Tributes paid to popular former county councillor Mike Ogden

Mike Ogden

Mike Ogden - Credit: Archant

Tributes have flooded in on the pages of social media for former county councillor and March businessman Mike Ogden.

People have stepped in to pay tribute to the 82 year old who was a well known and loved character around the town.

The Seven Stars Facebook page, where he was known to enjoy a pint of Abbott Ale, said: “Sad news - A very well know customer to The Seven Stars has passed away. Our thoughts are with the family. So sorry to hear the news.”

Fenland District and March Town councillor Jan French: “Great man he will be sadly missed, condolences to his family.”

The barber who cut his hair, Katy Shroff, said: “I will miss our chats whilst I cut his hair very much . He was a true gentleman , my thoughts go to his family at this sad time . R.I.P”

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The octogenarian died in hospital after suffering a major stroke.

Mr Ogden, who is believed to have been the longest serving Cambridgeshire County Councillor ever, was well-known in the town having worked as a chartered surveyor with family firm Kirk Ogden for more than 50 years after joining the company in 1956.

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He was elected to the county council in 1972, at the time of his election he was governor at seven Fenland schools including the Isle College at Wisbech, and Hereward and Westwood Schools in March.

Margaret Hayes said he was: “A true gentleman,” while Linda Edwards said: “He did a lot for March.”

Lynsey Harris said: “I hope the angels have plenty of Abbot up there.”

John Bennett-Collins said that: “Mike Ogden was always a gentleman who never seemed to me to judge others regardless of what they stood for.”

Kevin Baker commented: “Loved Mike, so sad and will surely be missed by all. I too loved listening to his stories of the town, whilst having a drink at the Stars, a friend and good neighbour.”

Wisbech Town Council said: “Horrible news. Very sad.”

Helen Grantham added: “He was a truly lovely, thoughtful and funny man.”

David Deptford said that Mr Ogden’s family were: “Wonderful people true March family,” while Linda Hart sent sincere condolences to the family.

Neil Liversedge commented: “A true gentleman, one of the most interesting men I’ve ever met.”

Roger Schmidt said: “Used to bump into him in the Stars now and again. A true Gentleman. Condolences to all his friends and family.”

James Hool said: “Always enjoyed our evening bar chats. Very much missed from myself and all at The Seven Stars.”

Debbie Clark commented: “An old school gentleman always with a twinkle in his eye. He fascinated me with his stories of years ago but was sad watching his health decline. So sad for Anne, Louise and Toby.”

Julie Royal said that Mr Ogden was an old friend of her dads when he surveyed her house. “He just made me laugh reminiscing about my old dad well now they can carry on laughing together,” she said.

Linda Anderson said the photo posted onto Facebook page March Free Discussion was “lovely” and added: “Fondest memories, my thoughts are with Anne and family.”

Amanda Carlin added: “A lovely tribute to a good, community minded man. Love and prayers to Mike’s family at this sad time.”

Mr Ogden was with the Conservative Association March Branch, having served as secretary of the March Men’s Branch for almost 30 years.

He stood down as a councillor in 2009. He was made an honorary alderman by Cambridgeshire County Council for his long service to local government in the same year, following in the footsteps of both his father Kirk and grandfather Tom Parkinson Ogden, who also served in local government and were aldermen.

He was a member of March Rotary Club for 40 years.

In 2008 Mr Ogden announced he had sold off his land, which included the former auction rooms and indoor market to Cannon Kirk, with the hope of seeing the area developed.

His father Kirk Ogden bought the premises in 1929 shortly after qualifying as a chartered surveyor and opened it as a pig market with weekly sales that expanded into poultry, timber and vegetables from outlying small-holders.

Through the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the auctions flourished. However, there was declining interest during the early 1990s while the chartered surveyor’s.

The hammer fell for the last time in 1992.

Mr Ogden was among local leaders who helped negotiate the siting of Whitemoor Prison in March and was proud of his contribution claiming it had provided a huge boost to the town.

He enjoyed playing tennis in his younger days and enjoyed following the sport on television, but his main hobby was local politics, which left little time for anything else.

The Ogdens lost their younger daughter Clare two year’s ago at the age of 44.

Mr Ogden’s funeral is on Monday February 23 at 12.30pm at St Wendreda’s Church, followed by family interment.

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