A master mason's legacy set in stone
A Blackpool stonemason who sculpted some of the Fylde coast's most iconic structures has died.
Kenneth Proud, formerly of Blackpool Stone Company, turned his craft to Blackpool Town Hall, the Pleasure Beach, Blackburn Cathedral and no less than 12 Fylde coast churches during his 50-year career.
The grandad-of-five died from a brain tumour on October 2 at the age of 77.
He leaves behind three daughters, a son, and his loving wife Margaret, 73.
She said: “He loved the countryside and anything natural. Working with stones was the perfect job for him.”
Kenneth, who lived on Mossom Lane, completed his first stone carving in 1956 at the age of 17.
After working for Wray Brothers Monumental on Layton Road for several years, he was finally awarded the role of master mason, set up his own business and worked on stately homes, churches and cathedrals all over the country.
Margaret said: “Working on a church restoration job in Garstang, the priest couldn’t figure out why he thought something looked different. Ken told him that he had put a smile on the face of an angel.”
His talents led him to rub shoulders with well-known figures: he worked for three years on the Duke of Westminster’s estate in Chester, and installed a fireplace for football legend Stanley Matthews.
He was a member of the choir at Kings Church, Beaufort Avenue, Blackpool, and sang bass with the resort’s Male Voice Choir.
Margaret said: “He had a great Christian faith and was very contented with his life.
“I have had over 100 cards from people and they all say they loved the way he greeted people and made them feel good.
“He made people happy and that’s what everyone remembers about him.”
Kenneth’s funeral will take place on October 24 at Werrington Church in Werrington, Staffordshire, where he retired two years ago.
A memorial service will be held in his honour at Cleveleys Park Methodist Church on West Drive at 6.30pm on November 13.
Kenneth’s life work: the buildings that form the mason’s legacy
Blackpool Town Hall
Anchorsholme sea defences
Stepping stones across the River Wear, Weardale
1962 Alice in Wonderland ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool police station
Preston Guild Hall
Bolton Shopping Centre
Kendal Town Hall
The Duke of Westminster’s estate, Chester
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Sizergh Castle, Kendal
Mormon temple, Chorley
Rossall School, Fleetwood
Football legend Stanley Matthews’ fireplace
Blackpool magistrate’s court
Christ Church, Thornton