Adam Partridge Auctioneers Cheshire
Auctioneer in Cheshire

28/02/2018 : The Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre Collection

Two of Cheshire’s leading auction houses, Adam Partridge Auctioneers & Valuers and Ashley Waller Auctioneers are proud to tender the sale by public auction of the contents of the property of Fred Dibnah MBE, following the kind instructions received from the directors of the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre Ltd. on Saturday 17th March 2018.

The master steeplejack engineer was one of Britain’s best loved television personalities, and remains a cult figure and a national icon. He was also voted the greatest Lancastrian hero of the last century.

Fred DibnahIn the milieu of the industrial decline of the late 1960s and 1970s, Dibnah recognised the need for cost effective chimney felling. He perfected a method that eliminated the need for explosives whereby he would cut into the base of the chimney, supporting the brickwork with wooden props, then burn away the props so that the chimney fell exactly where he wanted it to.

He rose to fame in 1979 when BBC Look North West interviewed him while repairing the Bolton town hall clock at a height of nearly 250ft. He subsequently became the subject of television series and documentaries, one of which won the 1979 BAFTA award, and in 2004, shortly before his death, was awarded an MBE for services to heritage and broadcasting.


Dibnah’s house and workshop have since been turned into the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, which has been open to the public for the last 8 years. Its proprietor Leon Pownsey notes that “while I am sad to be leaving this wonderful place, I am happy in the knowledge that many of Fred’s true fans and followers will now be able to own something that belonged to him.”

Heritage Centre

Among the items to be offered will be ‘Kathleen’ the fully working stationary steam engine, a Cincinatti lathe, the boiler from ‘Betsy’, his beloved steam engine (pictured above), now converted into a wood burner, as well as hundreds of other important items such as his iconic red ladders and tools which he used throughout his lifetime. Auctioneer Adam Partridge is “excited to be involved in such a landmark auction. It is not often that one has a chance to sell such a unique collection; not only is Fred a local hero but a national treasure!”


DucksThe sale will take place at Fred’s house located at 121 Radcliffe Road Bolton and will start at 10am on Saturday 17th March, with viewing from 9-10am on the day of the sale. For further information please contact Adam Partridge Auctioneers & Valuers on 01625431788 or Ashley Waller on 01477571001