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Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age: A Guide to Britain's Industrial Heritage - Where to Go, What to See [Hardcover]

Fred Dibnah , David Hall
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Feb 1999
Accompanying the television series, Fred Dibnah tells Britain's industrial history and picks out the machinery that made history. Travelling throughout Britain, Dibnah describes what life was really like for people in the industrial age and provides a list of industrial heritage sites to visit.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; First Edition edition (11 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563384824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563384823
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Hall is a bestselling writer of non-fiction as well as a highly successful television producer. His thirty years producing and directing network television programmes include a number of years at Yorkshire Television, as well as making landmark documentaries and popular factual series for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, Discovery and the History Channel. The biographer of Fred Dibnah, he was also Fred's TV producer and a close personal friend for many years. He has published a number of books celebrating Fred's life, interests and television work, as well as 'Manchester's Finest', an account of life in Manchester in the aftermath of the Munich air disater and 'Working Lives', the forgotten voices of Britain's post-war working class

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, if a little idiosyncratic 18 Sep 2003
If you (like me) want an overview of where to see the remains of Britain's enormous industrial past, this is a fantastic book. It helps if you've seen Fred Dibnah on television before, because he writes the way he speaks and that can take a bit of getting used to.
In places this book is more a collection of disconnected personal memories than facts, but we can be charitable and agree that that just adds to the charm. In some places, however, it would have been nice to have a bit more explanation behind the technical terms used.
At the end of the book there's the Gazetteer, an overview of Britain with maps and places to see. Places mentioned in the book that are also in the Gazetteer are printed in bold - sadly though there's no indication of where so you end up hunting through the Gazetteer to find the correct page. The index isn't much help here, since it's fairly incomplete and almost randomly organised.
Yet, despite all this, this is a fascinating book. I hope there will be a second edition that expands on the first, and corrects these minor niggles, and that'll be worth 5 stars.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief history of the industrial world 15 April 2001
By Roger
An excellent book that describes the evolution of transport and industrial progress in England. Fred goes off on tangents occasionally but that just hilites the genuine passion he has for his subject.
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Fred starts by relating how as a youngster he first became aware of the industrial activity around his home town of Bolton, and how saddened he was to see decay and disuse set in as industrial sites were closed and abandoned.
He then takes us through a series of themed chapters, complete with locations where you might see examples of the machinery in question. The chapters are: Wind water and steam: Mills and factories: Iron and Steel: Mining: Railways: Steam ships and steam engines, and finally there is a gazetteer and maps.
Do bear in mind though that this book was published in 1999, so the gazetteer may be a little out of date now.

A warning! This book was repubished with the same text and photographs( but as far as I can tell, not updated) by the BBC in 2010 as "Foundries and Rolling Mills", so you may already own the book! This 1999 book is printed on better quality paper than the 2010 version mentioned, and also has the images placed throughout the text, rather than gathered in one block.

Thoroughly enjoyable, and Fred's considerable knowledge and passion for anything mechanical comes over well.

So sad that he is no longer with us.
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