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Frederick Dibnah (1938–2004) by Alisdair Macdonald, 2004 Rex Features

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Dibnah, Frederick [Fred] (1938–2004), steeplejack and television presenter, was born at 7 Alfred Street, Bolton, on 29 April 1938, the son of Frank Dibnah, a bleacher's beetler, and his wife, Betsy, later Bessie, née Travis, a gasworks charwoman. He grew up watching steam trains on the railway line that ran behind the family's terraced house and marvelled at the tall industrial chimney-stacks across the skyline, which he enjoyed sketching. His fascination with steam power was furthered by seeing various contraptions, pulleys, and belts on visits to the bleach factory where his father worked....