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Death of Suffolk author

PUBLISHED: 23:03 24 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:42 03 March 2010

HE LIVED for the power and glory of some of the most powerful machines in Britain.

But now Suffolk author Peter Swinger has died just days after taking part in the sport he loved.

HE LIVED for the power and glory of some of the most powerful machines in Britain.

But now Suffolk author Peter Swinger has died just days after taking part in the sport he loved.

Peter, who would have been 64 today, lived at Stowmarket and had two passions in life – railways and motor racing.

He wrote books on both subjects, and was acting as a steward at a motor racing meeting at Snetterton just days before his death.

"He was pushing cars around to get them into position for the races. He was as strong as an ox.

"Three days before he was taken ill everything was fine," said his widow, Kay.

Born in Cardiff, Peter moved with his family to East Anglia when war broke out.

It was during the 1940s and 1950s, travelling to school on the East Suffolk line, that his love of railways developed.

This passion led to him leading a preservation group that bought East Anglia's best-known steam locomotive, Britannia, when it was withdrawn by British Railways in 1967.

He was chairman of the Britannia locomotive company for many years – and was a key figure in bringing the locomotive back to Suffolk for the EUR 150 event in 1996.

Motor racing was his other main passion, and a book he wrote about the circuits of Great Britain has recently gone into its second edition.

Peter worked in the motor trade for many years, before switching to work in insurance – but it was his love of steam and motor-racing that occupied much of his time.

He was taken ill suddenly earlier this month.

"He had flu for about three days and that didn't seem to get any better," said Kay.

"Then he got chest pains and the alarm bells rang so we got an ambulance to take him to hospital.

"He was in the Intensive Care Unit at West Suffolk Hospital for 10 days and septicaemia was diagnosed – but despite their magnificent efforts they could do nothing to save him."

He died on September 18, and his funeral is at Stowmarket parish church at 2.30pm on September 30.

Kay and their daughter Karys have one request for mourners: please don't wear black.

"Peter would not have wanted that, he always had a strange taste in ties. We don't want anything too outrageous – but not black," Kay said.

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