A memorial monument to legendary steeplejack Fred Dibnah was unveiled in his home town of Bolton on 29th April 2008 which, had he survived, would have been Fred’s 70th birthday. The 8 feet tall bronze sculpture by Jane Robins is located in Oxford Street in the town centre.
Photo by Gary Burns
Four bronze plaques, dedicated to his life, work and achievements are also fixed to the plinth of the monument.
Unfortunately, there is a typographical error on the above plaque – it should read “Robert Gordon” (not “Gorton”).
Photo by Gary Burns
On another plaque, (above), the dedication reads:
“Fred Dibnah was a Bolton lad and proud of it. He spent his life working on many of the town’s landmarks and shared his love of steam engines with millions of television viewers. After his death in November 2004, it was decided to launch a fund to pay for a lasting tribute to recognise his achievements. Thousands of people, locally and nationally, made donations. Thank you to all those individuals, organisations, companies and steam enthusiasts who helped pay for this statue to “OUR FRED”. It has been an honour to be associated with this appeal and the committee is rewarded by its success. The Bolton News Mrs Sheila Dibnah, widow of Fred and fund-raiser Miss Wendy Close: Fund raiser with her cap badge sales William R. Greenhalgh: Friend, fund-raiser and memorial designer Brian H. Tetlow: Chairman, Bolton Civic Trust & Chairman of the Appeal”
The Blue Plaque
A commemorative Blue Plaque was also unveiled outside his home in Radcliffe Road by the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton on behalf of Bolton & District Civic Trust. Fred’s widow, Sheila also attended.
The inscription on the plaque reads:
“The home of the late Dr Fred Dibnah, MBE, steeplejack, honorary doctorate of Aberdeen and Birmingham universities, artist, draughtsman, carpenter, stone mason, demolition expert, intuitive engineer, steam enthusiast, devotee of our industrial heritage, raconteur & television celebrity. Revered Son of Bolton 1938-2004.”