Godmanchester Cambridgeshire Community Association Online

Brian Patrick Doherty (Pat)

Brian Patrick Doherty (Pat) b 18 July 1932 – d 14 October 2018

Pat grew up in Pipers Lane Godmanchester with his two siblings, John (died 2015) and Rosie.  Pat attended the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (elementary boys’ school) with Mr Anderson as his final headmaster.  He went on to gain a scholarship to Huntingdon Grammar School, but his education was cut short, so he went into the building trade.  One of the projects he worked on was to repair the dilapidated Queen Elizabeth School for GMC Town Council which had taken the building over in 1982.

One day Pat saw a young woman walking past the house in Pipers Lane. Love at first sight!  Joan Wing, one of four sisters from Liverpool, including Doreen, who came in 1942 as a land girl.  Doreen, Joan and Sylvie all married Godmanchester men.  Pat and Joan were married at Joan’s home church at Walton, Liverpool and moved to 5 Kisby Avenue in 1961.  Pat turned the whole of the large garden to vegetables (potatoes in the front garden) continuing the wartime ‘Dig for Victory’.  As well as potatoes, they found time to produce 3 children, Matt, Mark and Loraine.

He was also a member of Huntingdon District Council for 8 years. In the Community he was an enthusiastic member of the Comrades Club - especially Sunday family nights.  He was president of the Godmanchester Angling & Fish Preservation Society, helping with children’s fishing competitions as well as being a bailiff at Grafham Water.

From 1974 he supported the campaign for a separate Town Council for Godmanchester – achieved in April 1982.  He was a founder member of the Godmanchester Town Council becoming the second Town Mayor in 1983 and then again in 1985-86.  Joan was also elected to the Town Council and was Mayor in 1991-92.

Pat, along with Jonathan Young, Robert Hughes and others, organised the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in June 1977 - closing the Causeway for celebratory street parties over the Bank Holiday weekends.  At a public meeting in September 1977 - held in the Church Hall - it was agreed to form a Community Association with Pat elected as the first Chairman then later the first President.

In May 2014, the Town Council recognised Pat’s services to Godmanchester by making him the first Honorary Freeman of Godmanchester along with Alan Hooker - who for some year’s had been inspired by Pat’s endeavours.  They received their badges of honour in October 2017 at the Civic Service held in the Parish Church of Godmanchester.

Sadly, Pat lived with dementia for the last year or so of his life, but those who visited him, enjoyed conversations about many and varied subjects, including politics, local issues and local history.  On 29 October, Pat was buried in the town cemetery in London Road with his beloved Joan.  The collection at the funeral and subsequent donations went into the ‘Pat Doherty Fund’ at the request of his children.  Subsequently, the proceeds were presented to the Community Association as part of its ‘Dredging of the Mill Lade’ project - a subject dear to Pat.  There is now a Doherty Road on the Romans’ Edge housing development in honour of Pat & Joan.

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