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Rougham Airfield echoes to the sounds of the past



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Derek Ede and Les Fid in RAF airmen's uniform, complete with a 'Mae West' lifejacket
Derek Ede and Les Fid in RAF airmen's uniform, complete with a 'Mae West' lifejacket

Echoes of the Past do not get much louder than an unsilenced Rolls-Royce Merlin engine being run up on a trailer.

The engine, as used to power the RAF's Spitfire and Hurricane and American Mustang, was the loudest of the attractions at the annual Rougham Tower Museum's Echoes of the Past event on Sunday.

It made the host of World War Two and classic military vehicles and renactors' displays seem positively peaceful by comparison.

Rougham was a USAAF bomber base from 1942 to '45, being home to the 47th, 322nd and 94th Bomb Groups. A brief service was held at the event to remember airmen who failed to return.

The displays portrayed combatants from all sides and from World War One to the Malayan conflict in the late 1950s.

The Merlin was not the only mechanical attraction with exhibits ranging in size from a DUKW amphibious truck – known to D-Day troops as a 'duck' – to a 1939 Coventry Climax fire-fighters' trailer pump which served at Greene King until 1968.

There was a flock of World War Two Jeeps and its successors in the form of a 1955 Austin Champ and a line-up of military Land Rovers going back to the 1960s.

Proceeds from the day go to the control tower museum, which is open from 10am to 4pm until October 28.

  • More of Mecha Morton's pictures in Friday's Bury Free Press