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Old faithful that looked familiar

A MAN who moved to the South Hams from Huntingdonshire has had a surprise reunion with a steam engine he last set eyes on more than 70 years ago.
Peter Woodham, 89, visited the Vintage Machinery Rally at Sorley Cross, following a lifelong interest.
Paul Woodham, Peter’s son, said: ‘Dad said several times that there was something “familiar” about one of the steam engines.’
It was not until Peter returned home and sat down to properly read the rally programme that he was ‘staggered’ to discover the pictured engine is the same one he worked on in the early 1940s.
Paul said: ‘The owner has detail-ed records of the machine’s history, so there it was in black and white.
‘Dad last saw the engine in 1944 when American tractors began to replace them on farms.
Paul said he hadn’t seen his father so excited in years and it ‘made his day’. He called his son excitedly as soon as he had confirmed that it was in fact ‘his’ machine, and demanded to be taken back to the showground to get photos.
‘The owner was very obliging and several of the show organisers were delighted to see dad so happy. He has talked about little else since. I wish I were able to record his memories more effectively.’
Paul said his dad had spent a lot of time at the show reminiscing about the steam engines.
‘Dad spent the early war years as Huntingdonshire’s version of “Private Pike”, he still has nightmares about throwing sticky bombs, and watching “doodlebugs”, one of which narrowly missed him.

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