Stowe school is less than ten miles away, the pupils of which are termed Stoics also.
The walk behind machines I doubt were a big success, they were a bit big and clumsy if I'm truthful, but they were often bought for really rough areas where rougher grass and shrubs, weeds etc. were encountered, saving the nice cylinder machine for just the lawn. Hitting stumps, large dogs bones, metal objects etc. could never stop the crankshaft from getting bent, or if you were luckier, just the ally shear key on a Briggs engine go, but then still a bill to get fixed unless you could do it yourself.
The saving feature was the very crude, but effective front wheels height adjustment system, a simple plunger and hole system with a spring to keep it all in place completed the ensemble.
I looked after a few, you either heard nothing from owners for years, or some owners would never seem to understand that you can't 'mow' tree stumps, old rusty iron and foot long dog bones!
The last one I worked on I had to fit one of those Australian transistorised switch type things in places of the points and capacitor. It went well after and I imagine they still have it, I think I may have fitted a second hand crank and something else was wrong, maybe it was later type and the points opening area wasn't there, the device was cheaper than a new coil.
I still have new blades for them, finding them two weeks ago is what brought back the memories.