THE BRITISH Lawnmower Museum in Southport has played a pivotal role in helping out TV presenter James May for his latest show.
Brian Radam, the curator of the Shakespeare Street museum – known around the world for its quirky displays – was asked to help out on May’s new BBC Four show The Reassembler where the former Top Gear star explores the intricacies and engineering marvels of various objects by putting them back together again from a pile of hundreds of their component parts.
For the first episode James embarks on a solo quest to rebuild a 1959 Suffolk Colt Lawnmower – and there was only one person who had the knowledge and access to all the parts he needed.
Cue a call to Shakespeare Street and a request for Brian to get together an astonishing 350 parts and take them to London where James would put them together in his workshop, the results of which were caught on camera and are being shown on TV this week.
Speaking to The Champion Brian said: “In the show James takes on the challenge of reassembling a 1950's petrol lawnmower, dismantling it right down to its basic components to the last nut, bolt and washer.
“The program shows rare footage from 1956 of this once popular 60 year old vintage mower – a popular machine in the 1950's and 60's, the Suffolk Colt was named after the famous horse and originally cost £17.
“The idea of James’ programme is to give the audience a greater understanding of how things work.
“Anyone can take things apart, but its putting them back together and making them work again which is a rare thing nowadays in our throw away society!
“The museum has seen the consequence of this when I have helped young people on school work experience schemes.
“In one instance we had a 15-year-old who didn’t even know what a nut or bolt was!
“He had never had the chance to learn the practical basics of metal work or woodwork at school and instead had been brought up only having played on computer games.
“The completely original surviving model from Southport was originally destined for lawnmower heaven and the scrapyard – but thanks to the show it is now on permanent display in the British Lawnmower Museum.”