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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Thomas Green Master

Morning 

A soon as I'm able I'll be collecting this Greens 'Master' to restore. I'm told it's dated July 56' It's a 24" with a Norman T300 Mk2 flat twin engine, which is what jumped out at me, I've not seen or heard anything about a mower with a flat twin before.  I'm a newby but have restored half a dozen machines so far but I think this will be the biggest challenge thus far, as you can see it's in a sorry state. The upside is there's plenty of info on the engine out there and I have a manual for it but I'm wondering if there's anything out there on the mower generally, history or technical. Pease mentions them but only briefly. Pics below I hope

Adrian Sun, 14/02/2021

Wow - what an unusual beastie! It is, as you say, rough as a badgers botty, but seems to mostly be there. I'm assuming that the covered bodywork was made for some application - I will follow this thread with interest.

mikehpw1 Sun, 14/02/2021

Hi Adrian 

my research so far suggests it's as designed, with the body armour. The only pics I've found so far ( in Australia) show it with a trailing seat. As I said, an unremarkable Greens really and not at all pretty but a mower with a flat twin!!! I'm defo fitting go faster stripes (-: 

wristpin Sun, 14/02/2021

That’s a fair lump. As far as flat  twins go, Victa had one on a rotary mower and Echo even put one on a chainsaw. Looks like it may have a Wipac / Wico magneto so I wonder whether it fires both plugs at once, one being a wasted spark, or has a built in distributor. 

I believe that the Norman engine came from near me, Norman Cycles , who as the name suggests made bicycles but also light weight motorcycles . However there does not appear to be anything on the web to confirm that, so may be it came from a different Norman. There were some posts about a Norman engine on another Forum , possibly VHGMC, a few years ago, but I can’t remember much about it.

mikehpw1 Sun, 14/02/2021

Graces has a bit on them, based in leaminton spa, apparently they made lightweight motorcycle engines but were not the Norman cycles from Kent. It does have a Wipac on but that's all I know at this point. Norman engines are a fav of the stationary engine enthusiasts and the story goes that anything with a Norman on was stripped out and the rest of the machine scraped. I bought it from the UK Norman Engines numero uno man and he thinks it's the only mower left in tact with a Norman in. I had to provide  evidence and swear on oath that I was a mower man and not a stationary engine man before he would part with it. He wants it restored to its former. Good man! 

Messorestore Sun, 14/02/2021

Ah Mike, you torture me! My favourite make of mower, Greens. I certainly don't have one of those. It must weigh as much as a lump of depleted Uranium. I have seen the smaller versions but nothing with the Norman Stationary. I will stick my neck out and  say it's probably the sole survivor of its type. When fully restored you will have an amazing and enviable machine. Nice one !

Clive1997 Sun, 14/02/2021

That is a nice one to tackle & what an interesting engine, whilst, we have a few images of masters I have attached some below, John Pease in his book (The History of Thomas Green & Son Ltd) only mentioned that the larger Masters had 5hp BSA's , although I am aware that Greens did use Norman engines.

Perhaps someone can identify the engine in the picture below? Also note the Tarpen facility.

 

Clive1997 Sun, 14/02/2021

That is a nice one to tackle & what an interesting engine, whilst, we have a few images of masters I have attached some below, John Pease in his book (The History of Thomas Green & Son Ltd) only mentioned that the larger Masters had 5hp BSA's , although I am aware that Greens did use Norman engines.

Perhaps someone can identify the engine in the picture below? Also note the Tarpen facility.

 

hortimech Sun, 14/02/2021

I only ever came across one of the large Greens mowers, the 'tin engine covers' had been removed. Which lead to the engine getting covered in grass and then it burst in to flames. That was a Norman T300 twin and being young and not having the gift of telling the future (who knew I would covet engines etc nearly 40 years later), I removed the burnt engine and fitted a Kohler K181T instead, the original engine went for scrap.

 

Adrian Sun, 14/02/2021

Ah - I meant that maybe the mower as a whole was designed for a particular application (reading further down, maybe just not bursting into flames!). Body armour is a good description, it looks like the offspring of a WW1 tank.
 

Always been a bit sad about stripping engines off things - I guess if the "thing" is really knackered, but there's so many engines out there shorn of the context of what they drove. Mind you, I suppose given the choice of restoring and showing an elevator or it's Lister D...

 

hdtrust Mon, 15/02/2021

Hi all ,

The Norman T300 was used on Green's Masters and the Professional series straight after WW11,they are infact opposed engines not flat,if I remember rightly they were used from 1947 to 1952 when they were replaced by the BSA in Clive's pictures. The Norman T300 were used throughout the war on mobile lighting packs.Yes the Stationary Engine fraternity have got a bad name for removing this type of engine over the years.The American terminology for this kind of practice amongst Engine collectors are Cavemen!

Quite apt I think.

Regards

Andrew

wristpin Mon, 15/02/2021

they are infact opposed engines not flat,

Flat, opposed, boxer, all the same me thinks?

 

mikehpw1 Mon, 15/02/2021

Yep, I'm with you it is a twin cylinder and they do lay flat as opposed to upright and Flat twin sounds far more racey and exciting than boring old horizontally opposed. (-:

mikehpw1 Mon, 15/02/2021

Oh, forgot, just received the Norman manual and it does have a distributor. I'll scan and send in when I get a mo

Will Sat, 20/02/2021

Cor that's a belter!

Please keep us updated on progress!