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Tributes paid to former newspaper artist

Tributes have been paid to a former newspaper artist and cartoonist who has died aged 83.

Ray Aggett, the former art studio manager at the Bedfordshire Times who also worked for the Biggleswade Chronicle, died last month.

Through his work appearing in print he became well-known for his art in the 1970s and 80s and specialised in water colours and  cartoons.

Family, friends and former colleagues gathered to remeber him at a funeral service held last week at All Saints’ Church, Renhold.

Born in East London in 1931, Ray got into the newspaper industry after training as a compositor during national service and landing a job at Elphicks of Biggleswade, former owners of the Chronicle.

He later moved to the Bedfordshire Times group in Bedford, where his job was to illustrate stories and adverts and to provide drawings and cartoons – even Christmas cards – for the paper.

The Rev Lawrence MacDonald said in his address:  “He was an extrovert. The life and soul. He even got me to paint a water colour.”

A former colleague wrote in the book of remembrance at the church:  “He never missed a deadline.”

Ray was a popular figure who threw himself into community life after moving to the village of Renhold after his family grew up.

He served on the parish council, and was part of a group who developed what became the village magazine.