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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Seeking help with Silens find - from the River Thames.

Hello, I'm a new member here and wondered if you might be able to give your opinions on something I found on the foreshore of the River Thames. 

Is this piece of metal work with the Silens imprint something to do with an old Silens mower?

I share the history of my finds from the river on my mudlarking YouTube channel and Instagram account (OldFatherThames). If any of you can help at all with the id of this object, I will of course credit you in any post/video I make about it. 

Thanks so much!

Marie aka Old Father Thames



Clive1997 Sun, 31/05/2020


Welcome to the world of lawn mowers, first reaction is that I do not think it has anything to do with a Silens Messor lawn mower, SM was the name of the model, other parts, spanners etc would carry the word 'Greens' for Thomas Green & Son the mowers manufacturer. i don't believe the word Silens would ever have been used on its own, would be interested to hear the views of others if they feel I'm wrong. 

Quite intrigued though, if you do find anything from another source please post your finding for us to see..


(The Latin 'Silens' is translated in English as Silent  or indeed 'Madmen' by some ,perhaps appropriate for some of us  mower collectors!!)


old father thames Sun, 31/05/2020

Hello Clive. Thank you very much for your answer, I did wonder if any parts etc would carry Greens. Very interesting Latin detail - I see some parallels between us mudlarks and metal detectorists and lawn mower collectors!

I did see a promo poster for Silens, which is what pushed me further down this road, as previously I thought the find related to Silens Works, a metal foundry and sprung floor maker in Bradford. I still haven't ruled that out, but, again I think they'd have the company owners name on any products. Also, why would a functional and potentially hidden piece of metal work would have any logo imprint at all?

Here's a photo of the promo art I found.


Clive1997 Mon, 01/06/2020

The image is a reproduction decal a colleague in Australia supplies for the Silens Messor Grass collecting box, used by members when restoring mowers. 

Interesting that you do have some other leads & hope that an answer is found.

I agree there is a parallel between us mower collectors, dectectorists  and mud larks, all seeking their treasure or as one of my colleagues says 'rusty relics '.

Good luck & keep in touch.

stonethemows Mon, 01/06/2020

Agree with Clive - it's not to do with Silens Messors. I think SILENS could be a trade name, like ENOTS and the Bradford lead could be correct. Check out, if you have not already done so ' WILMOS ' a product of W and R Leggott, Silens Works, East Parade, Bradford. Leggotts were brass and bronze founders specialising in locks, window gearing and door furniture. They are known to have supplied to the Houses of Parliament, hence the Thames and I think your item may be made of bronze ?

A call to the Museum of London might be worthwhile.

old father thames Tue, 02/06/2020

Thank you both, interesting suggestions and appreciate your replies. I think Leggots at Silens Works is the way forward. Good call about the HoP!
I do record historically significant finds at the Museum of London, and know the finds liaison officer there. He wouldn't be particularly interested in the Silens find as it's too modern, however he might give his off the record opinion. 
Clive - know exactly what you mean. I've taken home 14th century finds and my boyfriend barely bats an eyelid. Haha. 
Thanks again, both of you. Will update here (if you're interested) if I ever solve the mystery. 

Clive1997 Wed, 03/06/2020

Hi Al

Great minds, Colin had pointed that out & we were trying to get the advertisement from Leggotts that used the 'Silens' name but resolution poor.