Rare Lawnmower Goes On Public Display

Rare Lawnmower Goes On Public Display

An extremely rare lawnmower is the latest exhibit to be displayed at the Museum of Gardening in Hassocks.

Following World War One, labour was in short supply, with most mowers requiring two people or a pony to operate them. This resulted in the mower pusher being designed in 1922 to motorise push and pony mowers requiring only one person to operate them.

The mower pusher was coupled to the rear of the mower with the operator sitting above a powerful 269cc Villiers two-stroke engine. It was capable of pushing mowers up to 36in cutting width and also pulling heavy rollers.

By the mid to late 1920s motor mowers were being mass produced and there was little demand for mower pushers, and with only a minimal number of pushers being sold very few have survived.

Clive Gravett curator of the museum unearthed this fine example in September 2018, having rescued it from a barn where it had been for over 50 years because the building was due for demolition to make way for the HS2 rail project.

“A decision was made to undertake a full restoration and with the help of the museum’s talented and dedicated group of volunteers”, explains Clive. “The mower pusher has been restored to its former glory over a ten-month restoration period which required some parts to be replicated and many hours of rust removal and cleaning back to bare metal, before re-painting.

Clive, pictured on the machine, adds: “The mower pusher is a fantastic exhibit especially its development to fulfil a need following the Great War.”

The museum situated within the South Downs Heritage Centre is operated on behalf of The Budding Foundation a charity supporting local young people.