The mid-day sun beats down from a clear blue sky; the long grass of the cricket pitch boundaries is alive with the buzz of Summer insects; in the nets, players lazily practice with willow & leather; the clatter of distant church bells carries across the fields on the still air. With a grunt, the groundsman heaves the big Allett mower from it’s Winter slumber in the shed & sets about cleaning & starting it for the first mow of the new season. Lifting off the engine cover he finds…
Wahey! A Reliant motor! Who’dve thunk it.
Arthur, the machine’s present owner, found it lurking in a dark corner of Ebay & bought it as a cheap means of obtaining a Reliant motor & gearbox for a trike project. Unfortunately the trike never materialised so the mower returned to Ebay. Before it headed for it’s new home though, he kindly sent in these shots of it for us.
Absolutely nothing’s known of it’s history. I’m guessing Allett never built a production model with Reliant power, so at some point someone’s looked at their tired old mower, looked across to the Reliant engine sat in the corner of their shed & thought Hmm, I wonder…
Arthur reports the motor appears in very good condition so is presumably quite low mileage. Mounted transversely under a fibreglass casing, the gearbox is mated directly to a chain & cogs to drive the blades. Once started, the shortened gear lever’s tapped into first & away you go. Engine speed’s controlled by a basic throttle lever & clutch mounted on the handlebar. Apparently it cuts very well.
Presumably it never gets beyond walking pace in first gear, but wouldn’t it be great with a full length gear shift & seat fitted!
Greetings from across the pond! Northeast Pennsylvania, US of A, actually.
Thought y'all might find my tale of interest...
Back when I was a kid, living in Monmouth County, NJ, USA, we had a next door neighbour who was a bit of an eccentric, among other things. He lost count of how many clocks he had -well over one hundred & also an innumerable number of cars -an Aston Martin, a Singer, (that was wild!), a Morgan three wheeler etc.
He also had a number of lawnmowers. More than 30 I would guess.
Anyhow... he was one of those that would backroads tour different places in the world & once, while in the UK, he came across a sign that said: Allett. The finest lawnmower in the world.
Having piqued his curiosity, he just rode on over to the factory to ask the powers that be why they thought their machine was such.
His conclusion was quite simply... they are the finest lawnmower in the world. Or were at that time. I would say around 1968.
Anyhow, this fellow, Arthur Weiss, had three of these machines shipped back to the States to see if he could modify them for cutting grass here. As in the UK when the grass gets 1/2 inch high they cut it back to 1/4", (or thereabouts).
Alas the machine was so finely made and designed it could not be modified as it would overbalance and tip over.
So one ended up at Rutgers University, (for what I don't recall), the other ended up at some prestigious lawn tennis club in South Jersey & upon Arthur's demise my Dad got the third.
Powered by the 4 cylinder, water cooled Reliant engine. 4 speed transmission with reverse! Simply an amazing machine. They came with a "Sulky", which was a set of rollers that towed behind & atop these rollers was a small frame with a very comfy seat fixed to it. So yeah, you didn't have to run behind -you could ride in style!
Alas I believe it may still be mouldering away in the back yard of the house we had in Lk Hopatcong NJ when I was in high school.
A shame really -it was absolutely a beautiful piece of machinery. The three of them were exactly the machine pictured on your website & yes, were production model machines.
Larry "Boneman" Bone
Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA
I’ve worked on them. I used to work for a grounds maintenance company. There was one used on the golf course greens at the Creda social club golf course at Blythe Bridge, Staffordshire.
Later I worked for Cheshire turf machinery at Stockport, servicing machines and sharpening cutting cylinders.
One of the local Cricket clubs has one. I’m still trying to get my hands on it as I was offered it a while ago but nobody seems to know where they put it.
Seems Allett is still out there & still making large mowing machines.