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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Willing worker.

Hello guys.

One of my latest mowers, thanks to Clive, a 10 inch Drummond willing worker, I've bought it home as its next on the to do list, how far I go with it isn't decided yet as it's in reasonable condition, I've still got the Anglia to finish but having it in the garage may make me pull my finger out, I have had a fiddle to free up the cylinder as it wasn't as smooth as it should be, I took the top cover off to reveal a very dry oil bath, so I squirted some oil over gears to around quarter fill the bath. It's made the world of difference to the running of the roller and the cylinder, I will be taking it apart for a proper clean up so not worried for now, but oil is leaking out around the cylinder shaft/oil bath hole. I'm thinking I've over filled, but those familiar with these mowers may tell me different. Maybe a worn seal?? Looking forward to getting into this one. 

Messorestore Tue, 18/05/2021

Hi Lee, what a lovely machine. These are one of my favourites. I have two - a 10inch and a 12inch . Both of the oil baths were dry in mine which wasn't  surprising given their age and the fact they hadn't been used for probably fifty years. The problem is more or less likely to be the seal which would have become dry and brittle if it's still there and hasn't turned to dust. I managed to utilise one out of my useful box of bits. Also check for leaks from the bottom of the gear cover which may have taken a knock in its life. A quarter fill sounds about right which is roughly the level mine are at. You're right, once oil hits those cogs  the drive is so smooth. They are incredibly well engineered and they're definitely a 'keeper' in anyone's collection. 

stonethemows Tue, 18/05/2021

On the question of the amount of oil to go in the bath, annoyingly the operators manual directs one to the card supplied with the machine, which of course everybody lost. However the transfer on the oil bath cover instructs one to add two tablespoons of oil before use.

This transfer is available from the Club Shop by the way. 

Lee Smallwood Tue, 18/05/2021

Thanks both, Sean, I love the wording cast into it, and as you say, definately a keeper, I haven't flipped it over so may be a little damage that might cause a hole but I will obviously check before I dismantle. Grass box is with the mower but is a  mess. I'll keep updating the thread when I get my teeth I to it, and order relevant transfers from the club shop when I need them. Cheers for now. Lee

Will Tue, 18/05/2021

Nice machines Lee and Sean! I've also got one of these incoming, looking forward to getting it in next few weeks

Clive1997 Wed, 19/05/2021

What sort of money should one pay for a Drummond 

The old story how long is a piece of string, a lot depends on how keen you are to acquire, who's selling, what competition, if in an auction etc.

A grass box is good, more often than not they are missing, they have rather nice cast brackets similar style to the Ransomes Patent Automatons etc.

Then there is size, most seen come in 10 & 12in, very occasionally a 14in & never seen a16in. 

The largest sizes will command a higher price due to many collectors already having the 10 & 12.

I've always liked them & with a box or a pair of box brackets say £50+ depending on condition, but who really knows.

Messorestore Mon, 24/05/2021

I have three Drummonds and I paid £50 for the one in very poor condition without box. But work this out - I paid £50 for my best  one complete with box and needing no work at all on it. However my other one in fair condition was £100, therefore I think Clive's comments are spot on. Can Clive tell me if there was an 18inch Drummond as somewhere I think I've seen mention of one. I'm going to be a real devil now and say there is a 6inch knocking about. 

Clive1997 Mon, 24/05/2021

I have only seen sizes up to 16in advertised.

As to the 6in heres an image that appeared in Grass Box in 1998

olcadmin Mon, 24/05/2021

Slightly better version of the image Clive posted. Sorry, only have b/w on system to upload.

Lee Smallwood Mon, 24/05/2021

One question, I've notice two different oil Bath covers, convex and flat, mine has a flat top and the mower is silver, but all images I've seen with the flat top, the mowers are a pastel green, did they do both colours with the flat top on the oil Bath. I presume mine should be silver as it looks original but worth the ask. 

MikeD Mon, 24/05/2021

nice machine but sadly not for sale at any price and all it cost me was some Britains toys does anyone remember them.

MikeD Mon, 24/05/2021

from my archives the green machines are the early mowers but being heavy not sold many the later ones were painted silver to make them look lighter as per the JP MACHINES OF THE PERIOD but they were still heavy to push.i got this from an ex drummond employee.Drummond also built railway locos but not the same family in case you want a T9 M7 OR A CALEY IN CALEDONIAN BLUE.YOU SEE I ALSO LOVE STEAM LOCOS.

Clive1997 Tue, 25/05/2021

One question, I've notice two different oil Bath covers, convex and flat, mine has a flat top and the mower is silver, but all images I've seen with the flat top, the mowers are a pastel green, did they do both colours with the flat top on the oil Bath. I presume mine should be silver as it looks original but worth the ask. 

Very good question Lee, I am presently without a Willing Worker (don't tell my volunteers that) my last one was picked up on Sat, as far as I can remember I have had many Green & Silver in 10 & 12in all with flat tops to the gear box?

Sean's has the shallower gear box with the raised cover, also the advertisement that Keith has added above, if you google images they all look to have flat tops.

I have a parts list undated & only lists the flat top for the 10 & 12!

Looking at newspaper ad's first reference comes in 1925 when image has the rounded top to gear box & this changes to flat top in 1926 onwards, so assume the rounded is the very early design.

Messorestore Tue, 25/05/2021

I'll have a look at my other two Willing Workers and report back as to whether flat or domed  top covers. Alternatively if Lee wants to bring his to the hoped September  meet I'll bring my rounded top one to do comparisons. 

Lee Smallwood Wed, 26/05/2021

Good work Clive, maybe a detective in a previous life, I thought that to be the case, good to have a date where the change happened, here's another question for you,

How do I find out which mower had picked out cast lettering with a colour,  some images of the same mower has, some don't, is it a personal preference and happens by restorers,, the Drummond has plenty of lettering which got me thinking. After research I'm awaiting delivery of my paint pens I've ordered. Did all ransomes have lettering picked out, don't think  Suffolk did on the Eden, I've seen a lot of multi coloured silens messor images.

Would the Anglia I'm finishing have coloured writing? 

Messorestore Wed, 26/05/2021

Hi Lee, my Anglia Mk1 which has its original paintwork has lettering which is the same colour as the rest of the mower ie green. Being raised it gives the appearance of being gold in certain lights but as you can see it's green. 
By the way my other two Drummonds have flat top gear covers.

Lee Smallwood Thu, 27/05/2021

Thanks Sean, I'll leave the writing alone on my Anglia, sometimes mowers can look a little garish with coloured lettering. I've never seen a WW without red letter castings, it seems to suit it and doesn't look horrible. Like you say, great mowers, even if they are a little on the weighty side. If we do get together for some sort of rally, I will be up for a Drummond line up. Although, ive had the Anglia in bits for around a year so I can't promise mine WW will be there. I'll try though. For now, respek all. 

Lee Smallwood Thu, 27/05/2021

I see what you mean regarding gold looking lettering, and the green paint looks quite dark, the paint I'm using is a darker shade than I usually go for but thought I'd use it up as it was left over from a job I did. Relieved I did as I like the colour. Are the cylinder springs under the bearing housing painted too? I'm cleaning up all the bolts etc and would be good to know if anything else needs a bit of paint, or just a wax oil or similar 

Messorestore Tue, 01/06/2021

Look what I found lurking in the back corner of my old workshop ! A second domed gear cover Willing Worker waiting for restoration. What's going on ? 

Lee Smallwood Wed, 02/06/2021

I found a 50 pence piece in my sock drawer I didn't know was there and I was over the moon with that. 

Messorestore Thu, 03/06/2021

I don't know if you're expecting to buy one of these for 50 pence. I think this discussion should now move over to has the world gone mad thread. Last time I looked on EBay, there was a wrecker for £200 which I now believe has been slashed to a bargain at £175 !  Perhaps if you've got a few more sofas with 50p's you might be getting closer.