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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Statue memorial for TV's Dibnah
Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah's television career took off in his 40s
Work is getting under way to create a life-sized statue of the legendary steeplejack Fred Dibnah.

Mr Dibnah, who initially became well known after he was featured in a BBC television documentary, died from cancer, aged 66, in 2004.

Bolton Civic Society ran a competition to find a sculptor and winner Jane Robbins is now starting work on it.

Ms Robbins said she hoped to produce a likeness that Mr Dibnah's family and the people of Bolton would be proud of.

Fred reminds me of a granddad or favourite uncle
Jane Robbins, sculptor

"He meant so much to the people of Bolton and his family, I want to bring out some of personality," she said.

"Fred reminds me of a granddad or favourite uncle figure and it's a great honour to sculpt someone like him."

Ms Robbins has also created sculptures of Linda McCartney, TV gardener Percy Thrower, the Queen Mother and Andy Capp.

She added that Fred Dibnah would have been 70 next year and hoped to have the sculpture completed by then.

Great admirer

The father-of-six started work as a joiner but after completing his National Service he fulfilled his dream to be a steeplejack, servicing the hundreds of chimneys that once crowded the skies of Bolton.

His first appearance, on a local news programme in the north-west of England, led to his "discovery" in 1979, as he hung 240ft (73m) off the ground, repairing Bolton's town hall clock.

Mr Dibnah was a great admirer of the Industrial Revolution and the Victorians - steam engines were his greatest passion.

He was became an MBE in 2003, a year after he demolished his last chimney stack.

Statue call for steeplejack Fred
23 Jun 05 |  Manchester
Memorial unveiled to Fred Dibnah
20 Mar 06 |  Manchester
Obituary: Fred Dibnah
06 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
In pictures: Fred Dibnah
06 Nov 04 |  Photo Gallery
Steeplejack Dibnah laid to rest
16 Nov 04 |  Manchester
Fred Dibnah honoured
31 Dec 03 |  Manchester

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