Quotes

  • "Did yer like that?" (said after he's just felled a chimney)
  • "A man who says he feels no fear is either a fool or a liar."
  • "I realise that steam engines aren't everyone's cup of tea. But they're what made England great."
  • "The modern world stinks."
  • "We've become a nation of con men, living by selling double glazing to each other."
  • "Steam engines don't answer back. You can belt them with a hammer and they say nowt."
  • "I set out as a steeplejack in my youth to preserve chimneys. I've finished by knocking most of them down."
  • "Height gives you a wonderful feeling of grandeur. You're the king of the castle up here."
  • "I'm just a bum who climbs chimneys."
  • "Anybody who destroys anything made of stone should be prosecuted. It is not all beautiful, but it took a man all day to make one stone."
  • "Steeplejacking's a bit of a spasmodic job, so you can play with your steam engine instead. It's a bit like being very rich."
  • "If you make one mistake, it's half a day out with the undertaker."
  • "It's a funny thing this celebrity. If you don't wave back you're a miserable bugger, if you do wave back you're a big-headed bugger. I don't know."
  • "Teaching boys to bake cakes? That's no way to maintain an industrial empire."
  • "That's Bolton's biggest chimney that… and I climbed it for a ten bob wager"
  • Fred also previously received two honorary doctorates… They were both given by the relevant engineering faculties, but Fred always told people that they were for "back street mechanicing".