Village mystified by Stig the mower

SOME say he suddenly appeared in a Suffolk village atop a lawn mower, some say he wore a racing helmet in the searing heat. All we know is… he's probably not The Stig.

Laurence Cawley

SOME say he suddenly appeared in a Suffolk village atop a lawn mower, some say he wore a racing helmet in the searing heat. All we know is… he's probably not The Stig.

But residents in the village of Stanningfield, near Bury St Edmunds, are now desperate to learn the identity of the community-spirited helmet wearer who drove into the village on a lawn mower, cut the grass, and rode off again into the proverbial sunset.

The lawn mower rider wore a racing helmet similar to that worn by Top Gear's anonymous racing driver called The Stig, whose identity is a closely guarded secret and who is known for never removing his racing kit on the show.


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One of those who saw “Stanningfield Stig” was Neil Thompson, landlord at the village's Red House Inn.

He said: “It was last Thursday in the afternoon and it was a very nice day and we had a few people sat outside the front of the pub. He (the Stanningfield Stig) appeared and he went up and down the common land sat on the lawnmower. We were falling about laughing. He did a couple of 'doughnuts' (circle shapes) in the grass and went off again.

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“He had the white crash helmet on. Speculation is now rife in the village as to who he is. He's not particularly distinctive. It was very entertaining.

“We just hope he comes back as he's only finished about half of the grass cutting and there's two other plots we'd like him to do.”

Amanda Read, who runs The Little Shop in Stanningfield, said: “I had to do a double-take. I've only ever seen The Stig on Top Gear. This was not something you expect to see in Stanningfield.

“He was cutting the grass and then he went off down a little bridleway.

“There's a lot of speculation and a couple of people who have suggested names of who it might be but nobody has actually said it was this or that person.

“If it was a practical joke then it was a good one. It was brilliant and it made everybody's day. It has been the topic of conversation ever since.”

A spokeswoman for BBC's Top Gear show said: “Interestingly, this could be the Stig's long lost lawn-mowing cousin.

“We've heard of him in myth and legend but he's like one of those big cats on the moors - there are rarely any sightings of him.”

FACTFILE:- A quick guide to the wonderful world of Top Gear's The Stig:

- He wears size 10 racing boots

- In parts of northwest China, the Stig is known as 'Pang woo cheung', which translates as 'Silent man, good at drive'

- The Stig is referred to as Top Gear's mysterious “tame racing driver” whose identity is unknown, and who never speaks or removes his helmet on camera.

- Top Gear Russia features their own version of The Stig, nicknamed "Stigushka" by the hosts

- The first Stig wore black overalls and helmet but he later changed to an all-white kit

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