Tributes to roads maestro

Harry Yeadon, who  worked on the construction and design of the M6 in 1958.
Harry Yeadon, who worked on the construction and design of the M6 in 1958.
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A visionary bridgemaster who orchestrated the building of the M6 motorway and the roads that opened up Blackpool to be a “drive-in” resort has died.

Harry Yeadon, from Lytham, died on February 8, aged 92.

Mr Yeadon worked for Lancashire County Council, changing the national motoring map as he oversaw the construction of the first stretch of motorway, the M6 Preston bypass, and the link between the M55 and Blackpool that bears his name.

He retired as county surveyor and bridgemaster in 1985, his retirement gift being the under-construction road being named after him – Yeadon Way.

His family said it was touching for them, widow Sylvia, sons Paul and Mark, and grandsons Nicholas, Alexander, James and Rory, to know he was so revered by his peers.

Paul Yeadon said: “He had a fascinating and full life and he led by example, we know he was admired.

“He was a gentleman and a very committed person.”

Mr Yeadon, originally from Accrington, was involved with the design and building of the Preston Bypass in 1958, the first motorway in England.

His son added: “He was very proud of being a Lancastrian and that the highways he put in effectively helped to replace industries lost and to regenerate the county.

“He was proud to have been able to help.”

He had joined the county council in 1948, having served in the Royal Engineers in the army during the Second World War, in Italy.

He returned to Italy on holidays, which is where he met his wife, Sylvia, on a skiing trip in 1953.

They later moved to Lytham for his work with the authority.

His son said: “He was a good father and grandfather, he was loving, never judgemental, supportive and competitive as a sportsman.”

In retirement he continued to work, having two books published and being chosen to appear in the British Libraries ‘Voices of Science’ recordings.

Mr Yeadon was honoured by his former colleagues ahead of Lancashire County Council’s full council meeting on Thursday.

Chairman of the county council, County Coun Kevin Ellard, said: “I was sorry to hear that Harry Yeadon, former county surveyor for Lancashire and bridgemaster from 1974 to 1984, died.

“He was instrumental in supporting the Lancashire County Engineering Society.

“Mr Yeadon was also responsible for introducing female membership to the Society in 1957.

“He was one of only three people awarded Fellow status in the Society in recognition of long-term support.”

County Coun Ellard commended Mr Yeadon’s tenacity, having attended meetings right up until 2012, where he “remained a great source of astute and challenging questions for those giving presentations”, he added.

Mr Yeadon will be celebrated at a service of remembrance at St Cuthbert’s Church, Lytham, at 1pm