M6 mastermind is remembered

Tributes: Harry Yeadon was a bridgemaster
Tributes: Harry Yeadon was a bridgemaster
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A bridgemaster who orchestrated the building of the M6 motorway has died.

Harry Yeadon, 92, 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.

Mr Yeadon 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 Mr Yeadon, of Lytham, 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 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.”

Mr Yeadon 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. 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, who died onFebruary 8, was honoured by his former colleagues ahead of Lancashire County Council’s full council meeting last week.

Chairman of the county council, County Coun Kevin Ellard, said: “He was instrumental in supporting the Lancashire County Engineering Society.”

“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.