Worthing National Trust Association

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A far more interesting talk than the title suggested, and good presentation.

The museum opened in March 2016, with the formal opening in July 2016 by Jim Buttress.

Opening times from 9.00 am – 5.30 pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30 am - 4.30 pm on Sunday.

There is no charge for entry.  The museum contains a rare collection of lawn mowers, together with the story of its development, plus many other old and interesting gardening tools.

Edwin Beard Budding in 1830 made one of the great intellectual leaps of the 19th century -  he invented the lawnmower. Budding was one of those bright-eyed tinkerers so common in the 1800s.  Legend has it that he was sitting one day at a cloth-cutting apparatus, watching a bladed cylinder travel over wool and cleanly remove the nap.  He glanced out of the window to where men were working a lawn with scythes, and had a sudden moment of inspiration.  Surely this cutting cylinder could be used just as easily on grass as on cloth?

In that instant, the lawnmower was born, and it has barely changed to this day.  Compare it to the fine-turf mowers of today and you will see it is the same thing.  You have a roller, a cutting cylinder, and a drive. That’s his design.

For more information you can read more in Clive’s book:


Text and photos by Gill Johnson

The History of Lawn Mowers

And the Budding Foundation

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Clive Gravett came along to tell us all about the lawn mower!  He has been a keen horticulturist from his childhood.  However, he worked in banking for over 20 years before resigning to start his own conservation and horticultural business.  He was based in Ditchling at the Mid Sussex Golf club where he arranged beds in many and various styles and colours.

Clive is renowned for his research into lawnmower history and his collection of vintage mowers, so he decided to dedicate his charity to Edwin Beard Budding a much-underrated inventor/ engineer who invented the lawnmower in 1830.

In 2015/2016 Clive’s dream of setting up a museum happened.  Working with the owners of the new South Downs Heritage Centre ‘The Budding Museum of Gardening’ opened.  Still a work in progress but he is certainly achieving his ambition to create a focal point to promote the charity further.

Victorian bedding at the Museum