Fred was born in Manchester in 1922. He worked as an insurance clerk, before serving as a Grenadier Guardsman in the war. He taught art for many years, then moved to Cornwall, where he started to paint full time. His idiosyncratic paintings are easily identified by their brilliant vibrant colour, often squeezed straight from the tube. The apparent naïve style masks a sure skill in creating his world of Manchester city life, Cornish villages and French landscapes, populated by his familiar cast of characters.
From early exhibitions in galleries throughout Cornwall and the West Country, he quickly gained recognition as one of Britain’s most distinctive painters with successful exhibitions here and abroad. Yates’s paintings have a devoted following all over the world.
Fred moved to France in the early 1990s, and sadly died in the summer of 2008 when he was over in the UK to catch up with old friends and look for a house in England. He is greatly missed.