Final farewell to our hero Fred

Fred Oldfield, who has died aged 93.
Fred Oldfield, who has died aged 93.

A popular ex-serviceman who took part in the famous wartime Normandy landings will be fondly remembered at his funeral service today.

Great grandfather Fred Oldfield, of Ashfield Road, Bispham, died at the age of 93 on February 12.

The late Fred Oldfield and wife Nina

The late Fred Oldfield and wife Nina

Apart from his involvement with the veterans’ group, he was also a cinema projectionist at many of Blackpool’s long lost picture houses, a cab driver and a hotelier in the resort.

The great grandfather was well known on the Fylde coast as a member of Blackpool’s D-Day and Normandy Veterans’ Association.

Mr Oldfield was chairman and the last surviving member of the branch, which in earlier years would give talks in schools about the famous Second World War campaign which led to the liberation of Europe from the Nazis.

As a member of the RAF, the father-of-three played a crucial role in the campaign as an engineer and electrician, whose skills were employed in keeping essential vehicles running.

Mr Oldfield’s three daughters, Patricia Bottomley, 66, Sandra Potton , 63, and Susan Forster, 53, said that above all he was known as a gentleman and a family man.

Mrs Bottomley, of East Court, Cleveleys, said: “People always called him a gentleman. Even when he was ill in hospital, the nurses didn’t want him to leave, he always had a cheery word for everyone.”

He was married to wife Nina for 67 years until her death last year.

The funeral service will be held at Carleton Crematorium today, beginning at 1.15pm, followed by burial on the site, and people are welcome to come along and pay their respects.

Originally from Ripley in Derbyshire, Mr Oldfield first came to Blackpool in 1949, to join his sister who was running a guesthouse on Central Drive.

He loved Blackpool and enjoyed ballroom dancing, where he met local lass Nina Morson.

The pair became dance partners and ended up being married for 67 years, until her death last year.

For some time the couple, who danced at the famous Tower Ballroom for most of their lives, also ran the Pier View Private Hotel on Banks Street.

Mr Oldfield’s time as a projectionist recalls a time when Blackpool was full of cinemas - he worked at The Ritz, The Tivoli and The Rendezvous.

He leaves three daughters, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.