How did lawn mower racing start?

Originally posted by the BLMRA here

Lawn mower racing was started back in 1973 by an Irishman called Jim Gavin, who, with a bunch of mates had gone down to The Cricketers Arms in Wisborough Green, West Sussex for a few pints one lunchtime to discuss his latest motorsport idea. Jim was heavily involved in rallying and like all motorsport at this time, sponsorship was creeping in. Jim didn’t really like this and wanted to create a form of motorsport that didn’t involve lots of money and was readily accessible to everyone. As the pints flowed they looked out across the village green and there was the groundsman mowing the cricket pitch. It was then they realized that everyone had a lawn mower in their garden shed so they said “let’s race them”, and they did! They announced there would be a race in Murphy’s field and about 80 mowers turned up!

BLMRA historical photos

It is no wonder that when Peter Hammerton, newly appointed BLMRA president, wrote to the Queen of England about Jim’s retirement and accomplishments, he received back a personalized letter from the Queen’s Lady-In-Waiting. Read the letter below:

Queen Letter Jim Gavin