Remember Dr Fred Dibnah
1938 - 2004
THE FRED DIBNAH HERITAGE CENTRE
121 Radcliffe Rd, Bolton, BL2 1NU
Tel: 01204 531303
"Stop Press: See our fantastic CALENDAR & DVD in The Gift Shop!"
STAY AT FRED'S HOUSE!
We are looking at offering the option to stopover at fred's, so If you are travelling some distance for a tour of Fred's why not enquire about an overnight stay in Fred's house, or fancy a few nights in Fred's home? We may be able to accommodate up to four people. Spend your evenings watching Fred DVD's in Fred's lounge or chatting at the beautiful bar in the snug. Spend your days in the yard and the shed doing a bit of fettling and try your hand at being a tour guide! A night or two in this magical place would be an experience you would always remember and we guarantee you would be talking about it for years to come. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Hello! Please allow me to introduce my wife and myself as the owners of the Famous Fred Dibnah MBE's house and worksite. My name is Leon and my wife’s name is Jan. (If you want to know a little more about us, we will be adding more details soon, I know this is a contradiction in terms due to the heading of this page, but at the end of the day this is not really about us, it’s about the wonderful legacy that Fred Dibnah MBE left behind).
Suffice it to say that having bought Fred’s place (yes we still think of it as Fred’s place) our aim has always been to do what Fred wanted to do but sadly didn’t have time to do before he was called to that great steam engine room in the sky.
Would you believe when the boiler service engineer turned up 6 weeks later he stood on the doorstep visibly shocked and said “I’m a massive Fred fan, if you had said it was Fred’s home I would have made time to come the next day after you rang” aaarrgghh, that was our first experience of the power of Fred! The house was very cold and draughty even with the boiler fixed, of course when Fred was here he didn't feel the cold because he was used to working outside at great heights, so when his missus said she was cold, a typical reaction from Fred was “put another jumper you’ll be reet”. There were many (and I mean many) draughts that had to be plugged and sealed, and it’s a grade II listed building so all the windows are singe glazed so you can almost see the heat going straight out the windows. Let’s face it, there are some big windows, especially at the front of the house, so the heating bills are high. I have since fitted my own secondary double glazing, although it’s far from perfect but it has made a difference!
(c) Keith Langston - Perceptive Imaging
Anyhow again we got stuck in with draft excluders (I made a snake draft excluder out of an old scarf) and so many of the visitors nowadays that come into the house, comment on how cosy and warm it is, of course we always have the coal fires going for the visitors in winter, and my missus has a good supply of jumpers.
The garden was completely overgrown so again we got stuck into that and cut it back as those quick growing tree’s had taken root all over the place. There were bushes all over the place, and the lawn was just one big weed. I dug up the whole lawn, hired a petrol driven rotavator (that nearly drove off with me in its wake, I thought I was going to end up down the gradient at the edge of the site and end up in the river) but I managed in the end to bring it back under control!
Fred left a marvellous Victorian long handled tree branch lopper, its quite heavy as its wooden but it does the job, also the Swan Mill chimney stones that Fred laid in the centre of the garden have been added to by myself as a lot of the original ones were broken or missing.
We hope you enjoy your stay on this newly designed website which has been designed and donated by Maelstrom who are a massive Fred fan! Click their logo for their portfolio:
Please read through the rest of the site for fantastic news and information at the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre and we hope that it is not too long before you are booking on our next tour!
We are now at the stage where this website is now receiving thousands of page hits each month.
In November alone, we took over 12,000 page views of the site and over 5000 of those were unique visitors (according to statcounter.com). Therefore, we are looking to make you aware of the following:
We are also in the middle of some BIG news and wish to keep our fans updated with e-mail updates that will be regular and informative.
So should you want to receive hot off the press news and information about the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, then please e-mail us at email@example.com and leave us your name, number and e-mail address and we will add to our e-mailing list!
Why not check out Tripadvisor for the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre and see how well we are doing! We have selected one of the reviews to highlight how well we are catering for people on our tours:
What a fantastic day out me and my Dad had at Fred Dibnahs house, believe me this is an experience not to be missed, myself personally I have always had the maximum respect for Fred as he was a genuine person and to get an opportunity to see some of his work and listen to the story's that was told from the tour guides which was done very well, there was even a tour guide there who did a good sound alike - lookalike of Fred, the tour lasted around 2 hours finishing with a Brew in Fred s kitchen, I recommend the tour highly especially if you want a good day out, and I am sure that if Fred was there today after us taking the tour of his house he would say "Did You Like That" and of course it would be a definite YES...Many thanks especially to Leon and Mark.
OUR FANTASTIC WEEKEND - Hi Leon,
Just wanted to say a really big thank you for the fantastic weekend with you. We had both been looking forward to it for several months as I bought the tickets for Ian for Christmas (we had got the A4 sheet in the car but were reluctant to hand back such a work of art!). We had therefore built up pretty high expectations, but our visit far exceeded our wildest expectations. Please also pass on our thanks to Alf, we did manage another brief chat with him on the Sunday afternoon at Astley Green which was great.
We've enjoyed watching the DVDs during the week. I disagree with the guy who said the highlight of the "stage 2 restoration DVD" was you falling over, the best bit was definitely the"my daughter", "my hero" bit at the end! Thanks again, Helen and Ian.
Right from the start it was our intention to turn this amazing place into a Heritage Centre in memory and celebration of Fred. This was Fred’s dream and we are immensely proud that we have managed to accomplish exactly that. When we first came here, the site had been empty for four years. There was a lot of hard work to do before we could actually move in, but we got stuck in and put a lot of hours in turning it back into a home once again. When we were cleaning the house up and getting rid of four years of dust, the boiler wasn’t working because the pilot light had gone out. It was November and it was bitterly cold, we were having to boil the kettle for hot water to clean, and there was of course no heating. Sanding and painting in the cold is not much fun. Have you ever tried to get a Rayburn service engineer out in winter? They are like rocking horse poo, very rare, and the only one that we managed to speak to said they could not come to service the boiler for 6 weeks, so we booked it and battled on! Then we managed to get a local plumber to get the pilot light on so we at last had some hot water and heating.
Once I had turned the complete garden over I reseeded it (I love to see the new baby grass roots coming up for the first time, beautiful) at first the birds were nicking all the seeds, so I put nets over the lawn and a scarecrow dressed in Fred’s sheepskin jacket, that saw them off. Eventually we had a brand new lawn which I have nurtured and ever since.
BRINGING FRED DIBNAH'S BACK TO STEAM!
Fred's home and workyard was sadly left to go derelict after his untimely death. We have worked tirelessly to bring the site back to life and we have carried out a major repair of Freds 50ft chimney and completely refurbished the stationary steam engine Fred intended to use to power the site.
Once we are back to steam this beautiful engine will drive the whole site, machinery and all! However, there is one piece of the jigsaw missing. Fred's old boiler was beyond repair, so we need to raise the funds for a replacement reconditioned boiler to bring the amazing workyard of Dr Fred Dibnah MBE back to steam power so it will be the last remaining completely steam driven workyard left in the UK!
Visitors will be able to see all Fred's machinery working at full speed all driven by steam power. This site is an extremely important piece of English History and it is essential that it is preserved in as near as possible to its original form for future generations to experience.
Please click on the following link to donate HERE.