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 firstname.lastname@example.org