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Fred Dibnah: Old Is Gold

It was unfathomable to think the world would come to such a grinding halt not long ago, yet alone in a week. And yet, in light of the new measures to fight Covid-19, the new normal is subsidised salaries and a lockdown- curfew and all. In these uncertain times, many are naturally consumed by an omnipresent sense of uneasiness; a cloud of fear and anxiety that nags at us all. Continuing, I believe we could all do with some lighthearted viewing to mitigate such virus-related anxieties. Enter Fred; a 1982 documentary following tv personality and steeplejack Fred Dibnah. He represents a dying- if not extinct- breed of working class man; flat cap, Popeye sleeves, soot covered face and a cigarette glued to the lips- accompanied by a simple but charming philosophy about life. He espouses a provincial faith, and holds a quiet confidence inspired by the belief that someone is looking over him. We soon learn that Fred had two loves; alcohol and steam engines (his wife endorsed the latter to ke…

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