Farewell to Port stalwart

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Tributes have today been paid to a Fleetwood bricklayer-turned-businessman who has died.

George Bancroft, 81, died at Trinity Hospice on January 5 following a two-year battle with bone marrow cancer.

Born and brought up in the port, George and wife Florence moved to Thornton in their retirement.

He built more than 150 homes in the area, and was heavily involved with Fleetwood Rotary and Cleveleys Probus clubs.

Beginning work as an apprentice bricklayer, George later went into sales as a builders merchant before setting up as a housebuilder, developing homes in Fleetwood, Cleveleys and across the Fylde coast.

He became president of Fleetwood Rotary Club in 1998 and then Cleveleys Probus 10 years later.

Community work included the transformation of a patch of land at the corner of North Albert Street and Victoria Street into a Pocket Park, and two years as chairman of Fleetwood Arthritis Care.

The youngest of 10 children, his friends say George was a proud family man and enjoyed doting on his three great-granddaughters.

His wife Florence and son Roy will be joined by friends and family for a service at Carleton Crematorium next week.

Probus club colleague and friend Ken Hayes will deliver the eulogy.

He said: “George was proud of being a Fleetwood man and proud to have served his community.

“As the last-born in a family of 10, he rose from the humblest of beginnings to be a respected businessman and community leader.

“He was a sociable man with a wonderful sense of humour.

“He had the ability to make people feel good about themselves and had many friends, he will be very sadly missed.”

His son, Roy Bancroft, added: “He loved being a bricklayer and building houses and enjoyed the camaraderie of working on site.

“But he was never happier than when spending time with family and friends, telling jokes and stories.”