Saving Old Machines Is Good Reason To Collect

Most people start collecting mowers because they don't like to see engineering heritage thrown away, according to our most recent visitor survey. That's probably no surprise to anyone who collects any type of old machinery. One third of participants said that this was their main reason for starting to collect mowers.  A further 25 per cent said it was because they were given an old mower by a friend or family member. Relatively few claimed their interest stemmed from it being an inexpensive hobby or because they had limited space. This might reflect a change in attitudes since our club was formed.

Keeping a mower given by a friend or family member.
23% (46 votes)
Interest in preservation of old garden machinery.
19% (38 votes)
Enjoy preserving old machines but no space for larger items.
8% (16 votes)
Do not like to see engineering heritage thrown into a skip.
33% (66 votes)
Mowers are relatively inexpensive to collect.
7% (14 votes)
None of the above.
11% (22 votes)
Total votes: 202

Reel Size Really Isn't Everything

Not surprisingly perhaps, our last survey showed that most collectors have average sized mowers in their collections. The majority of people taking part said the largest machine they have is between 13" and 24" wide, which is the range where most walk-behind motor mowers sit. Only the brave (or perhaps those with wider gates) can usually add machines over 36" wide to their collections.

6" or less
1% (2 votes)
7" to 12"
10% (21 votes)
13" to 18"
31% (65 votes)
19" to 24"
27% (56 votes)
25" to 30"
8% (16 votes)
31" to 36"
6% (13 votes)
Over 36"
17% (36 votes)
Total votes: 209

Collectors Start Young

Our most recent visitor survey suggests that the most popular time to start collecting is while still at school. Of the 198 collectors who voted, 50 started while at school but only eight obtained their first old lawn mower when nearing or during retirement. Of course the figures may be slightly skewed because this is a relatively new hobby and many collectors would have left school years before it became popular. 

While At School
25% (70 votes)
16-25
6% (18 votes)
26-40
18% (50 votes)
41-60
18% (50 votes)
60+
4% (10 votes)
I'm Not A Collector
30% (85 votes)
Total votes: 283

Horse Mowers Spotted In Essex

Thurrock Council in Essex came up with a novel solution to cutting the grass at one of its sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) recently. The council called in local heavy horse experts Hawthorn Heavy Horses who used a specially adapted Dennis gang mower.

 Holly the Suffolk Punch at work with the Dennis mower.

The mower is fitted with a set of jockey wheels to make it easier to control and steer. According to Liz Wood, trees officer at Thurrock, Holly the Suffolk Punch (that's another lawn mower name, by the way) will be helping cut the grass throughout 2010. Collectors and enthusiasts will be familiar with the old fashioned pony and horse drawn lawn mowers from period up to World War Two but it's very unusual to see horses with modern mowers. What a great way to manage grassland in a natural setting without disturbing wildlife.

The mower has a special bogey at the front to make it easier to control.

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