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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Mowing a graveyard

As voluntary charity work and I was in the trade I am tasked with maintaining our Village Churchyard. Part of this is to obviously cut the lawns. Many of the headstones are placed quite close together making it impossible to cut between with my lovely Honda HRH536 pro ( to me the best mower still made, others may differ) I have heard from many and read that the 6inch mowers such as Multum in Parvos and Messors would have been used for this task as well as being used for paths and par-terres in gardens.  REALLY ??  To use these mowers successfully you need very smooth manicured lawns which Churchyards certainly do not offer,  my village one  included. It's as much as a strimmer can do to negotiate the sunken ground and rough grass. Can anyone honestly say to me that these mowers were used for this purpose ?

stonethemows Sat, 14/08/2021

Perhaps they were. Bear in mind that 100 plus years ago the world was a very different place. Labour was cheap, the job would have been done more often, the ground was probably in better condition and what else would one have used. Keep up the good work !

You are probably right about the Honda's (type for type); over the years I have used a fleet of HR194's and 216's. Dare I suggest these might be slightly better than your later metric equivalent.

Clive1997 Sat, 14/08/2021

Interesting topic, don't believe I have ever come across any references to small mowers being used in graveyards, but as you say often described as suitable for narrow paths, edges etc. Perhaps a bit of mower folklore has emerged over the years.

In 2012 I did use an 8in Greens Silens Messor to tidy up the grass around the grave of Edwin Beard Budding in Dursley, Glos. As the inventor of the lawn mower in 1830, I hope he appreciated the tribute !

wristpin Sat, 14/08/2021

Having just retired from my 8 year "retirement job" of maintaining my village's New Churchyard - more of a Cemetery - the traditional Old Churchyard being full and "closed for burials" - the official term when it then becomes the responsibility of the local Authority - I can say without hesitation that none of those lovely old machines would be suitable for any but the most manicured urban burial ground. No badgers or moles permitted! 

Having tamed my patch after a period of neglect, using a Flymo Contractor on an undercarriage  plus a heavy duty nylon line trimmer ( note not the S word that upsets B&D's legal department), I got it into the condition where a weekly cut with a ride-on and a monthly trim would keep it looking good. Along the way I tried an Antelope and a Hayter Hawk but both unsuitable despite the Hawk allegedly being designed to the specification of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  

Adrian Mon, 16/08/2021

Certainly not in this village churchyard - I think you'd need goats to get this straight, there's so much rough stuff in the grass! Hempstead, Essex (if link doesn't work, ebay item number 294197135205 will find it).

I collect postcards, admittedly of only about 5 villages, and none of the churchyards look as though anything less than marauding grazers and browsers could get the grass down.

Messorestore Mon, 16/08/2021

Sound advice from everyone. Maybe an enormous amount of grunt from the Wolseley will help lol