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british man bought car on ebay to get home

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Filed: Timeline

martyn_hobbs_and_helga_terry_harrisrex.jpgA Peterborough man stuck in Sweden by the volcanic ash crisis bought a 22-year-old car on eBay to drive 1,200 miles home to his heavily pregnant wife.

IT consultant Martyn Hobbs, 40, was desperate to get back home from a teaching assignment in Stockholm to be with wife Karen, 38, reports the Peterborough Evening Telegraph.

He said: "I was going to fly back on Thursday afternoon, but in the morning, I heard about the volcano. I don't think the seriousness of it sunk in until later.

"I went to the airport and they said I could have my money back or book the next available Ryanair flight. They said there was one on Saturday morning, so I said that will have to do. But it is a natural disaster so there are no guarantees."

So, when that flight was also cancelled, Mr Hobbs decided he couldn't afford to wait any longer and logged on to eBay to put in a £900 winning bid for a 1988 Saab 9000.

Setting off late Saturday, Mr Hobbs left Stockholm and headed south in his new motor - which he nicknamed Helga - towards Malmo and the ferry across to northern Germany in his epic bid to get home to his family.

On the way he met others stuck in the same predicament and, to help them out as well as to share the £250 cost of petrol, Mr Hobbs offered them a ride.

He met fellow Briton John Kingham in a hotel and offered him the passenger seat for the long drive back, before picking up two Belgians who he dropped off back in their home country, en route to a Channel crossing from Calais to Ramsgate.

Some 26 hours and 1,200 miles later, Mr Hobbs was back in his Midlands hometown of Peterborough with his eight-month pregnant but relieved wife and their two other children, Morgan, 11, and four-year-old Natasha.


Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth.

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