NorthWest Exploration Forum

NorthWest Exploration Forum (
-   High Places (
-   -   India Mill Chimney Climb, Darwen - June 2011. (

Ojay 27-06-2011 23:53

India Mill Chimney Climb, Darwen - June 2011.

India Mill Chimney Climb, Darwen - June 2011.

India Mill chimney stands now as a lone memorial to King Cotton

Built in 1867 by architects Ernest Bates of Manchester and modelled around St Marks Campanile in Venice the original structure was 91M

The original cast iron crown was removed in 1943 due to war damage reducing the overall height by 6M (20ft)

Home to Peregrine Falcons and fantastic brickwork, the chimney now tops out at 85M (279ft)

This chimney needs no introductions from me - Just watch a legend explain this iconic structure HERE

Rewind nearly 2 years and myself and Solo1 stood at the foot of this beast

"One day we will stand on top of that"... Hmm

Having looked at many pictures including the iconic black & white shot of the 'old chaps' which I'm sure SL will dig out, a waiting game it was

We knew an inspection was probably imminent and after a chance conversation I overheard ladders were in place

No fucking about here, we had a small window of opportunity, SL was out of the picture so myself & Tweedy decided to hit it up, we left him a message and decided to made our ascent

This was no mean feat, a 9M climb up the base, followed by a further 13M up the pitched roof to the ladders whilst lit up like an x-mas tree and surrounded by dome camearas was indeed lulz

(shouts to everyone involved, you know who you are)

Without further a-do I shot up the ladders without a care in the world until I reached the 30M mark and looked back down :D

It felt like the whole of Darwen was watching us, as the moon was strong and the sky was bright

I carried on up to the first ledge (approx 60M) from ground level and waited for my mate, stopping for a few pics before carrying on

As I hit the first overhang, suddenly the rope started to stretch.. WTF? I couldn't pass the deviation between the connecting ladders so literally had to un-clip and free climb back down a good 40ft+ to the ledge below :eek:

As I neared my mate, he told me that someone else was on the rope - Solo1 no less, and within no time he joined us on the ledge

There was now a genuine buzz as we carried on up the ladders one-by-one towards the summit, SL naturally shooting off into the night sky

As I approached the final overhang (around 80M) my gear got caught around the fixings, I couldn't pull myself over or even move back down, this was some scary shit, but I had no choice but to man-up and persevere

I soon got my shit together and made it onto the final ladder, a quick 5M climb and I joined SL, followed by my mate on the top of the chimney with the biggest grins ever

Plan B - Get a few pics and get the fuck down...

We made it

"You can ride a bike around here" - Fred Dibnah

India Mill


And finally our ladder awaits

The sun was rising, I hadn't slept, full of mixed emotions we made it back down safely, bitten to death by midges for a quick ppl shot we packed up and f00ked off

Massive Shouts to Solo1, Tweedy & the rest of the crew who made it up here ;)

Manx Centor 28-06-2011 00:07

Good stuff Lads - that one hell of an achievement and a good story too :)

boboil 28-06-2011 00:29

1st class guys that's one hell of a tale to tell the grandchildren.

Well done all concerned with this EPIC !!!! climb :thumbs:thumbs:thumbs.

It's easy for people to say "I'd love to do that" but you guys grabbed the bull by the horns & did it.

RESPECT !!!!!!

Kenni 28-06-2011 07:47

Proper Respect!! Them ladders even look wooden :D :D :thumbs :thumbs

Kenni 28-06-2011 07:55

P.S. Hope you left a sign up there ;)

Morrisey 28-06-2011 09:14

I think Boboil summed it up perfectly. This has got to be the climb of the decade.:thumbs

How the fuck did Fred do that without any safety:confused:

georgie 28-06-2011 10:17

massive respect to all involved and also to mr dibnagh for climbing this.

safety or no safety it takes massive balls to do anything like this ,personally i like ladders to be caged,it just feels safer but to go up 279ft with overhangs and no cage takes some doing

as morrisey said How the fuck did Fred do that without any safety.

Ojay 28-06-2011 10:34

Fred was an amazing guy, at the top of his game, I have total respect for the big guy.


andym 28-06-2011 12:36

Massive win! It's an awesome chimney, but I'm quite content to look at your pics, and view it from ground level!

buddah 28-06-2011 15:06

Very good man, im pretty jealous.

SoLo1 28-06-2011 15:26


Originally Posted by ojay (Post 141401)

As I approached the final overhang (around 80M)
my gear got caught around the fixings
I couldn't pull myself over or even move back down
this was some scary shit, but I had no choice but to man-up and persevere

Ojay 28-06-2011 16:18

I needed to change my undies :D

tarboat 28-06-2011 16:35

Truly awesome. Much respect! :thumbs

the copy cat 28-06-2011 17:37

well played quality.

The-Village-Idiot 28-06-2011 17:48

Epic climb, nuff said :thumbs

Kenni 28-06-2011 17:57

A nice in use pic here

urban 28-06-2011 18:40

Top draw this, often wondered what it was like at the top of here since seeing fred soloing it, there's no way you'd get me past that overhang safety or not!!

Nice one.

darwen dave 28-06-2011 19:31

Fantastic stuff guys. You wouldn't get me up there but I'm glad someone took the rare opportunity to do it.

PS. I can see my house from up there :D:D

Snake Oil 28-06-2011 21:53


Fantastic photos too :thumbs

keeweeman 29-06-2011 11:18

Balls of steel needed on this one, epic stuff dudes

darwen dave 29-06-2011 19:12

Got home today (wednesday) and the ladder has gone.

Looks like you hit it at the right time guys.

tristanjay 30-06-2011 22:26

Top stuff chaps :thumbs

Userscott 01-07-2011 01:05

I'm lucky to get a few hours a week spare these days and well.. I stood in Darwen not too long back devastated that I wouldn't be able to pull it off in time before the arranged date for the ladders coming down... and I decided that "next time"... 10, 15 years time when she's reladdered again that will be my chance.

The notion of standing on that ledge, the ledge where that flag was flown and Dibnah gave himself a good beating to fend of the cold, well.. I think that would be a life changer.

I'll close out on this, well done Ojay, SL and whoever else. Shouts to both BASE jumpers who attempted it on the night and.. remember that few men have stood up there.

Every last one was a blessed man, though.

SoLo1 01-07-2011 07:25

Ironic , Iconic , we desire nothing so much as what we ought not to have...

Luggy 01-07-2011 18:32

That overhang is the stuff of nightmares. :eek:

Manx Centor 07-07-2011 11:11

Hey Ojay - nice comments in the LET :).

martymarty 07-07-2011 12:37

That's an awful over hang I really would have shit myself there im soo not good with heights ..well done and big balls. :thumbs

buddah 07-07-2011 15:15

Your famous!

Did the police actually come for you then?

"Police gave chase as the last man climbed down, but were not able to catch him or the others."

"Town mayor councillor Paul Browne said: “They are not welcome in this town.

"If it were up to me, they’d get a hell of a long jail sentence.”"

So there!:D

I tell you what that reporter is pretty tasty , i would of asked to meet her in person n maybe shown her my chimney i could even make smoke come out the top :wub

Ojay 07-07-2011 15:49

Load of bollox, their ace journalism has backfired

wadey 07-07-2011 20:39

THREE men put their lives at risk by scaling a 279ft chimney for kicks in the dead of night.

Their ascent of Darwen’s India Mill was carried out with few safety precautions.

They weren’t wearing helmets, were only roped together on the ladders fixed to the side of the mill and part of their stunt involved ‘free climbing’.

Last night the group was condemned as reckless with one councillor saying they should be facing a jail sentence.

But the men insisted they were not ‘teenage, drunken vandals’, and said they carried out detailed preparations.

wadey 07-07-2011 20:49

India Mill

Snake Oil 08-07-2011 19:26

quality! :D

magaz 09-07-2011 22:51

Just spotted this in the teleraph... "Should be facing long jail sentences" haha that councilor has his priorities all wrong...

Sirus 14-01-2014 03:31

Nothing but respect......:thumbs

paulflynn12 19-11-2014 01:35

I love the place hope to see it soon.. Great post!

~ Kitchen Ideas by Perfect Digital Kitchen Scale

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 00:37.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2008-2015. Photographs and text are copyright and the property of the poster unless otherwise stated, and should not be used without express written permission.
Any opinions stated by users of this forum are NOT those of the site owners, each poster takes FULL responsibility for their own posts.