Climbing Safety from the 70s with Fred Dibnah

Over in the UK during the 70s there was a guy called Fred Dibnah – a steeplejack by trade who had a thing for steam engines as well as an old Victorian way of demolishing old mill chimneys.

The north of England was the spine of the Industrial Revolution that fueled the Empire -the predominant industry being cotton.

Fred was a no nonsense type of guy who’d strap a load of ladder together with rope to clamber up a 300+ ft chimney prior to setting fire to the bottom where he’d placed wooden struts, which, once burned out would cause the chimney to topple – hopefully in the direction of Fred’s choosing.

He never used dynamite. He was also something of a national hero.

Anyway, if you enjoy this kind of thing and hark back to more innocent times when you could climb up chimneys unaided without safety harnesses and be stood next to a chimney as it topples, then the following video might interest you:

And if you liked that then you may be interested to hear his thoughts on health and safety – especially how he felt better climbing chimneys with a couple of pints inside him!

Now those were the days…