Grass-cutters burn turf in mower mayhem

HELMET clutched under his arm and striking a classic “Brabham pose”, Inverell’s Adam Edwards looks revved up and ready to roar around the racetrack.

READY TO ROAR: Adam Edwards from Inverell’s Mower Sports Club cuts a fearsome figure – but not any grass – as he prepares to race his ride-on at the weekend’s Manilla Vintage Farm Machinery Show. Photo: Barry Smith 0706BSD07

READY TO ROAR: Adam Edwards from Inverell’s Mower Sports Club cuts a fearsome figure – but not any grass – as he prepares to race his ride-on at the weekend’s Manilla Vintage Farm Machinery Show. Photo: Barry Smith 0706BSD07

There are only a couple of small hitches: his “racecar” is in fact a ride-on lawnmower and the track is a patch of dirt inside the Manilla Showground.

Mr Edwards and 15 other intrepid mower drivers might not have cut any grass, but they sure burned turf at the Manilla 25th Vintage Farm Machinery Show at the weekend.

The unique rally, which saw lawnmowers reach up to 100km/h, was the surprise smash hit of the show.

They just mowed ’em down at Manilla

THEY are usually used for mundane chores in backyards, but mower racing went full speed ahead in Manilla over the weekend at the local vintage machinery show.

There were plenty of thrills – and luckily no spills – as the Inverell Mower Sports Club took to the paddock, hitting top speeds of 100km/h as they raced around in the Manilla Vintage Machinery Annual Rally.

The racing drew plenty of onlookers as the mowers did everything from rallies to burnouts, all with precision driving from behind the wheel.

“Most of them are pretty standard, and have normal lawn mower engines,” Inverell Mower Sports Club’s Ashleigh Taylor said.

“They range from five horsepower up to 22 horsepower.

“You don’t see it every day. Even I had a go.”

About seven members of the 15-member club made the trek to Manilla, wowing the crowd.

While they might not be vintage, the club started as a couple of people with some lawnmowers in a backyard and grew from there.

It was the 25th annual Manilla vintage show and there were plenty of firsts, not just the lawnmowers.

The tractor sled and tractors were another big drawcard for the weekend events, which saw a tractor convoy down the main street.

There were vintage cars and trucks, antique machinery as well as steam traction engines, and everything in between.

“The number of people coming through the gate was up on last year and they kept on coming,” secretary Barbara McGregor said.

“We’ve had about 1500 through and they’re still coming ... we had a swap meet as well, and that had about 50 exhibitors.”

Everyone from vintage enthusiasts to machinery amateurs, and plenty of visitors joined locals at the meet to pore over the machines from days gone by. 

“The crowd has been quite good. They’ve come from as far as Tasmania, right up to Townsville,” she said.

“A lot of members keep coming back and we’ve even had one member for 23 years still coming.

“The support of the town and the members is unreal. It’s amazing and greatly appreciated.”


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