David Baggaley (1944-2015)
Born at Middle Farm, Valley Lane, Long Bennington, David Jeffrey Baggaley attended Long Bennington School until he was 14 when he went on to Springfield School, Grantham.
From there, he went to Caythorpe Agricultural College, before starting work with his father on the farm.
He met Diane at a disco in Newark and they were married on Easter Saturday, 1968. Their first home was on Welbournes Lane, Long Bennington. After a couple of years they were offered a smallholding on Fen Lane in the village.
By this time Mr Baggaley and his father were carrying out contract farm work around the county, David wanted to start his own business and realising that a particular part of a combine, the sieve, often wore out or broke, he started offering reconditioned sieves to farmers and subsequently Sieve Services was created.
The business went well and he branched out into Midland Combines Limited, supplying parts and becoming one of the biggest suppliers of combine parts in the country, with 670 dealers and eventually supplying around the world.
Ever the entrepreneur, Mr Baggaley had great fun starting several other businesses – a CB radio shop in Grantham; landscape gardening; Christmas trees; barbecues made out of oil drums; a farm shop; laser shoot; a mobile hog roasting machine, designed and built by him; a coal round; and then a wedding car hire business, with a stretch limousine and an American Lincoln Continental.
As well as managing his businesses, Mr Baggaley was always involved in helping others.
He loved going to Newark Folk Club where he was a regular singer.
He also organised many concerts in the village hall to raise money for charities, his favourite being the British Heart Foundation.
He helped to found the Long Bennington Drama Group and was heavily involved in many plays, both acting and creating the sets.
He also appeared at the Robin Hood Theatre, Averham, and also as Santa Claus at Marston village school.
One of Mr Baggaley’s claims to fame was appearing on national television and winning in an episode of Scrapheap Challenge, as the expert giving advice on how to build a combine harvester using an old London black cab.
He was a regular exhibitor at Newark Agricultural Show, where his stands won many awards and the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association (LAMMA). Over many years he was involved with the organisation and management, finally becoming a director.
Mr Baggaley served on the parish council.