Ashley Michael BEHAGG
Gentleman 1926 – 2003
Ashley Michael BEHAGG died peacefully on 26 February 2003 aged 76 years.
Beloved husband of Shirley, father of Catherine, Patricia and Christopher and much loved by 7 grandchildren and one great grandson.
The following few words were received from Mr Jack Dady on the 13th March 2003 & published in “Spectrum”.
A Country Gentleman
The passing of Michael Behagg has seen the loss to the community of a true country gentleman, a man who throughout his life gave service to his village and to the county. Where he could help he did. His charm was his unfailing courtesy – with quiet dignity he exercised authority firmly. He was equally at home with savants in the Athenaeum Club on its deep leather chairs or with fellow trustees of the Fenstanton Town Trust on hard wooden chairs in the Church Centre.
Michael was a working farmer who regarded the land he owned as being held in trust for future generations and for it to be used by those now living… Fenstanton has a cricket pitch through his generosity.
His knowledge of the history of agricultural development and of tenancy law was very useful in Parish Council discussions. For over 50 years he was an active parish councillor serving as chairman and being on various committees. He was the voice of moderation.
For over 30 years he was a magistrate on the Huntingdon bench, serving as chairman. He was accessible to help with personal problems which he would do by inviting a person to his house for discussion in his impressive library.
He held many fund raising events. The annual Barn Dance is very popular. For some 20 years Michael was a church warden and served on the Parochial Church Council. Beyond the village he served a term as Chairman of Beds & Hunts NFU and he was a committee member of the local branch of the national Farmers Union: also he was on the 1960 Transport Users Consultative Committee. On the cultural side he was a member of the St.Ives Civic Society and also the Huntingdon Decorative and Fine Arts Society.
In 2000 John Major wrote;
“No one who has lived in Fenstanton over these past fifty years can doubt Michael’s commitment to the community and I thank him for it.”