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Me and my machine: Lucy’s 17th birthday present dwarfs them all

PUBLISHED: 06:09 02 April 2017

Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088.

Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088.

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Name: Lucy McVeigh

Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088. Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088.

Age: 22

Job description: livestock manager

Name of farm and location: Kenton Hall, Kenton, one mile outside Debenham, Mid Suffolk

Name of your favourite piece of equipment and its vital statistics: Case Combine Harvester 7088, 15 tons of weight, takes 250 gallons to refuel, has the same break horse power as an Aston Martin and is an all-round incredible bit of kit.

Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088. Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088.

Describe it: My machine is vibrant red with a 25’’ header, curved glass cab with 2 seats, large engine bay, overflow lids and auger for unloading.

How did it come into your possession and when? It was a 17th birthday present so I have been driving it for five years.

How much did it cost? Too much!

Why do you like it so much? I love its presence. People soon get out of your way! As harvest only lasts for a few weeks each year it’s the result of a year’s hard work from cultivations, drilling to spraying and finally combining. Combining is an extremely satisfying job but can be hard work, working unsociable and long hours. I love the challenge of having to get the harvest done before the weather deteriorates. We are very lucky to have a great harvest team with my dad (David) always there if we need help and my younger brother Tom (20) in charge of carting in.

Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088. Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088.

What’s your favourite function? My favourite function is the auto levelling header which makes my life much easier! It predicts the gradient and keeps the cutting level. I also love the hands-free telephone function, great for ringing home for ice-cream!

What else can it do? Combines are only used during harvest making its versatility rather limited. It can combine various crops including oats, barley, oilseed rape and lots more!

Would you ever give it up and under what circumstances? I hope I don’t have to for a very long time but I do have a rather keen brother who would like a go!

What difference has it made to your life and your business? It has allowed us to start combining as soon as the crops are fit instead of waiting for a contractor to get to our farm. This allows us to start cultivations as soon as the fields been combined. Has it ever let you down? Only due to my own mistakes. You live and you learn!

Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088. Lucy McVeigh of Kenton Hall Estate with her Case Combine Harvester 7088.

Have you a story to tell about it? I have actually been driving combines since I was 15 after persuading my dad I needed to have a go. I have always been interested in how machines operate and thought I was ready for the challenge. Needless to say, he hasn’t got me off it since!

Mum fell over, breaking her shoulder, on October 3, 2013. I remember the date because that day’s newspaper remained by the phone for almost six months, until she moved back into the house.

World-leading social science research at the University of Essex has been recognised with the presentation of a prestigious award at Buckingham Palace.

East Anglia’s rail services are facing serious disruption this week because of the heavy snowfall predicted over the next few days.

Emergency services were called to the Orwell Bridge area on Sunday afternoon after two motorists reported seeing a man leaning over the bridge parapet.

Bitterly cold weather and plunging temperatures are set to hit Suffolk and Essex overnight – and people living on the eastern side of the region could wake up to a covering of snow this morning.

Major roadworks in Suffolk and Essex this week will bring partial and full closures to busy routes including the A14, A12, A120 and A47.

The body of Bradley Lewis, 25, from Witham was found in a river on Friday morning.

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