Fred was born in a Manchester suburb and began his working life as a clerk in the family insurance business.
During World War Two he served with the Grenadier Guards and after the war, on his return to Manchester, he became a painter and decorator. He later trained as a teacher of art and after several years teaching he moved to Cornwall in the 1970s, living for almost twenty years in North Street, Fowey.
Fred enjoyed an uncomplicated bachelor way of life and supported himself doing odd jobs and mowing lawns. His passion was painting, which he did almost exclusively, outdoors. During his time in Manchester he had known L.S.Lowry and some likened Yates to a 'happy Lowry' because of his use of vibrant colours and the stick people in the local scenes he painted. In later life he moved to France, to paint in a warmer climate.
Research Helen Luther
Sources: Obituary The Times 10 July 2008, Obituary Guardian 31 July 2008 and personal memory.