Remember Dr Fred Dibnah
1938 - 2004
THE FRED DIBNAH HERITAGE CENTRE
121 Radcliffe Rd, Bolton, BL2 1NU
Tel: 01204 531303
Closure of the Heritage centre.
It is with mixed feelings of regret and relief that I am announcing to you, our supporters, followers, Fred Dibnah devotees and fans, that the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre has now officially closed and will not be re-opening, in other words this is the end of the Fred Dibnah Heritage centre, and there are no more guided tours being conducted.
This has been a fantastic journey for me and my wife (who's health has unfortunately declined in the last three years) and one that I will treasure for years to come. It has been a privilege knowing that the Heritage centre has brought pleasure to many thousands of people from all around the UK and to many visitors from around the globe, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Holland, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, all of whom would not have had the pleasure of visiting their Hero's home otherwise.
For personal reasons that I will not go into at this time I have decided that it is time for me to take a long awaited and well-earned break. Having brought Fred’s home and workplace back to life over the last 8 years from virtual dereliction into a successful and very popular visitor attraction, dedicated to the memory of a great man, and having tried so hard to find a buyer to carry the Centre on into the future, unfortunately this has not been possible having tried absolutely everything possible at great cost to myself, mentally, physically and financially.
Opening the Heritage centre was a massive risk for me personally and financially, and I now having turned age 70 this year I need to get back to some form of normality, so my wife and I can enjoy what years we have left in peace. As I have not been able to find a buyer to carry on the Heritage centre I was left with no other option than to close and sell everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) off. We held an auction on March 17th this year and subsequently all Fred’s machinery and most of his massive collection of tools was sold off. This was truly heart-breaking to witness but the positive side of it is that many of Fred’s fans and devotees now are the proud owners of their hero's machines and tools and will cherish them with great affection.
We will soon be dedicating this website to concentrating on the many new owners of Fred’s machines tools and memorabilia being able to share their experiences of owning these iconic and important pieces of history, enabling them to show how they have utilised the artefacts and in many cases rebuilt them and brought them back to life. for instance Fred’s amazing pithead gear was initially bought at the auction by a keen Fred fan from Cumbria who was going to set it up at his museum in Cumbria, however the Lancashire mining museum based at Astley Green in Bolton were keen to own it so they could rebuild it and have it on display at their local museum, where Fred actually visited during the filming of his wonderful “Tours of Britain” series on BBC, so I managed to broker a deal to ensure the pithead gear goes to the Lancashire mining museum which I think is great for local heritage.
We have now removed all of the large pieces of machinery and having completed this mammoth task we have now carried out a landscaping project to make the whole site more like a home, Freds 50' chimney still stands proudly to attention in the garden and of course his famous mineshaft is still here, the main workshop is still here and a new owner may wish to run a business on site utilising the workshop.
Once again, my wife and I and our small team of faithful volunteers, including Jonathon Wild. who has run this website for the last 9 years on a voluntary basis. would like to take this opportunity to thank all our followers and Fred fans for your fantastic support.
THANK YOU TO ALL.
LEON AND JAN POWSNEY.