By Mollie Mansfield
Dreading cutting the grass AGAIN this weekend? This gardening fanatic currently has OVER 400 lawnmowers in his collection.
Green-fingered retired greenkeeper, Stan Hardwick, has been collecting lawnmowers for more than 40 years – and has so many he even has to store then in his living room – to the despair of wife Margaret.
But even through Stan has mowers worth tens of thousands of pounds in his home – he will only use a pusher mower worth £20 to cut his own 6 x 4 metre lawn at home in Finley, North Yorks.
Stan, 77, said: “My wife, Margaret, doesn’t like the mowers, but she’s just got used to them, she has to put up with them now.
“I cut the grass in our garden twice a week, I like to keep it looking nice. But I wouldn’t use my most expensive mowers.
“I used to collect them by myself, but I’m not the spring chicken I used to be.
“So I enlisted the help of my son, Jonathon, and he thinks they’re really cool and we share the collection now.
“He’s a lot stronger than I am, and with over 400 lawnmowers, I need as much help as I can get!”
Aside from collecting the mowers, the ‘Lawn Ranger’ also restores broken ones to make his collection fully-functioning.
He added: “I like the technical part, so if there’s anything that needs fixing that’s the part that I do.
“Whereas my son, he likes the nice part – we strip the mowers down most weekends and give them a touch-up.
“And on weekend’s we’re not working on them, we take them to fairs to show them off – and if we’re not at fairs, I’m on the hunt to buy more.
“I would never sell them, unless I needed the money – but as long as I don’t then they’re staying right here.
“I think now I’ve spent somewhere between £20-30,000 on them.
“But, to the right buyer, the collection would be worth around £200,000.”
Stan said: “I still collect them because it’s something I’ve always done.
“You can’t just leave it for someone else to get.
“I’ve got to keep collecting them, it’s got a hold of me.
“I recently spent £2500 on a lawnmower, it was a stationary engine on a frame work and that’s definitely one of my favourites.
“I look all over the place, I get quite a lot on eBay and sometimes you get them when someone dies – to carry on their collection.
“I prefer the older ones, but they’re harder to get hold of.
“The oldest one I’ve got is a donkey mower from 1863.
“I’ve got my eye on a few new ones – we go to a fair in Whitby in about a month’s time so hopefully I’ll find some good ones down there!”