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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Royal Enfield made lawn mowers alongside motorcycles

Yes, Royal Enfield once made lawn mowers as well as motorcycles.

Even Royal Enfield's advertising department seemed to think this sideline a bit funny. Blogger Jorge Pullin found a fantastic period advertisement entitled "Lawn Patrol."

Ad for Royal Enfield lawn mower suggested the romance of the "Lawn Patrol."
This headline summons mental images of spinning propellers and soaring Sopwith Camels, but the Royal Enfield mower pictured doesn't look nearly as romantic as anything in RAF service.

There will always be an England and it includes the British Lawnmower Museum (motto: "It's Mower Interesting"), on Shakespeare Street, Southport, Merseyside. The National Business Review of New Zealand notes that the museum "has won a place in TripAdvisor's 10 weirdest museums in the world."

The museum displays a Royal Enfield mower of 1938, with its reel-style cutting edges visible. No propeller-like spinning blade for the pilot of this machine. At least the blades are a long way from the toes of the operator.

Proud Royal Enfield lawn mower in museum display.
Currently on show at the museum is an exhibit of "Lawnmowers of the Rich and Famous." These were gathered through this appeal to celebrities:

"To extend the appeal of British garden engineering heritage (which is the best in the world) to everyone, please would you contribute an old discarded Lawnmower or any garden tool in any condition from you that will attract many more people to the Museum. Your donation will be restored to its former glory and placed on view within the new exhibition. If you are unable to help us in our quest at the moment, please mention this to another famous celebrity like yourself, and tell them about the Museum’s attempt to save our British Heritage, and ask them to save a Lawnmower today."

Machines once the property of Prince Charles and Diana and "Many More" are to be seen in the exhibit.

The Royal Enfield lawn mower was Made Like a Gun, like all the firm's products. The Royal Enfield Owners Club attributes Royal Enfield's turn to the mower business as a response to the Depression — an attempt to keep the workforce busy. Production began in 1932 and continued after the war until 1956.

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