Thirty of Margaret's friends connected with her many interests met to give her the best adieu that we could. Mervyn Terrett gave a grand eulogy. There was a choir of three.
My thanks to R. Cole for the above picture
The sun shone at the interment and she is now at rest near her beloved Forster Country.
There was a live stream arranged by Austins -
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We are sad to announce that our co-founder Margaret Ashby has died after a long illness. Here she is with her Peterkin Award from CPRE Hertfordshire.
Margaret was born in Hertfordshire and moved to Stevenage with her parents as a baby then stayed in Pound Avenue all her life
She worked as an FE lecturer in Hertford. Her many books, mainly about local history, include Forster Country published 1991.
She co-founded The Friends of the Forster Country with John Hepworth in 1989 They had just persuaded a government inspector to pronounce Forster Country Green Belt and refuse an appeal after Stevenage BC had refused planning permission.
Together she and John co-chaired the organisation for many years. After the loss of John, she felt it time for a new Chairman but stayed on the committee and agreed to be a Patron. For the past 30 years she has helped remind local people (and quite a few further afield) of the value of this ‘green lung’ for Stevenage and a great literary heritage. She set a shining example of defending Forster Country through democratic methods, retaining many friends including within Stevenage BC.
What was to be her final illness was un-diagnosed but causing problems as early as the Local Plan Inquiry of 2017 but she was part of our team there, helping prepare our approach then sitting through all relevant days.
We are greatly saddened that her last few months were within Covid lockdown but even more so that they were clouded with the thought that most of her beloved Forster Country was so seriously threatened by housing. We thank her for helping save it for us to enjoy for the last 30 plus years. We will miss her.
Stevenage BC Planning Committee voted on 8th December 2020, to pass the Outline Planning Application to build 800 homes on Forster Country. The voting was reliably reported as 7 for, 5 against, 1 abstention. The meeting can still be viewed on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/SBCComms/featured but it was long. Our item started just after 1.12 h/min and continued on to 3.22 h/min (youtube time)
We need to decide where we go from here. The developer has to apply for detailed planning approval now.