England

Dibnah's engine sold for £240,000

  • 25 July 2010
  • From the section England

A steam engine owned by engineer and celebrity Fred Dibnah has been sold for £240,000 at a Cambridgeshire auction.

Michael Oliver, a Cheshire businessman, made the winning bid and said the engine will be based in the north west of England.

Mr Dibnah, the Bolton steeplejack who shot to fame in a television documentary about his life, restored the machine over a 25-year period.

It was last used to pull his coffin at his 2004 funeral.

The engine was built in 1912 and was thought to have been commissioned by the War Department.

In 2004, Mr Dibnah intended to drive the locomotive to Buckingham Palace to pick up his MBE.

'Iconic machine'

However, he was refused permission by the Royal Parks Agency who feared the weight of the engine would damage the surface of The Mall.

Instead he parked up at nearby Wellington Barracks, a short distance from the palace.

Auction house Cheffins sold the locomotive at the Cambridge Vintage Sale at Sutton on Saturday.

Mr Oliver said: "Fred Dibnah is a cult figure and national institution.

"It is vital that his engineering genius and his priceless contribution to our cultural heritage continues to be celebrated for years to come.

"We are already planning outings at steam shows, so the thousands of steam enthusiasts and Fred Dibnah fans - and their children - can continue to enjoy this iconic machine."

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