Old mowers

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Messorestore
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Old mowers

Could anyone please tell me at what point the manufacturer date of a mower ceases to make it old. I don't know if anyone else is bothered but I have noticed increasingly younger machines being discussed on the forum. Indeed only the other day a mower still in manufacturer which was only six years old was featured for repair. Does my Allen Flymo bought about three years ago qualify as an old mower ?  If so I'll stick it on the Annual Rally 2021 forum with some fine photos. Please, please, please can we at least feature or ask questions about mowers that are old for our clubs namesake. Thankyou very much.

Floydism
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Maybe the simple answer is to

Maybe the simple answer is to simply add a section to the forum for modern machines. many of us are happy to answer questions on newer mowers and many club members own/use/repair them, and although this may not be the most appropriate forum, surely it's worth giving space to the questions that will turn up weather there's a place for them or not.

Just the perspective of a new member

Messorestore
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Sounds good to me. I'll get

Sounds good to me. I'll get cracking on with some photos of my Flymo for the Annual Rally.

nospark
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The name of the club is "The

The name of the club is "The Old Lawnmower Club" but I suppose old is open to personal perspective.  For me, old is at least 25 years but then I have a Honda mower which I bought new 36 years ago and I don't think of that as old, but really, it is!  I think of my Dennis Z as properly old, I don't know exactly how old it is but it must be at least 60 years old, and it looks old and vintage.

Anything made this century isn't old IMHO, and yet, I have a 2005 sports motorcycle which has electronic fuel injection, electronic instruments etc, but it's seen as old school now!

One way of looking at it is, if the mower is made using traditional manufacturing techniques, is predominately all metal with lots of castings, it's old.

When plastic and sheet metal stampings make an appearance, it makes it modern!

Clive1997
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A valid matter to raise, we

A valid matter to raise, we have discussed this on the committee & will be happy to re-visit at our next meeting, some amendments to the forum may be appropriate, perhaps channelling discussion regarding mowers for example say post 1960 to separate section? 

As to what is 'old' the definition in most dictionaries does not give a reference to a time period!

If you are an 18 yr old now, anything prior to 2000 could well be considered old?

AlanY
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Old is but a number, and I

Old is but a number, and I would define it as anything that is around twenty years younger than you are.

An example would be that a Ford Escort is an old car, a Ford Model T is also an old car, but VERY old to someone who is say fifty years old. It's a personal thing.

stonethemows
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One cannot put a specific

One cannot put a specific date on it clearly. nospark is thinking along the same lines as me it seems. As I have mentioned before a more useful guide might be to consider the design, construction and materials involved. A lawnmower that is forty years old is not necessarily an ' old lawnmower ' - almost certainly not. In another twenty years time it will be sixty years old BUT it still won't be an  ' old lawnmower ' merely one that is sixty years old. 

Perhaps purists should not worry too much, after all most machines manufactured in the last few years won't last the course but our treasured Silens Messors, Patent Chain Automatons and Willing Workers etc. will still be going strong. So Sean please put your Flymo away.

Messorestore
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Dear Colin, Thankyou for your

Dear Colin, Thankyou for your comments / ideas. Why do you ask me to put the Flymo away ? If it is acceptable to discuss and feature mowers made yesterday then I see no issue in including say my 2017 Honda Izy or Allen Flymo on the Annual Virtual Rally. Surely to preclude them would be discrimination. The Izy is made mostly of materials used nearly 50 years ago attesting to the quality of the mower. There seems to be two standards going on here. 

stonethemows
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Well I'm not sure about two

Well I'm not sure about two standards Sean but you are surely overlooking the part of the theorem that mentions design. Old lawnmowers are supposed to have a multi-bladed cutting cylinder, driven by rear roller or side wheels and have secondary rollers made of wood. An engine is optional. Consequently my HR194 or 216's  from the late '80's do not qualify. They're very good machines though, standing the test of time, but still won't be old lawnmowers in another fifty years, at least according to the theorem.

hortimech
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When is 'old', old ? You

When is 'old', old ? You could claim that a newly purchased mower, that has been used once, is old, it certainly isn't 'new' any more.

We regularly discuss Atco HD mowers on this forum, is this an 'old' mower ? I ask this because it is still in production, okay it has a different name and engine, but it is still the same basic mower. Should we stop answering questions about Atco's ?

Whether we like it or not, today's machines are tomorrows 'old' mowers and I think this forum should store information on how to repair them, for posterity, if nothing else.

Speaking of Flymo's, there have been many models that have come and gone, should we ignore these ? They are definitely 'old' mowers, not quite as old as others, but still old.

 

Gnasha
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Set the years to suit the

Set the years to suit the title or genre: Vintage, classic, modern, etc

Messorestore
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Don't say I didn't alert you 

Don't say I didn't alert you 

Floydism
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It seems to me that the

It seems to me that the definition of 'old mower' is any mechanical grass cutting implement that is old enough to potentially require preservation/restoration. ok, so I personally am not the slightest bit interested in most things made after around 1970, but that does mean they don't have some sort of place. I don't think the club is in any danger of becoming the 'any lawnmower club', it's unlikely that someone would join the club to rally their plastic-decked chinese import.

I like the idea of defining Veteran/Vintage/classic/modern a little better, it's the diversity that makes things interesting, but not everyone cares about 1970s motor-mowers or 1870s push-mowers.

I would suggest Definitions along the lines of the technological progression;

Veteran [ - 1920] post-Budding, Pre-Atco, The pioneering designs, and industrialisation of mowing

Vintage [1920 - 1950] the first generations of motor mowers, still ironing out the bugs!

Classic [1950 - 1980] more refined designs, and motor-mowers built for the masses

Modern [1980 -] Cost-optimised, mass produced, and engineered to get the job done, just!

villiers98
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Where cylinder mowers are

Where cylinder mowers are concerned a Ransomes Minor or JP Minor were quite recent when I bought them . Now they  are collected ( especially the JP s ) and rarely seen in regular use but are still of interest as examples of  well engineered  products built to last. If nobody had looked after pre war mowers in the 50's and 60's surely even fewer would survive?

My first 2 stroke Atco was newer than my Honda rotary when I got it..

Wiltshireworm
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This is an interesting

This is an interesting discussion, Likely new members may have spent time & trouble restoring their late granddad's, Suffolk Super Colt, for instance, with great pride & attention to detail, getting the right paint & some new transfers, possibly from our own OLMC shop, even advice from our experts on this forum.

Are we now going to tell them that it does not qualify for our criteria as old now? I think the last suggestion of different age groups is a relevent suggestion.

I personally have a vague cut off point at about 1960 but I do have interesting machines up to 1970, usually models that I have supplied in my 50 odd years in the horticultural & professional grass machinery industry. I also have special machines from the 19th century, usually ones that friends have donated. They are all special to me, if I recognise a handle sticking out of a hedgerow & can rescue the machine then it will end up in my little collection, about 300 currently & not all mowers.

Plastic machines are of no interest to me, cast iron or pressed steel is my favourite construction medium.

I think we have to understand that if the machine is Granddad's age (within living memory), then it will be of interest to many more people at public shows. When the machine is over 100 years old it will start to become of more interest to the academics & die-hard collectors amongst us.

If I had a Museum I certainly would have a section with machines of the past 20 years & probably a whole range of 1 model type, say Hayterettes from 1958 to 2016 it shows progression & changes. 

This is a general discussion that has to be had at some time & not just by our committee, by all of us.

My hat is in the ring.

Best to all Peter Hampton 

Wiltshireworm
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This is an interesting

This is an interesting discussion, Likely new members may have spent time & trouble restoring their late granddad's, Suffolk Super Colt, for instance, with great pride & attention to detail, getting the right paint & some new transfers, possibly from our own OLMC shop, even advice from our experts on this forum.

Are we now going to tell them that it does not qualify for our criteria as old now? I think the last suggestion of different age groups is a relevent suggestion.

I personally have a vague cut off point at about 1960 but I do have interesting machines up to 1970, usually models that I have supplied in my 50 odd years in the horticultural & professional grass machinery industry. I also have special machines from the 19th century, usually ones that friends have donated. They are all special to me, if I recognise a handle sticking out of a hedgerow & can rescue the machine then it will end up in my little collection, about 300 currently & not all mowers.

Plastic machines are of no interest to me, cast iron or pressed steel is my favourite construction medium.

I think we have to understand that if the machine is Granddad's age (within living memory), then it will be of interest to many more people at public shows. When the machine is over 100 years old it will start to become of more interest to the academics & die-hard collectors amongst us.

If I had a Museum I certainly would have a section with machines of the past 20 years & probably a whole range of 1 model type, say Hayterettes from 1958 to 2016 it shows progression & changes. 

This is a general discussion that has to be had at some time & not just by our committee, by all of us.

My hat is in the ring.

Best to all Peter Hampton 

MikeD
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as regards to mower ages i

as regards to mower ages i thought the club was set up for enthusiasts to show their pride and joy of pre 1950 stuff.what puzzles me is why collect plastic stuff which has a one way life to the tip.after all there is a lot of earlier machines out there which are quality.or are the modern collectors afraid of the spanner and paint brush the mind boggles or should i put it another way are we collectable i hate to think.

AlanY
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Is this starting to sound a

Is this starting to sound a bit "elitist" ?

Messorestore
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I am absolutely delighted

I am absolutely delighted that you think my ownership of all these Flymo's is elitist. I'll try and pick up a few more at next Sunday's boot fair.

Wiltshireworm
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I would like to find a 1964

I would like to find a 1964 RED Flymo in original used condition, if you are looking. I know exactly what I am looking for, so do not try & fob me off with an orange one.

Incidentally Orange was not picked by ladies in the 1970s, (as seen on TV), I was selling Orange ones in 1967 (Domestic model, Professional was blue), Those Flymos are the collectable ones in my view.

It is just an opinion mind & I do not care if you have a different point of view, it is a democracy after all.

I was the salesman responsible for all the Surrey Flymo sales outlets, (Ironmongers mostly), during 1967-9. Distributed through Andrews of Hindhead Ltd.

Flymos were not sold door to door, (as seen on TV), they were only sold through approved service dealers & at RRP, strictly no discounting & no dept, stores allowed. The EU stopped all that later.

Peter (I was there) Hampton.

MikeD
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i love your plastic mower

i love your plastic mower section can i join as i also have a flymo electic plus a allen 218 perhaps i was wrong in the fact we ought to have a plastic mower section for the non eletist.i rest my spoon or bottom blade for now.

wristpin
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I would like to find a 1964

I would like to find a 1964 RED Flymo in original used condition, if you are looking. I know exactly what I am looking for, so do not try & fob me off with an orange one.

Are we saying, fibre glass hood, metal impeller and cylindrical metal fuel tank?

Gnasha
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Now ....this is really

Now ....this is really getting interesting, with lots of of good ideas and comments.....its a revolution.

Messorestore
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It certainly is a revolution.

It certainly is a revolution. We are becoming the 'New Lawnmower Club'. It's brilliant ! 

nospark
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Well I guess I have to admit

Well I guess I have to admit it, I have a Flymo!  An L470, the commercial lawn cutting services favourite!!  However, it wasn't bought for it's collectability appeal (does it even have that?) but purely because I have a killer bank in my front garden that would kill my Honda HR194 or any other 4 stroke mower.

I will say though, it has been faultless in the 16 years I've had it, and coped very well with it's task. It's little Tecumseh 2 stroke is a very willing performer.  The only issue I can think of is that the aircleaner chokes with cuttings fairly easily, I've tried to get hold of the optional remote filter mount but without success.

I suppose Flymo do have a significant place in mowing history though.

 

Wiltshireworm
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You are right on the button

You are right on the button Wristpin I do not remember the metal impeller but would bow to your superior memory, The body was definitely Fibreglass & they did not last, hence the quick change to a heavy duty plastic (riot shield) material.

The carburettor was a bowl type & the little Aspera fuel tank fitted was most odd, also there was a strange nylon stocking pre-cleaner on the air intake. Those were the days.

Peter Hampton

Ian H
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All mowers become old if you

All mowers become old if you wait long enough!  When I first started messing around with old Suffolks in the 1980's, all the pre-war Atcos etc were a lot younger then than my Suffolks are now.  If a 60 year old Atco was considered old in the 1980's, then my 60 year old Suffolks should be regarded just the same now as a 1920's Atco was in 1980.

If this is the 'old' lawnmower club then mowers should not be categorised by date, but by age.  Anything that has survived significantly beyond its normal expected lifespan is old.  A reasonable expected lifespan would be the age at which say no more than 50% of the machines manufactured in that year are still the only machine that the owner uses to mow the lawn.  I would expect that any machine that is over 20 years old would almost certainly exceed the normal lifespan as defined above.

Put it this way, if you had a neighbour that knew nothing about mowers, and told them the machine you use is 20 years old, would he think it is old or modern?

If this is the old lawnmower club it needs to cater for all old lawnmowers, not just the vintage ones, and anyone who looks down on those who have old mowers simply because they are not geriatric mowers are not going to help make this forum a welcoming place.

Hayters gonna Hayte.

Floydism
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I don't think there's a

I don't think there's a problem if somebody wants to discuss more modern machinery, as long as it's in an appropriate place.

There's a wealth of knowledge among our members, many of whom have professional dealings with mowers that aren't exactly "old". it would be a shame to overlook the opportunity to benefit from such knowledge.

We're all here for the old stuff, but that does not mean we cannot meet on common ground and discuss other things.

I don't see any prospect of club awards being handed out for your electric flymos (even in 30 year's time), but i'm sure there are plenty of us that would help you with re-wiring it after you run over the power cord.

MikeD
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went to a boot sale today

went to a boot sale today bought a plastic flymo for my lawn it must be 5 years old so do i qualify for the plastic mower section.in reality the club  should have a cut off system no machines after 1960.after that date was there anything worth collecting.looking at it another way the old machines are still the best and will outlive their modern counterparts.i could say rust in peace or for plastic join the meltdown.i rest my spoon for now?

DJD
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I thought we'd already had

I thought we'd already had this long discussion, just a few short months ago?

The Colonel
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An interesting discussion. 

An interesting discussion.  As a newbie trying to sort out a couple of Mountfield M4 Majors they look old-ish to me – no plastic and no cut outs etc., no idea how old they are but to me they are not modern new style mowers.  Really old ones like Atco Standards look vintage but Suffolk Colts look old compared with modern mowers.  I’d like to think that older mowers would be catered for too with technical advice given if asked for.  Perhaps a newer mowers section is needed?

Michael