Evening News scales the heights

Bolton Evening News journalists fittingly scaled the tower of the town’s parish church to cover the funeral of famous resident Fred Dibnah.

The TV personality, who made his name demolishing giant chimneys, began his career as a steeplejack.

Photographer Karen Hope spent three hours at the top of the tower as the funeral procession, complete with steam engines and 8,000 mourners, went past.

Editor Steve Hughes said: “We knew that the procession would give us the opportunity for some memorable and historic photos. But we also knew that several thousand people would turn up and that it would be difficult to take photos at street level. We wanted to make sure that we had the best possible view so our photographers spent several days finding the right locations.

“We got some great photos that no-one else did.”

On the day of the funeral the paper devoted pages one and two to the story and carried an eight-page pictorial tribute from Fred’s early days as a steeplejack to his trip to Buckingham Palace earlier this year to collect his MBE.

Because the funeral was in the afternoon, most of the coverage had to be carried the next day. As it wasn’t a breaking story, Hughes decided to go for a features treatment on page one.

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