|>>|| No. 20540
>There's one where he's talking about drinking before starting a climb. Never went up a chimney without a couple of pints down him apparently. Just an incomprehensibly different time back then, and it's hard not to feel like something has been lost in the transition.
Maybe it's just the jobs I've had and the people I've met, but I hear this a lot and never really thought it myself. Granted, there aren't many (any?) steeplejacks laddering chimneys like Fred did, and the majority of working class folk who might have been doing dangerous or semi-dangerous work are now sequestered in offices answering phones and the like, but the 'let's just get on with it' attitude of Mr. Dibnah and jobs that require confidence and tolerance of risk are still very much there. There was a lad in a thread recently who seemed surprised that a policeman was doing a 12 hour shift, and perhaps that would be outright daunting to some people, but for plenty of others it's not even worth a second thought.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about humans is how quickly we can get used to something, and how well we can endure it. I was shit scared of heights as a young 'un, but being surrounded as I was by blokes cut from the same sort of cloth as Fred I was encouraged to get up the top of them ladders anyway. I still remember how I felt the first time I did it, but I also remember how quickly I realised that the ladder wasn't wobbling, I was.
I've lost my track a bit here but I don't think the world has really changed, and certainly not for the worse. People lived these rough hewn working lives not because they were purer souls or knew the value of honest work, but because they needed to eat and couldn't achieve that at that time in an air conditioned cubicle. While it's impressive and really telling that you probably don't need a three point harness system and an expert safety assessment to climb a chimney successfully, I'm not convinced the presence of these things is bad or undesirable. There's also certainly a great deal of people that do their work with a couple of pints in them, not least the ones that are supposed to be conscious of the safety of themselves or others, it's just that it's not really tolerated or encouraged as it once was. Again, probably not a bad thing.