Vintage lawn-mowers

This subject is really verbotten now in Motor Sport but we cannot resist reporting that Messrs. Ransomes Sims & Jefferies of Ipswich tell us that they know of at least five of their motor-mowers built prior to 1914 that are still in regular use. They recently had a 1905 24-in. Ransomes mower with 2 3/4-h.p. side-valve Orwell engine returned to them for routine servicing by a gentleman living in Skeffingham; apart from decarbonising and minor adjustments it needed no attention. The lawns of Marlborough College are cut by a 1910 36-in. Ransomes motor-mower which was joined in 1924 by a 42-in. companion, also still in use. Then a reader in Wadhurst, Sussex, has in service a 24-in. Ransomes mower with 350-c.c. Orwell engine and another correspondent owns a 20-in. water-cooled two-stroke mower made by John Shaw Ltd. of Wolverhampton, which is believed to be of about 1920 vintage and which did not wear out until 1956. But a reader whose wife had an 1865 Singer sewing machine seems to have the last word—the manufacturers recently took it back in part exchange!