the many enthusiasts for whom
steam holds a fascination, the lovable
and eccentric Fred Dibnah follows up
his successful DVD Fred Dibnahs
with the release of
FEATURING ALMOST SIX HOURS of previously unseen footage shot for the
BBC, Fred Dibnah's Steam Collection is now available
on DVD, presented by the man who is so fascinated by steam-powered machines
that he has spent much of his life restoring them and studying their history.
Fred is delighted to share his passion for steam in this wonderful three-disc
Fred's rough but engaging Lancastrian manner, his trademark flat cap and his
love for the mechanical world has endeared him to the British public
The three programmes featured The Story Of The Traction Engine,
Britain's Biggest Engines and On The Road With Fred come
together to complete the celebration of Britain's glorious steam history that
is Fred Dibnah's Steam Collection DVD.
Disc 1 The Story Of The Traction Engine looks at
the early steam carriages, the development of the traction engine, road locomotives,
steamrollers, showman's engines, steam lorries and preservation. Fred explains
the history of the early steam-powered vehicles, from the development of the
first traction engines to the great steam engines of the Twentieth Century.
Cornish engineer and inventor Richard Trevithick built an elegant and light
steam carriage back in 1803 and Fred also comes face to face with a Puffing
Devil from 1801. From wrecks to restored magnificence, Fred sees them all and
meets the men who share his enthusiasm.
Taking in some of Britain's major traction engine collections, Fred brings the
history of the machines that helped shape Britain to life in his own inimitable
style. Visiting the Long Shop Museum in Suffolk, he finds that Garrett's Suffolk
Punch isn't quite what it seems and at The Thursford Collection, in Norfolk,
we learn about George Cushing, who collected 45 of these engines.
The first steamroller was built by Thomas Aveling in 1867 but by the time that
was superseded by the faster Wallis & Steevens Advanced steamrollers, petrol
and diesel engines were taking over. During the First World War, traction engine
wheels were used to move the big guns. Traction engines also generated the power
for the Bioscope, an early form of cinema, and steam was also introduced into
fairgrounds in the 1870s.
Mill engines, pit winding engines and pumping engines are covered on Disc 2
(Britain's Biggest Engines), which sees Fred visiting the 1907 state-of-the-art
Trencherfield Mill at Wigan Pier built by William Woods on the site of
two earlier mills that now houses one of the biggest surviving mill steam
engines in the world.
He also visits Astley Green colliery, where enthusiasts have worked for twenty
years on a large steam engine that once turned the huge wheel of the colliery.
And then comes the very ornate Papplewick pumping station, built in 1884 to
Disc 3 On The Road With Fred follows Fred's 'grand tour'
of British steam history as he sets off with his friend Alf Molyneux around
Cumbria, the Scottish borders, the North East and Yorkshire in his own
steam traction engine that he took 27 years restoring and stops off at
the famous Teesside landmark, the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge.
Built in 1911, the Transporter Bridge is capable of carrying 600 people at a
time. You walk (or drive) into a cradle suspended beneath the main span of the
bridge 160ft above the river Tees. This cradle then carries its cargo
of cars and pedestrians across the river in less than three minutes.
Following a couple of setbacks and near-disasters, Fred is finally out on the
road, driving through the lovely countryside of the North and meeting fellow
enthusiasts. Fred is fascinating to listen to and his enthusiasm is infectious
as he shares his experiences of the excitement and difficulties of owning a
steam engine in Fred Dibnah's Steam Collection.
Taken from the Made In Britain television series, this specially edited
version shows the first half of Fred's incredible journey in full, including
footage not previously seen on television.
Fred Dibnah's Steam Collection is produced by the independent television
production company The View From The North. The Leeds-based family-run company
was founded by David Hall (who Produced and Directed the series) in 1998 and
he has worked extensively with Fred ever since.
Acorn Media and The View From The North
are delighted to announce the DVD release of Fred Dibnah's Steam Collection
three-disc set. Release Date 27 December (2008) | RRP: £24.99 | Catalogue No
AV9686 | Running Time: 424 minutes.
"Fred is fascinating to listen to and his enthusiasm is infectious as he shares
his experiences of the excitement and difficulties of owning a steam engine
in Fred Dibnah's Steam Collection" Maggie Woods, MotorBar