Welcome to the Old Lawnmower Club's "Virtual Annual Rally" 2021. This online display is designed to replace our normal annual get-together at Milton Keynes Museum in May which has been cancelled because of the emergency restrictions.
Although our members are free to display any mowers from their collection, each year we encourage exhibits in specific categories. This page lists the themes and presents a small selection of exhibits in that category. Click on the individual image to see more about the specific item or click on the section name to see all exhibits in that category on their own page.
There is a dedicated section on the forum for registered users to discuss the main themes of the rally.
The original Atco Motor Mower, which we collectors call the "Standard", was introduced in 1921 by Charles H Pugh. It was the world's first mass-produced motor mower although less than a thousand of the original 22-inch-cut "Oval Frame" model were made in 1921. But improvements to the design from 1922 and introduction of additional sizes using a standardised range of components meant that prices were much lower than similar models from other manufacturers. Production increased rapidly and by the mid-1920s the company was making many thousand each year, all supported by a network of service depots and mobile agents. Many of our members have examples of these early Atco machines in their collections. New designs in the 1930s and more innovations in the years that followed kept Atco at the forefront of the industry and there are plenty of different models, sizes, and configurations for collectors to discover. The company has been through many changes in the past 100 years but its current incarnation continues to produce a range of popular machines.
Another company that could have been celebrating its centenary this year is Jerram & Pearson (JP). This company took a different approach to Atco by targeting the higher end of the market with mowers known for the quality and precision of the engineering. The company had links with other high-precision manufacturers, including in the aircraft industry, and its machines became known as "the Rolls-Royce of lawn mowers". Its original JP Super hand mower was quickly followed by motor mowers, all using high precision components made from materials such as aluminium which were innovative at the time. None of these machines were cheap but the quality of manufacture means that a relatively high proportion of them have survived and we know from correspondence that there are people who still use very old examples to mow their lawns today. JP mowers are also popular with collectors because of the stylish and innovative designs that make them good to look at and "interesting" to preserve or restore. Sadly the company went out of business in the 1970s but remnants of its designs can still be found in mowers produced since then by Dennis, which took over some of the patents.
Members often want to display their favourite mowers or recent acquisitions and preservation projects at our Annual rally. This is the section to see them.