Some people have two cars. We don’t have one at all but, for the moment, we have two lawnmowers. If you’ve been with me for a while you may remember my much loved lawnmower – bought 25 years ago at the Meadows Festival for £2 – and still going strong until a few weeks ago. Read all about it here. It had a little problem with its handle when I first started this blog and was fixed by a kind friend – info here – but this time the handle broke again and the problem seemed terminal.
What to do? I went along to the Meadows Festival this weekend in the hope that I might pick up another bargain. The Festival has been in abeyance for a couple of years and the bric-a-brac stalls were a bit thin on the ground- although there were some dealers who would literally sell everything including the kitchen sink
They charge a fortune for ‘vintage’ garden equipment but didn’t have any lawnmowers anyway. It was lovely to see the Festival up and running again. The sun shone. Rock and folk bands played music, there were a few charity and political stalls, there was loads of food and drink and the good people of Edinburgh lay about on the grass having a good time. We took a whole pile of spider plants to the CND stall to raised some funds – here they are waiting go :
But there were no lawnmowers. However, at the allotment this afternoon there was a ‘skip day’ where fellow allotmenteers could clear out their sheds and put their junk in a skip. Then other people would come along and take it out again. In the skip there was a broken lawnmower with handles exactly the right size to fit my beloved one, but there was also another even more ancient mower to take away. It seems this is a ‘Shanks Hawk’, dating from the 1930s but probably with a replacement handle at some point as it doesn’t quite look like the one on the ‘Old Lawnmower Club‘ website and it has a label saying something about a cabinet maker from Dundee – I suspect it was refurbished by them at some point.
‘You’d better take both’ my friends said, ‘Just in case the handle doesn’t fit’. So I did, trundling yet another ancient lawnmower along the road and a lawnmower handle over my shoulder and trying to look cool. Then I hauled out the old mower, fiddled around a bit with the handles and found that the new one from the skip fits perfectly. The serious vintage lawnmower people would probably not approve but the point is to keep it in use rather than restore it to its original glory. A bit like the cabinet makers from Dundee, it seems that refurbishing old lawnmowers to keep them working is not new.
And here are my two lawnmowers: my old one with it’s shiny new handle and my new old one which is even older and may not work so well.
In the background you can see my ‘nomowMay’ grass which I suspect neither of them can tackle effectively. I’m too tired to make a decisions about all of this tonight but for the moment we’ve become a two lawnmower family. It has cost me precisely nothing. A lawnmower handle has been rescued from a skip. The old handle will probably go in the metal recycling (unless I can think of a use for it). The new old mower will probably be passed on via Freecycle or similar but we’ll keep them both at least for the moment. A happy ending all round I think.