MP078: Shanks Firefly

Shanks Firefly motor mower.

The Shanks Firefly was a 1950s motor mower designed for use on sports turf surfaces such as cricket pitches, bowling greens and golf courses. It was a high quality machine which gave an extremely good finish to the lawn. 

Fine turf and sports ground mowers are often designed and constructed to be more robust and heavier than mowers aimed at the domestic market and the Firefly was no exception. Despite its compact design the Firefly was deceptively heavy. The design incorporated a heavy rear roller and the chain cover was made from cast iron to provide additional weight. This was considered useful in helping the mower provide a good quality finish to the surface of the lawn. The mower was available in 16", 20" and 24" cutting widths.

Shanks Firefly advertisement from 1952.

Like many mowers of the period the Firefly featured a kick starting mechanism. The pedal was mounted centrally at the rear of the chassis and was pressed down to engage with a sprocket on the drive mechanism. Power was supplied by a Villiers four stroke engine.