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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Which Witch from Ipswich?

Just been given a Webb push mower (from the heart of Ransomes territory), I was pleased to find must be a Witch as 12" 8 blade model - a pleasant change from the numerous Ajax's (aji?) which come my way through being an allotment site warden in Ipswich.

There is no s/n, so is it possible to determine age or place of manufacture?  Looking up details I see the company changed hands several times - to Wolseley-Hughes 1963, Wolseley-Webb 1973, Suffolk Group 1984 which later joined Qualcast which itself became Bosch in 1988 when production ended.  I am wondering if there were production changes which may give a clue to age or where produced, such as colour shade or handle design.

Mine has no transfer on the side cover, just the oval "Webb - Witton, Birmingham" transfer on the grass box and a parallel tubular handle bent down at the top to form the push bar and painted in a blue-ish tinted green colour, not unlike some Suffolk mowers.

Any info appreciated.     Ken.   


Clive1997 Thu, 03/11/2016

Hello Ken

By coincidence just put my Witch away after its outing to take part in our Museums Halloween  display.

Webb patented their first mower in 1928, their roller mower simply known as The Webb Patent Mower, I do have one of these from the early 1930's. 

First reference to the Witch in my records is an Ad from 1935 & I believe they continued in production until the 1980's.

There appears to have been 3 different handle designs, the first being straight handles made of flat pressed steel with 2 crossbars and wooden hand grips, then tubular cross-over (similar to Ajax 3/4/5) then finally tubular pram handle which I believe you have?

The Webb catalogues I have are not all dated, but the 1959 one shows the cross-over pattern, therefore assume the pram handle was 1960's or later.

Hope that is of some help to you,