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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Hello from new member.


I recently joined the club and wanted to introduce myself and say hello.

I acquired a Suffolk Super Colt petrol mower during lockdown and , as I had time on my hands, decided to restore it, All done now and it works really well. I wasn't too precious about faithfully reproducing everything as original ( it's a mass produced mower and there seem to be plenty about) as I intend to use it as a working machine I went for durability and finished it in Hammerite .! Mentioned the mower to someone and they gave me an old push mower for another project ! . This was a Ransomes 12 inch Ajax Mk3 machine. It's an early one with the curved handlebars not the crossed tubes. The Ransomes was a complete joy to work on , mechanically it was in amazing condition and the only components I had to replace were the coach bolts fixing the wooden handles. An interesting find when I was preparing the cylinder for painting was a date stamp on one of the blades ! It was a very shallow stamp and was only visible when stripped back to bare metal , it had the manufacturers initials and 10/47 so I assume this dates the machine to October 1947, as soon as i painted the cylinder the stamp disappeared !!  The hardest part of the stripdown was the rear half rollers, lots of WD40 and a bit of gentle persuasion with a rubber mallet and all was well. This gave me access to the ratchets in each half roller, these really needed a good clean and re-grease , probably hadn't seen the light of day from when it was made 73 years ago !  The mower is now finished and I'm quite proud of it.

Well , in what I assume is common among club members, the bug had bitten !! I'm now an addict. I managed to win a Presto Rollmo 5-15 on ebay for £18. Its in full working order but just looks a bit scruffy ! 

Restoration starts tomorrow

I have a question - Is this a rare machine ? Should I do a more sensitive restoration and stay away from Hammerite on this one ?

I found this site when I was researching the Ransomes , I was impressed with all the content and this was what prompted me to join.

So from a simple lockdown project I suppose I have now turned into a collector haha. 

I have photos of the machines at various stages if anybody would be interested to see them

Look forward to lots more interaction on forums 



olcadmin Tue, 28/07/2020


Welcome and thanks for sharing your news.

Please do post a few photos - I know that everyone like to see them and it really does help illustrate what you're explaining, even if people know what the mowers look like (although not everyone does).

The Presto probably falls in the mid-range of scarcity. It's a lot less common than the Ransomes Ajax and other contemporary mowers such as various Webbs, Qualcasts, Greens and JPs. But there are other hand mowers from the period that are much scarcer. Various Presto models have featured on this forum, and these discussions can be found using the search box at the top of the screen.