Pipx And Crops

Pips & Crops

This page is for members to have a bit of fun. Here you'll find questions and quizzes etc… this will be updated and changed every month or two for people to check out. We have listed 20 questions, and each month we will have a different member answer them so we can find out a little about each the member behind the name.

Anyone for Dennis

Or “The Tale of Groome’s Lawnmower”

Hi Everyone,
This first entry is about the tale of the lawnmower that Groome used as Catweazle watched him on the contraption.

Well, it started when a small group of us went to Brickendonbury one day to have a mooch round. Someone saw a shed and laughingly said “I wonder if Groome’s lawnmower is in there?”

Well naturally no one really expected to see it all those years later, but we looked anyway. There it was!! There was no doubt about it being the same one, it was his lawnmower! It was a bit rusty and dishevelled but it was practically an antique!

When I got home, I thought “I wonder if they still use it, or would it possible to take it off their hands?” Nothing ventured, nothing gained it is said, so I got in contact and started to ask questions to those concerned. To my surprise after them asking me some questions in return, they said we could have it, but we would have to collect it and it wasn’t working.

A member was happy to not only collect it, but to restore it which of course was fantastic. I got emails from Brickendonbury, asking when it would be collected. Then the bombshell – the member couldn’t collect nor restore it after all. I didn’t want to lose such a great piece of memorabilia. Then I got the final email saying “if you don’t collect it soon, we will disposed of it as we have got it out of the shed ready for you.!”

I didn’t want that to happen so I decided I would have to do it myself (you know the feeling girls – if you want a job doing….!) I hired a transit van and then thought “Carol, you have never driven a transit van before!” Bravado turned to panic, so many things could go wrong trying to do such a thing on my own. Would I hit something, could I judge its width, especially along those thin rural lanes! WHAT WAS I THINKING OF, I MUST BE MAD!!!!

I was going to need help. Now I am partial to a bit of spinach, but not in the realms of Popeye! That thing must be heavy!

The search for a knight on a white charger to help was on! Then he arrived, not on a white charger but a battered old Citroen! It was in fact my lovely and kind brother Russell, who once again stepped into the breach for me – and thank God he did.

He said that it was a job for S – no not Superman – Someone other than a weak big sister! Well it might just as well have been Superman because he gave up his day off to come with me. I politely ignored the “Where the bl***y hell are you going to put it? and the “What the bl***y hell are you going to do with it?” comments. It was in fact the “How the bl***y hell are we going to get it on and off the van? that was whizzing through my mind!

We eventually arrived and were shown to the mowers resting place. With a nervous laugh I said “Oooh, it’s bigger than I remember” to which the chap replied “Never mind the size you want to feel the weight of it!”

So, I picked my brother up off the floor after he fainted after seeing it for the first time and waited for the promised help from groundsmen that should be arriving soon and they will help you load it.

“Yes, I said but can they come back with us and UNload it again!! “ ‘Fraid not was the reply”

Shortly, FOUR chaps and a set of ramps arrived and with great effort from all, the “Dennis Premier” lawnmower with a front bucket big enough to house a small family was loaded into the transit. It only just fitted in inside!!!! My gentle hints of “We could do with those ramps to get it off again” This plea fell on deaf ears and all the chaps disappeared back to work, - along with the ramps!

Off we went, homeward bound. Nervous glances were exchanged between the two of us every time the van stopped and pulled away again! Would the rope supposedly securing it hold with this kind of strain on it or would the unthinkable happen, the rope snaps and the mower with its full weight behind it burst through the van’s back doors and flatten a car behind! The way things were looking there was a distinct possibility.

The inevitable process of growing old and grey speeded up considerably over the next two hours and fearing a serious accident I, in an half turned twist kept hold of the mowers handle to stop it moving. I am sure that arm is now longer than the other one. It was very hard work to maintain it.

But, I thought to myself “we have it, our first big piece of genuine memorabilia from Catweazle and it felt good! Russell on the other hand, being a sensible and practical chap, insisted (repeatedly) that we were going to be in trouble when we got home, “don’t forget it took 5 of us to get the bl***y thing in, how the hell are two of us WITHOUT RAMPS going to get it unloaded.

The van has to be returned by a certain time! I knew my varied and unusual suggestions were not helping the situation when I heard the hissing noise coming through his clenched teeth! If only we had a pair of those ramps – it came to me in a flash of inspiration.

“We have a large wooden ladder. We could slide it down it” Woods no damned good with that weight it will just snap in two!” BUT he slowly added, “I have metal one!” There was definitely a hint of a smile appearing as it dawned on him that the phone call to get Hannibal and the A Team in might not be needed after all!


Eventually and with a huge amount of relief and stiffness, we made it home with us and the van intact, then the fun started. I untied the ropes and Russ went for the ladder. First problem, manoeuvring the metal marvel on my own was not an easy task, especially when you have left the brake on!! Second problem, when the ladder was place against the van, it formed a ridge that meant we somehow had to LIFT it over the top of the ladder to have any hope of sliding it down.

With much heaving and gasping eventually we had it poised at the top. I was holding on to it for dear life whilst Russell jumped down to the bottom of the ladder ready to receive it on the way down. Problem number three, as I started to let it start on its downward journey to terra firma, I realised that there was no way I was going to be able to hold on to it the nearer it got to the ground. “Oh my God” I thought “if I let go it will crush my brother!!” Not much by way of a thank you for all his help!!

So, I held on as long as I could and in so doing dislocated a finger and very nearly dented the pavement! How? I hear you ask, well I will tell you. This was achieved when the weight of the thing with me trying to hold it, just flung me out of the van with such velocity that I managed to perform a manoeuvre that rivalled anything Torvill and Dean could have produced.

The elegant somersault as I flew through the air with arms and legs akimbo then twisting and landing in the gutter flat on my back was worthy of a gold medal! In fact, I am sure I saw a neighbour looking through her window brandishing a card with 6.0 for artistic impression on it! Technical ability – not quite so good!

Russell meanwhile was killing himself laughing, but he was ok and that’s all I cared about. We wheeled her into the front garden and I found a cover to go over her. “Why are you doing that?” Do you think its going to get any rustier, or maybe you think someone will come in pick it up and run down the road with it?” Sarcasm is quite high in my brother’s repertoire of useful remarks. There she stayed until I could find a way of getting her going again.

I got in touch with the Lawnmower Museum, but they couldn’t help besides I would have to go through another long journey to get her there and I couldn’t face that. Then we had an opportunity to move house and she wasn’t going to be able to come too. By chance I was talking about the mower at work, when someone overheard what I was saying. He said, I would love to have it for our cricket club. Now I knew this chap and I knew he was capable of fixing it which he wanted to do

I came to an agreement that if at anytime I wanted to see it or take it somewhere (unlikely but you never know) they he could take her and give her life again and I would know exactly where she was located. Well that was a few years ago and she is still there mowing the pitch because he did get her going again I am delighted to say.

To prove she is still around, here are some photos of her taken earlier this year. Note the engine area is nice and clean compared to her body BUT she is working and has not ended her days crushed twisted and destroyed in the dump.

Wouldn’t Groome and his Lordship be happy?



Get in touch with our Fanclub officials

Carol Barnes Email

Graham Card Email
or 07412651313