David Hall

Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes
  • Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes

  • Fred Dibnah was a man born out of his time. His era should have been the 'magnificent age of British engineering' - the nineteenth century - and his heroes were the great industrial engineers of the period whose prolific innovations and dedicated work ethic inspired a national mood of optimism and captured the hearts of the British public.

    Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes tells the stories of some of these men - including George and Robert Stephenson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Joseph Whitworth - and what it was that made them such inspirational figures to Fred. What were their backgrounds? Where did their drive and vision come from? What sort of people were they at work and at home? And what was their contribution to the history of industry and engineering?

    Most of them - like Fred - were colourful, larger-than-life characters for whom no challenge was too great. Taking these fascinating characters as inspiration, Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes gets to the very heart of what allowed nineteenth-century Britannia to rule the waves . . .

FRED DIBNAH has always been a man out of his own time. Growing up a youth in the 1940s in Bolton, Lancashire, he lived near the railway lines and there began a lifelong fascination with steam locomotives. Fred’s love for all things steam is also a practical one; for the last 27years, he has been renovating a steam boiler and engine in his back garden and it is now nearly complete. As Fred grew up, despite parental disapproval, he pursued his first goal of becoming a steeplejack, and it was his outstanding skill in his chosen profession that led to his first appearance on television. DAVID HALL, once a journalist and teacher, has been producer for over 25years, making programmes for the BBC, ITV Network, Channel 4 and other broadcasters around the world. He worked with Fred since 1998 on Industrial Age, Buildings of Britain and Age if Steam. His latest work includes a documentary on Fred’s garden and Founders of the Great Dynasties for History Channel International. He enjoys travel, fell-walking and watching Manchester United whom he has followed since the 1950s.