Fred's backyard was his pride and joy. It was his playground, a place where he breathed life back into rusty old machinery and steam engines. This unique collection features footage shot with Fred in his extraordinary backyard over seven years of filming for the BBC.
Back Street Mechanic Fred always described himself as a 'back street mechanic' and the workshop in his garden where he did his 'mechanicing' was a one-off. It was all assembled from scrap and the cast offs from old mills and factories but it was probably the finest working example of a steam powered engineering workshop in the country. Fred takes us on a tour of the backyard, showing us how everything works and demonstrating some of the jobs he can do in it.
Fred's Engines Fred will always be associated with his two most famous engines, his steam roller Betsy and his Aveling and Porter convertible tractor. Here for the first time we hear from Fred the full story of his restoration of these two engines, see some of the work that went into the rebuild of the tractor and hear about some of his adventures on them including his famous Last Drop story when the roller ran out of control and crashed on a hill in Bolton.
Fred's Coal Mine It's not everybody who has a coal mine in their backyard, but not everybody had one like Fred's. In the last years of his life, building a fully working replica mine complete with a 100 foot mineshaft, fully working pit head gear and an inclined plane railway became one of Fred's great passions. Here Fred tells us about his plans in full, about his reasons for creating the mine and about his battles with the planners and we see the most comprehensive footage in existence of work on the mine.