The Hall & Duck Trust was established in 1982 when Ransomes, Simms and Jefferies was celebrating 150 years of lawn mower production. The company held a number of special anniversary events that year organised by, Perry Crewdson, the public relations officer at the time. These culminated with a special exhibition at the International trade exhibition organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship at Windsor Racecourse that September.
Perry already knew Mike Duck and Andy Hall because they had both built up separate collections of lawn mowers including a number of examples of historic Ransomes machines. He invited them to participate in the exhibition at Windsor by helping to create a trade stand using some of these mowers. No one could ever have predicted the level of interest shown. To say it was a success is an understatement!
After the exhibition Perry suggested to Mike and Andy that they combine their two collections. The joint collection covered more than just Ransomes mowers and included a number of machines that, if lost, could never be replaced. This would be a loss not just to the history of gardening but also to the heritage of this important British invention.
The Hall & Duck Trust, as the collection soon became known, has since developed into a major international collection. It now comprises almost 1000 lawn mowers dating from the 1850s to the 1940s and includes extensive archives. The Trust is listed in the Guinness Book Of Records.
The continuing aim of the Trust is to save and preserve artefacts of turf care, to educate the groundsmanship profession on its machinery's history and to leave a heritage for future generations.
More about Mike & Andy