On the Occasion of Jim Gavin’s Retirement as British Lawn Mower Racing Association General Secretary
Note From Mr. Mow It All: Jim Gavin, BLMRA Founder, has recently retired as BLMRA General Secretary, turning the reigns over to Pete Hammerton. Jim will always remain as BLMRA Founder. Let’s return to 2009, when Jim was inducted into the USLMRA Lawn Mower Racing Hall of Fame:
Greetings Esteemed Members of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association.
On behalf the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association, we send you warm wishes from Across The Pond on this day of your Annual General Meeting.
When we began to formulate plans the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association in the summer of 1991, we turned to the BLMRA and one man in particular: the General Secretary, Committee Chair and Founder himself, or as I like to call him – The Grand Poobah – Jim Gavin
Jim and the BLMRA embraced us, welcomed us and showed us hospitality and fellowship. We attended the 12 Hour that year and soon realized that indeed, lawn mower racing could catch on in America.
The BLMRA supported us in our efforts to create our Rulebook, create a racing organization and set a tone and feel for our Association. Jim showed us how to create a serious race operation, raise money for good causes and have fun while doing so.
Jim’s good nature, sense of humor and ability to surround himself with talented people were evident from the start.
During our formative years in the early 1990s, Jim was there for us and was always available to me personally for advice, ideas and input.
In the summer of 1999 when a group of us traveled to England to participate in the 12 Hour, Jim and Mary welcome us into their home, showed us around and generally entertained us the entire time.
When Jim and his fellow BLMRA Brethren of the Sod came to the U.S in the summer of 2000 to participate in the Rider Cup, we returned the favor. This time with a large group of BLMRA racers and officials along for the trip. It seems like yesterday that we were racing together in Lisle, Illinois by day and raiding the hotel bar by night. All the while, Jim keeping an eye on the proceedings with a wry grin of a seasoned ringmaster, making sure the late great Dubba G and the late Jason Kanabus did not fall too far into the hotel lobby fountain.
And now here we are in 2017 as the British and Americans get together again. Although Jim cannot be with us this weekend due to some health issues that are keeping him in Ole Blighty, how fitting it is that we honor him today.
Indeed, there would be no USLMRA without the BLMRA and there would be no organized, nationally sanctioned lawn mower racing in America without the USLMRA.
- Jim Gavin of Wisborough Green, West Sussex, England, Founder and General Secretary of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association (BLMRA), founded in 1973 at the Cricketers Arms in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. Gavin, an Irishman who had raced and rallied cars across the world, became disillusioned with the increasing costs of motorsport. Whilst downing their pints in the village pub, Gavin and a group of locals looked across the village green to see the green keeper mowing the cricket patch. They realized that everyone had a lawn mower in their garden shed, so a Championship was held in a local farmer’s field. About 80 competitors turned up for what turned out to be a very successful event and the formation of the BLMRA. The BLMRA still sticks to its origins as a non-profit organization (any profits are given to charities or good causes) while providing well-organized and inexpensive motor sport with a strong social atmosphere.
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