A lawnmower fanatic has restored the world’s first motorised grass cutting machine to its former glory.
Andrew Hall, who has 1,200 mowers in a big shed at his Somerset home, spent four years repairing the 8ft (2.4m) long, 112 year-old beast, which weighs 1.25 tonnes.
The Ransomes mower cost £137 in 1902 – that’s the equivalent of £15,000 today.
At the time of their launch, only the rich could afford such machines. They were driven by chauffeurs who manicured their master’s lawns.
The mower, which is the size of a Mini car, was initially purchased by Cadbury’s and used at the Bourneville village in Warwickshire. It later lay forgotten about for 50 years.
Andrew said 60 per cent of the mower was intact when he started the restoration, including its frame, rollers, blades and engine. But he had to build a new grass box assembly and side frame.
Andrew, 54, a gardener, said: “When I first saw the mower it looked a bit forlorn. I realised it was the first one Ransomes made when I spotted the identification number.
“It has taken four years to restore it. It was a mammoth job and a real labour of love.”
He said it runs at walking pace. “When the engine is running everybody knows about it because it is very loud, like a traction engine.
“There aren’t any brakes. There aren’t any gears, so to stop you have to turn it off,” he explained.