Bid to get Fred Dibnah's machinery steaming again

Bid to get Fred Dibnah's machinery steaming again

Fred Dibnah

Leon Powsney wants to get the engine steaming again at the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre

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

STEAM could inject new life into Fred Dibnah’s former engines as conservationists launch a fundraising drive to return the Bolton steeplejack’s machinery to its former glory.

Fred’s work and memory lives on at his former home — now The Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre — but the owners now want to raise £30,000 for a huge boiler to power the Bolton legend’s steam engines.

Owners Leon and Jan Powsney spent thousands of pounds restoring the Grade II listed building prior to opening its doors to the public four years ago.

Thousands of people now visit the attraction to see the collection of Victorian machin-ery and a 50 ft chimney built by Fred.

But to bring the site fully to life they hope to carry out refurbishments — including getting all of Fred’s machines running again.

Mr Powsney said: “The whole site is based on steam so if we could get it going, it really would be a major attraction.

“It is what the centre is all about.

“If the engines had steam it would benefit the centre and would attract more visitors. People often say they would like to come back when it is powered by steam.”

He said getting a new boiler to enable the proposal would also help youngsters to und-erstand the work of Fred better.

Mr Powsney said the centre can cover the costs of running the boiler.

The proposal follows the Heritage Centre, in Radcliffe Road, The Haulgh, receiving a boost earlier this year when it was awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence aw-ard.

The accolade is given to tourist hot spots that consistently achieve outstand-ing traveller reviews on Trip-Advisor.

Mr and Mrs Powsney last year offered fans of Fred the chance to have a share in the Heritage Centre. Many people have already shown interest.

Anyone who wants to get involved with helping the plans to inject steam into the centre can contact the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre in Radcliffe Road, The Haulgh, by calling 01204 531303 or email freddibnahtours@live.com

Comments (6)

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9:07am Sun 14 Sep 14

proforma says...

It struggles on this place, like something barely kept alive on life-support, bereft of its original purpose - which was as a steam workshop used by an engineer? It’s relentlessly pushed and marketed with gusto as a ‘temple’ to Saint Dibnah, by a businessman (without any legal rights to use the name), who wants to see it eventually ‘turn a healthy profit’ for his own retirement fund. Installation of working machinery would no doubt further its value. Why should people donate to this?

None of Fred’s family supports this enterprise. Give it a respectful burial and stop piggy-backing on public affection for a man who died a decade ago years ago?
It struggles on this place, like something barely kept alive on life-support, bereft of its original purpose - which was as a steam workshop used by an engineer? It’s relentlessly pushed and marketed with gusto as a ‘temple’ to Saint Dibnah, by a businessman (without any legal rights to use the name), who wants to see it eventually ‘turn a healthy profit’ for his own retirement fund. Installation of working machinery would no doubt further its value. Why should people donate to this? None of Fred’s family supports this enterprise. Give it a respectful burial and stop piggy-backing on public affection for a man who died a decade ago years ago? proforma
  • Score: 13

12:10am Mon 15 Sep 14

albaybutt says...

proforma wrote:
It struggles on this place, like something barely kept alive on life-support, bereft of its original purpose - which was as a steam workshop used by an engineer? It’s relentlessly pushed and marketed with gusto as a ‘temple’ to Saint Dibnah, by a businessman (without any legal rights to use the name), who wants to see it eventually ‘turn a healthy profit’ for his own retirement fund. Installation of working machinery would no doubt further its value. Why should people donate to this?

None of Fred’s family supports this enterprise. Give it a respectful burial and stop piggy-backing on public affection for a man who died a decade ago years ago?
Very few people will give any money to this , without Fred this place is nothing,Mr Powsney claims he spent £4,000 pounds on curtains alone i find that hard to swallow ,on the website that was selling it they said the house was in good order when he bought it , i think Powsney likes stretching the truth a fair bit , i feel that adding steam to to this so called heritage centre ,which is basically a pile of rusting machines unused for about 5 years , will not add any attraction for any investors due to the Health and Safety issues involved with steam ,Look at bolton ateam museum for an example there all powered by compressed air
[quote][p][bold]proforma[/bold] wrote: It struggles on this place, like something barely kept alive on life-support, bereft of its original purpose - which was as a steam workshop used by an engineer? It’s relentlessly pushed and marketed with gusto as a ‘temple’ to Saint Dibnah, by a businessman (without any legal rights to use the name), who wants to see it eventually ‘turn a healthy profit’ for his own retirement fund. Installation of working machinery would no doubt further its value. Why should people donate to this? None of Fred’s family supports this enterprise. Give it a respectful burial and stop piggy-backing on public affection for a man who died a decade ago years ago?[/p][/quote]Very few people will give any money to this , without Fred this place is nothing,Mr Powsney claims he spent £4,000 pounds on curtains alone i find that hard to swallow ,on the website that was selling it they said the house was in good order when he bought it , i think Powsney likes stretching the truth a fair bit , i feel that adding steam to to this so called heritage centre ,which is basically a pile of rusting machines unused for about 5 years , will not add any attraction for any investors due to the Health and Safety issues involved with steam ,Look at bolton ateam museum for an example there all powered by compressed air albaybutt
  • Score: 8

12:20am Mon 15 Sep 14

albaybutt says...

All of the things Fred was famous for , his steam engines do not remain at this site ,all thats left is a mineshaft and a few rusting machines, and nothing else , fred fans are now slowly passing away and this wont appeal to the younger generation when i visited all the people were in the 50-60 plus age bracket when there all gone nobody will want to visit this , there really is nothing to see there for them ,how anyone can value this at £1.250 million pounds is beyond me .
All of the things Fred was famous for , his steam engines do not remain at this site ,all thats left is a mineshaft and a few rusting machines, and nothing else , fred fans are now slowly passing away and this wont appeal to the younger generation when i visited all the people were in the 50-60 plus age bracket when there all gone nobody will want to visit this , there really is nothing to see there for them ,how anyone can value this at £1.250 million pounds is beyond me . albaybutt
  • Score: 10

7:58am Wed 17 Sep 14

proforma says...

albaybutt wrote:
proforma wrote:
It struggles on this place, like something barely kept alive on life-support, bereft of its original purpose - which was as a steam workshop used by an engineer? It’s relentlessly pushed and marketed with gusto as a ‘temple’ to Saint Dibnah, by a businessman (without any legal rights to use the name), who wants to see it eventually ‘turn a healthy profit’ for his own retirement fund. Installation of working machinery would no doubt further its value. Why should people donate to this?

None of Fred’s family supports this enterprise. Give it a respectful burial and stop piggy-backing on public affection for a man who died a decade ago years ago?
Very few people will give any money to this , without Fred this place is nothing,Mr Powsney claims he spent £4,000 pounds on curtains alone i find that hard to swallow ,on the website that was selling it they said the house was in good order when he bought it , i think Powsney likes stretching the truth a fair bit , i feel that adding steam to to this so called heritage centre ,which is basically a pile of rusting machines unused for about 5 years , will not add any attraction for any investors due to the Health and Safety issues involved with steam ,Look at bolton ateam museum for an example there all powered by compressed air
( Except taken from Telegraph24th October 2012, when the 3 bedroom property was placed on the market for £1.2 million)
Mr Powsney states:

"We had to spend £7,000 on curtains and blinds before we moved in"

Really? The house itself was in good order when they moved in, as the agents Miller Metcalf can easily verify
[quote][p][bold]albaybutt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]proforma[/bold] wrote: It struggles on this place, like something barely kept alive on life-support, bereft of its original purpose - which was as a steam workshop used by an engineer? It’s relentlessly pushed and marketed with gusto as a ‘temple’ to Saint Dibnah, by a businessman (without any legal rights to use the name), who wants to see it eventually ‘turn a healthy profit’ for his own retirement fund. Installation of working machinery would no doubt further its value. Why should people donate to this? None of Fred’s family supports this enterprise. Give it a respectful burial and stop piggy-backing on public affection for a man who died a decade ago years ago?[/p][/quote]Very few people will give any money to this , without Fred this place is nothing,Mr Powsney claims he spent £4,000 pounds on curtains alone i find that hard to swallow ,on the website that was selling it they said the house was in good order when he bought it , i think Powsney likes stretching the truth a fair bit , i feel that adding steam to to this so called heritage centre ,which is basically a pile of rusting machines unused for about 5 years , will not add any attraction for any investors due to the Health and Safety issues involved with steam ,Look at bolton ateam museum for an example there all powered by compressed air[/p][/quote]( Except taken from Telegraph24th October 2012, when the 3 bedroom property was placed on the market for £1.2 million) Mr Powsney states: "We had to spend £7,000 on curtains and blinds before we moved in" Really? The house itself was in good order when they moved in, as the agents Miller Metcalf can easily verify proforma
  • Score: 8

11:54am Wed 17 Sep 14

albaybutt says...

Exactly i find it very hard to believe they must have been made of Silk !!!!
Exactly i find it very hard to believe they must have been made of Silk !!!! albaybutt
  • Score: 6

12:26pm Wed 17 Sep 14

albaybutt says...

Fred lifetimes work is not here ,it is in his steamrollers which are no longer here ,without Fred ,the place is" lifeless," kept on life support as Proforma points out
Fred lifetimes work is not here ,it is in his steamrollers which are no longer here ,without Fred ,the place is" lifeless," kept on life support as Proforma points out albaybutt
  • Score: 12

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