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Fred Dibnah

May 13, 2006

I’ve been really sad today and watched the life of Fred Dibnah on UKTV History.
It’s not that I’ve got an obsession with chimneys or steam engines, but just that he first appeared on TV when I was a lad and it is interesting to see how times have changed.
One of the most interesting things is the attitude to safety on demolition sites in the 70’s and 80’s. No hard hats or safety boots, no fences or signs. Old chimneys being demolished by chipping out the bottom and setting them on fire. Kids running around as the chimney collapses, with a couple of local bobbies coming along to see what was happening.
Funnily enough, despite the total lack of warning notices, safety equipment or men in flourescent jackets, no-one seemed to get hurt. Perhaps it was because they knew that their fate lay in their own hands.
I sometimes think the country has gone soft because so many people expect others to look out for them instead of taking responsibility. I blame “no win-no fee” solicitors who have made it profitable to trip over things that people used to avoid, without the need for lots of warning signs
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