Vintage lawnmower?

I discovered recently that my much loved, handpush lawnmower is ‘vintage’.  I thought it was just old and rusty.  A few weeks ago the handle fell off it and, while trying to work out how to fix it, I looked it up on the internet which has whole pages dedicated to vintage lawnmowers.

The Old Lawnmower Club  has instruction manuals for vintage lawnmowers, there is a British Lawnmower Museum  and there is a children’s book called Mervin the Magic Mower.

My lawnmower is a Qualcast Handpush B1, from around 1955.

Detail of a Qualcast B1 from original instruction manual found on the Old Lawnmower Club website
Detail of a Qualcast B1 from original instruction manual found on the Old Lawnmower Club website

So my lawnmower is nearly sixty years old.  Apparently this makes it vintage.  I’ve owned it for seventeen years:  over a quarter of its life.  I don’t know who owned it before.  I bought if for £2 in a car boot sale in 1997 and it has served me very well since then.

The instruction manual is not enough to fix my poor old lawnmower but in 1955 it would have been possible to order any of these parts from the makers.  Sadly you can’t buy spare parts like this anymore so I will have to make do with a self-help approach.  The assistant gardeners have tried very hard to fix it with bits of wire.  This works for a while until it hits a tough bit and the wire comes off along with the handle.  Somehow I manage to make it work though and I don’t want to part with it.

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