rover experience (care of land Rover UK) for 3 people. There are also 10 other runner up mystery prizes. Not only will the campaign be raising funds towards building the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, but 25p from every Brick sponsored will go towards Cancer Research. This is very fitting, as Fred himself was a victim of cancer. Dorsetbabe
  • Score: 6

6:05pm Sat 24 May 14

Cylinderpete says...

Where's Fred's family in all of this=why can an outsider take over, it can't be right? Poor Fred so sorry to see this happening he would be turning in his grave at what's going on at his old home. RIP Fred Dibnah.
Where's Fred's family in all of this=why can an outsider take over, it can't be right? Poor Fred so sorry to see this happening he would be turning in his grave at what's going on at his old home. RIP Fred Dibnah. Cylinderpete
  • Score: 10

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