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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 13:31 GMT
Steeplejack Dibnah laid to rest
Fred Dibnah's son at his funeral
Fred Dibnah's son rode on the steam engine along with the coffin
Thousands of people lined the streets of Bolton to pay their respects to Fred Dibnah at his funeral on Tuesday.

The 66-year-old died from cancer at Bolton Hospice on 6 November, weeks after filming his final TV series.

The steeplejack's trademark flat cap was laid on top of the coffin, as it was taken to Bolton Parish Church on one of his favourite traction engines.

Mr Dibnah's son rode on the engine as it made its way to the church for the noon service.

A cortege of steam engines escorted the coffin though Bolton town centre before a burial service at Tonge cemetery, which is near his house and workshop.

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah's MBE is for services to heritage and broadcasting
Mr Dibnah's television career took off in his early 40s when he starred in the BBC TV documentary, Fred Dibnah Steeplejack.

Well-wishers stood in the rain to say farewell after the hour-long service led by the Vicar of Bolton, Canon Michael Williams, a personal friend of Mr Dibnah.

He described him as a "unique artist and a craftsman" and messages such as "steam on Fred" and "now with his beloved Victorians" were inscribed in books of condolence at the church.

His passion for Victorian engineering caused the breakdown of his first marriage, and in recent years he clashed with his neighbours over his attempts to build a mineshaft in the back garden of his home in Bolton.

Mr Dibnah was awarded the MBE in 2003.

His final series is due to be broadcast in Spring 2005.

An unusual television star

Obituary: Fred Dibnah
06 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
In pictures: Fred Dibnah
06 Nov 04 |  Photo Gallery
Fred Dibnah honoured
31 Dec 03 |  Manchester
TV's Dibnah loses cancer battle
06 Nov 04 |  Manchester
Illness forces Dibnah to cancel
02 Sep 04 |  Nottinghamshire
TV's Dibnah reveals cancer battle
21 May 04 |  Entertainment
'Demolition man' on the Tyne
06 Nov 02 |  England

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