Stonemason behind Lancashire’s iconic buildings dies age 77

MASTER CRAFTSMAN: Stonemason Kenneth Proud has died
MASTER CRAFTSMAN: Stonemason Kenneth Proud has died

A stonemason who sculpted some of the county’s most iconic structures has died.

Kenneth Proud worked on buildings including Preston Guild Hall and the Mormon temple at Chorley, as well as no less than 12 Fylde coast churches in his 50-year career.

He loved the countryside and anything natural. Working with stones was the perfect job for him.

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, Blackpool, completed his first stone carving in 1956 at the age of 17.

After working for Wray Brothers Monumental 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 Sir Stanley Matthews.

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.