Fylde coast sea defences are Mike's lasting legacy

A civil engineer who masterminded the development of Fylde’s sea defences is to be commemorated at the site.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 3:56 pm

St Annes father-of-two Mike Pomfret was so proud of the Fairhaven sea wall project that a last wish before his death at just 46 was for his ashes to be scattered there.

When his wife Louise told Fylde Council of his wish, officials suggested a plaque at the site in his memory.

Louise said: “He really transformed the Fylde coastline and it’s wonderful that a plaque will be there to remember him.

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Mike Pomfret

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Delight at completion of £21.8m new sea defences at Fairhaven

“Mike always enjoyed walking on the sea wall, with his family, watching other families enjoying our local area and appreciating our beautiful coastline.

“At the beginning of this year, he found out the scheme was awarded the prestigious Sustainability Award from the Institute of Civil Engineers and he was so proud.

“He asked to have his ashes scattered there.

Mike Pomfret at the Fairhaven sea defences of which he was so proud

“We’re so proud of him. He has left an amazing legacy on the North West coastline and was truly inspirational in all his achievements.”

The plaque is currently being prepared with the wording: “These coastal defences at Fairhaven and Church Scar are dedicated in loving memory to Mike Pomfret (1974-2021).

“Mike, Coastal Defences Project Manager, Fylde Borough Council, was instrumental in delivering coastal defence schemes the length of the Fylde Coast. Stretching from Rossall through Blackpool and into Lytham St Annes, with the Fairhaven and Church Scar scheme being his last project.

“Mike was a highly skilled professional, with a dedication to public service which extended beyond his professional life.

Mike asked that his ashes be scattered at the sea defences

“He was very well-respected and well-liked by all who worked with him, and he is greatly missed by his colleagues, friends and loving family.”

Blackpool-born Mike, who had chronic liver disease from childhood, died in August.

He had returned to his home town in 2004 to project manage the development of the £80m central Blackpool sea defences for Blackpool Council and the scheme was such a success that it was awarded the Brunel Medal for Civil Engineering Excellence.

Mike then went on to lead the Anchorsholme and Cleveleys sea defence scheme, where he shared his expertise with Wyre Council, and was then asked to project manage the Fairhaven sea defence scheme for Fylde Council.

Mike (right) at the opening of the Fairhaven sea defences with councillors and officials

Coun Roger Small, chairman of Fylde Council’s operational management committee, said: “Mike was the unsung hero behind what is a marvellous scheme.

“He would have been involved in the forthcoming St Annes sea defence project and we’ll be thinking of him.”

Along with Louise, Mike leaves 17-year-old daughter Emily and 15-year-old son Leo, named after Mike’s grandad Leo Pomfret, who was mayor of Blackpool at the time the £4m Norbreck sea defences were unveiled in north Blackpool in 1988.

A plaque commemorates that date and Louise said: “Mike was proud of that and it’s lovely to think there will also be a plaque to Mike at the other end of the coast.”

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The plaque dedicated to Mike's grandfather at Norbreck