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Family gathers to see great grandfather's role in town's agricultural past honoured

PUBLISHED: 09:32 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:35 02 October 2019

Diss Mayor Sonia Browne with members of the Young family, Sally Thynnes, Jane Benham, Anne Johnson and John McClintock, at the unveiling of the 'The Swootman' plough in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

Diss Mayor Sonia Browne with members of the Young family, Sally Thynnes, Jane Benham, Anne Johnson and John McClintock, at the unveiling of the 'The Swootman' plough in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

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Descendants of pioneering Diss agricultural manufacturer Elijah Young returned to Diss to see the restoration of one of his most famous products go on display in the town.

Diss Mayor Sonia Browne with members of the Young family, Sally Thynnes, Jane Benham, Anne Johnson and John McClintock, at the unveiling of the 'The Swootman' plough in Diss. Picture: Simon ParkinDiss Mayor Sonia Browne with members of the Young family, Sally Thynnes, Jane Benham, Anne Johnson and John McClintock, at the unveiling of the 'The Swootman' plough in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

The Champion Iron Plough, better known as "The Swootman", was produced in Diss by Elijah Youngs & Co and became world famous.

And some 100 years after it last worked the land a surviving example, lovingly restored by Peter Hyde, chairman of the trustees of Diss Heritage Triangle Trust, was unveiled as a permanent display at the Heritage Wildlife Gardens beside Diss Mere.

Members of the Youngs family at the special display marking the history and links to Diss of E. Youngs & Co at Bressingham Steam Museum. Pictures: Sally ThynnesMembers of the Youngs family at the special display marking the history and links to Diss of E. Youngs & Co at Bressingham Steam Museum. Pictures: Sally Thynnes

Members of the Youngs family, including Sally Thynnes, from Cape Town, John McClintock, from Belfast, Jane Benham and Anne Johnson, were present to see the unveiling by Diss Mayor Sonia Browne.

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Restored historic plough marks agricultural past of town where it was made

The restored plough was originally donated to Diss Museum by Peggy Wheeler, the granddaughter of Elijah Youngs and whose father had originally owned it.

Mrs Thynnes said: "Our aunt Peggy would have been over the moon to see the plough restored and put on display in the town. We are extremely proud to see our great grandfather, Elijah, being honoured in this way."

The history of the Youngs family and firm was also celebrated with a special display of machinery at Bressingham Steam Museum on Sunday, September 29.

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