With Royal Ascent, ,King Edward V11

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    King Edward V11, was well known for his love of early motor cars, by 1903 he was also interested in motorised lawn mowers, of which he purchased two machines from Ransomes,the first was a 30 inch ride-on Patent Motor Mower for the Grounds of Buckingham Palace, alas now only the engine survives, which can be seen in the entrance hall of The Science Museum in London.
    However a second Pedestrian Patent Motor Mower was purchased the same year for Balmoral, Scotland.
    Fortunately this does survive, the engine which is on it, is an early 1919 J A Prestwich, but fortunately we have managed to retrieve the original engine as well, which is a Simms engine under licence to Ransomes called an Orwell, so named after the river which runs through Ipswich.
    This mower will shortly be restored back to its former glory


    Odd question: In the early 1900s who showed the gardeners how to operate these new machines? Considering that the gardeners at Balmoral had, perhaps, never ventured near or been in control of anything as mechanical, this would be a real challenge for some.

    Did Ransomes send out an operative to train the gardeners how to use these mowers?

    It will be good to see your fully restored mower.


    The only chap at the “ big houses” with mechanical experience was usually the chauffeur who was in charge of the mower and perhaps the generator for the house.
    In 1981, at a stately home nearby to me, the retired chauffeur who lived on the estate, was still in charge of their Dennis that had arrived new just pre WW2.


    Yes Ransomes did send out their staff to show how to use the machines, which in most cases happened to be the chauffeur to the estate.
    This is why generally speaking these veteran motor mowers are now scarce to find, quite simply at the start of WW1 most engineers and chauffeurs were droughted to fight, with not many returning.
    Even today its not a straight forward process to start them, as they can be cantankerous in different weathers.
    Though on the scarcity issue we have just brought home the earliest known Thos Greens Motor Mower with tiller steering of 1905 complete with its original Hafner engine, photos to be shown soon

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