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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: PhilYeomans/BNPS.co.uk<br />
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Lawnmowing history...<br />
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One man went to mow.<br />
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The worlds first powered mower has taken to the grass once more after an exhaustive restoration by lawnmower nut Andrew Hall from Somerset.<br />
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Forerunner of all the machines that have graced British lawns on sunday afternoons through the decades since, This 1902 Ransome 3hp is a historic survivor from the Edwardian age when chauffers were given the task of grooming their masters lawns and the new fangled machines cost as much as a house.<br />
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The 1 1/4 ton leviathan cost £137 in 1903 - equivalent to a whopping £15,000 in todays money. In consequence they were only available to the very rich, but aristocratic one upmanship lead to a rapid 'lawnmower arms race' untill the first war intervened.<br />
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Although the first machine it still boasts many of the features still common a century later, 42inch blade, heavy roller, tiller steering, a huge grass box that could be emptied from the driver seat and adjustable blade height. Brakes however were a later innovation so much skill was required to pilot the huge contraptions.