On this day in history : 7th December 1983 – A tomcat, called George, climbs 160ft up an industrial chimney in Lancashire and refuses to come down – halting the work of steeplejack Fred Dibnah….

Fred Dibnah in 1985 – Image credit : trainsandstuff via Flickr CC BY 2.0

The ginger cat resisted all attempts to coax him down; when Fred climbed up to reach him George moved even further up the chimney…. An emergency meeting was held with the RSPCA and the fire brigade and it was decided that the best plan of action was to leave the tom up there overnight – hoping hunger would force him down….

Fred was not impressed with the feline’s antics – he said : “I have got a few hundred pounds at stake and I cannot be held up by a cat”…. But held up he was – as the following morning George was still up there….

By now George was very distressed…. Fred made a further attempt to reach the terrified cat, who paced at the top of the chimney crying pitifully…. Fred had to admit defeat and an expert cat handler was brought in, who managed to grab hold of George and put him in a cat basket…. Fred then carried him down….

Britain’s favourite steeplejack, who rose to fame through a series of television documentaries, had been delayed by George for 30 hours…. George in turn had used up one of his nine lives….

One thought on “On this day in history….7th December 1983

  1. Another great story Hazel! I met Fred once, a real character and just as he appeared on TV. The only problem was once you got Fred talking he would go on for hours!

    Liked by 1 person

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