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South Downs Heritage Centre

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World authority on lawnmowers jets in from United States!

23rd May 2016

The new Budding Foundation Museum of Gardening at the South Downs Heritage Centre, in Hassocks, welcomed a very special guest this week. A leading authority on UK and American lawn mower history, Jim Ricci, travelled all the way from Massachusetts in the USA, proving that news about the museum has already spread across the globe. On his arrival at Heathrow airport, Jim headed straight to the museum to see the collection of rare and vintage mowers and to meet founder and gardening historian, Clive Gravett.
Jim Ricci is also an author and has just published his latest book ‘Hand, Horse & Motor’ about the development of the lawn mower industry in the United States. Jim found out about the new museum through The Old Lawnmower Club, of which he and Clive are both members. The Club has over 500 members across the world and is open to anyone with an interest in old mowers, with the aim to promote the collection, preservation and display of lawn mowers.
Jim said “I am very impressed with the Heritage Centre and the Museum of Gardening. I am struggling to get others enthusiastic enough to create a museum similar to this back home!”
The Budding Foundation Museum of Gardening can be found at the South Downs Heritage Centre at South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks. The Budding Foundation raises money for local young people in need and entry to the museum is completely free of charge. For more information about the charity that run the museum, visit or contact Clive Gravett on 07833 306619.


Heritage Centre Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday: 9am - 5:30pm
Sunday: 10am - 4:30pm

The Barn Coffee Shop & Restaurant Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday: 9am - 5:30pm
Sunday: 10am - 4:30pm

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Tates Of Sussex

The South Downs Heritage Centre is located at South Downs Nurseries, part of the Tates of Sussex Garden Centre Group