This summer project Britmow will see one of our founding members, Andrew Grout, driving a ride-on lawnmower from Stroud in Gloucestershire to Arbroath in Scotland. Along the way, he'll be visiting a number of sites associated with the history and development of the lawnmower.
Andrew had the idea for Britmow with a number of objectives in mind:
- Raise money for Perennial (the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping everyone who works in horticulture, and their families, when times get tough) through donations and sponsorship
- Raise the profile of Perennial within the turf maintenance sector
- Promote and celebrate current lawnmower manufacture in the UK
- Celebrate lawnmower heritage
The run is scheduled to start on Sunday 5 July in Stroud, Gloucestershire. This location was chosen because it is where the very first lawnmowers, designed by Edwin Budding, were made by the Ferrabee company from 1832. It's a fitting way to start a tour that will take in other significant mower-related sites along the route. The final destination is Arbroath, Angus, another location with a major lawn mowing connection. The town was the home of Alexander Shanks which was Scotland's biggest mower manufacturer (one of the biggest in the world at one time) and the pioneer of larger machines such as pony and horse-drawn models. Andrew and the Britmow team will reveal additional stop-over locations during the next couple of months.
Andrew's choice of mower is a 1970s Ransomes Triple, a familiar site back in the day working on countless parks and roadsides up and down the country. It's one of the few vintage mowers that is capable of being driven on roads although it will require some minor modifications. The preparation work is being undertaken by a team of students from Pershore College, Worcestershire which is recognised for its horticultural expertise. The choice of mower is also no coincidence: Andrew's well-known as a Ransomes aficionado - he has a collection of their mowers dating back to the 1850s including some very early (and large) ride-on mowers.
It's also fitting that the run should take place this year because it's the 30th anniversary of our very first annual rally at Milton Keynes. Andrew was present at that event and at an informal get-together at the museum the year before when he was one of the people that had the idea to form the club.
In addition to Perennial, Britmow is supported by a number of companies, organisations and individuals, including Andrew's many friends in the Old Lawnmower Club. We will be providing regular updates on the plans for the road-run over the coming months. Everyone at the Club wishes the whole team the best of luck.
We know a lot of people visit our site to find out more about old lawnmowers(that's one of the reasons our club exists). Many visitors want to find a particular sort of information. There's a lot to wade through but to help, our site is divided into sections, each with its own mini-menu. Some of these sections also have their own search links or boxes to help you find information. We've marked some of them on the image below.
Technical Help (Circled Red - 1): information about specific mower models, including downloadable operating manuals, engine manuals, brochures and details of specifications for many makes and models. We've recently added a special search link to find mower and engine manuals.
Restoration (Circled Pale Blue - 2): general advice on preservation/restoration including sources of help and spare parts.
Mower Directory (Circled Blue - 3): an exhaustive list of mower manufacturers and the models they made which can help you identify and date a mower. There is a special search link to find references in this section.
Forum (Circled Pink - 4): our active forum is a good place to find discussions about technical issues and preservation/restoration challenges. We've recently added a search box to each page of the forum.
There is also a general search box that always appears in the top left-hand corner of the screen. This will search the entire site for you but you can use its advanced settings to search particular types of content.