Cortege of tractors tows coffin of Ferguson loving engineer Norman Waspe through streets of Suffolk village
A man who dedicated his life to mending classic tractors has been remembered with a fitting tribute, with his coffin taken by tractor and trailer at the head of his agricultural funeral cortege.
Talented engineer Norman Waspe, 69, from Flempton, died from pneumonia on February 1, with his funeral held on Tuesday. A key part of the Ferguson Club in Suffolk since 2005, Norman restored, repaired and rebuilt hundreds of tractors in his life after starting as an apprentice agricultural engineer at Barclay motors in Bury St Edmunds. Close friend of 30 years Henry Castle, 80, a fellow member of the Ferguson Club, led the procession from St Catherine’s Church in Flempton to the Risby West Suffolk Crematorium. “It was a fitting tribute, it must have been 200 people who turned up,” he said. “I towed the trailer with his coffin from his house to the church and then to Risby crematorium.“I was driving my Massey Ferguson 135 which Norman helped me restore. He has restored five of my Fergies. “He was well known in this part of the world, he struck out on his own as a mechanic and worked for a lot of people in the farming community. “Norman was an incredibly skilled engineer, there is no one like him. He could strip a tractor down while having a chat and put the whole thing back together again without a bearing, bolt or screw out of place. “He had a great sense of humour and was a happy and accomplished man.”
After working at Barclay, Norman moved to Overland Machinery in Sicklesmere before then striking out on his own. The keen sportsman was captain of the Bury Hockey Club veteran team and was heavily involved with the Young Farmers Club. He also enjoyed fishing and shooting. He leaves behind three brothers – Michael, David and Graham Waspe. They grew up at Block Farm, Bradfield Combust, where Norman’s love of tractors began. Michael, 69, said: “He was always messing about with tractors on the farm and our father was a good mechanic, so he ended up taking an apprenticeship at Barclay Motors.