Fred in Wales

In 1970 Fred Yates embarked on a commission to paint the Castles and Cathedrals of Wales.

Llandaff Cathedral

Llandaff Cathedral

At Clover Antiques a small Antique shop in Taffs Well north of Cardiff Lorna McBride and her husband Mac were about to settle for the evening. When the doorbell rang and Lorna answered, standing in the doorway was a rather cold and weary looking Fred Yates.


caerphilly castle

Caerphilly Castle from the Welsh commission

fred yates welsh echo april 70

Fred Yates in the Welsh Echo April 1970




Fred explained what he was doing in Wales
and why he was calling at the McBrides. He told them how hungry and short of cash he was, enquiring whether they would like to buy a painting. The Mcbrides took pity on the artist inviting Fred in, prepared him a meal and
subsequently bought two paintings.

When he returned to Fowey Fred wrote to the McBrides thanking them for their hospitality and support. In the letter he says:

fred yates mcbride letter 70 i

“I was so successful in Wales that I stayed there for another 4 weeks” he adds that he “came back with about £200 & still had 20 paintings in the van & 20 left at The Crown Brynamman”



st david's cathedral

Fred Yates St David’s Cathedral




Fred ends the letter with a PS

“did a magnificent Painting of St David’s Cathedral and Rhossilli Church”




St David's Cathedral

St David’s Cathedral

This was obviously a very productive time for Fred and typical of the work ethic and enthusiasm that he was to continue with throughout his life. Also very typical is the way that Fred was helped and encouraged by patrons that found him a gentle and warm man who they felt compelled to assist.


This was to become a recurring theme in the Fred Yates Story.




5 Responses to Fred in Wales

  1. Angie Taylor says:

    D,This is superb great that you’ve stumbled on something re the Story, and even better that you have shared it with us all.


  2. Lorna McBride says:

    So enjoyed seeing the past..Brought back kind memories of Fred who was such a n appreciative man..I am sure that he will be remembered..and hope that he gets the recognition that he deserves..L.McB

    • Hi Lorna,

      Thank you so much for contacting FYG and for sharing your story. This really brings the Fred Yates story to life and is invaluable in understanding both the man and his work.


  3. Mrs Jeanette Murphy says:

    Love reading about Fred Yates. He was my Art Teacher in the 60’s when he taught at Teignmouth Secondary Modern Devon. He was an amazing and inspirational teacher. I feel so very privileged to have been one of his pupils.

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