History Written in Stone; CRAFTSMAN: Talented Fred Remembered for Stunning Work in Coventry

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), November 20, 2009 | Go to article overview

History Written in Stone; CRAFTSMAN: Talented Fred Remembered for Stunning Work in Coventry


Byline: Duncan Gibbons

A STONEMASON who carved out a career on some of Coventry's most famous landmarks has died.

Fred Wilkes holds the unique honour of working on all three cathedrals, as well as the Godiva statue in Broadgate, St Mary's Guildhall, in Bayley Lane, and Coombe Abbey.

He died of a suspected heart attack at home in Frobisher Road, Styvechale, on Saturday, November 14, aged 77.

A post mortem is taking place today and his funeral will be at St James Church, in Leamington Road, Styvechale, at 11am on Friday, November 27, followed by cremation at Canley.

Kathleen, Fred's devastated wife of 51 years, said: "I found him on the floor of the bedroom.

Like anybody who gets into their 70s he had not been very well, but nothing serious.

I am just assuming that he had a massive heart attack."

Born and bred in Coventry, Fred moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1948 to serve his apprenticeship, but returned ten years later to help create Sir Basil Spence's new cathedral.

In 1962 he even had the honour of fit-ting the final piece into place - a 450lb keystone - above the 75ft-high baptistry window. …

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History Written in Stone; CRAFTSMAN: Talented Fred Remembered for Stunning Work in Coventry
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