Seventy-year-old clippers could be the oldest in the land

  • What are thought to be the oldest horse clippers in the UK have been found by manufacturers Lister as part of celebrations to mark their 100th birthday.

    Lister launched a competition last year (news, 27 November 2008) offering a new pair of limited edition golden clippers (pictured right) to the owner of the oldest horse shearers in the country.

    The competition was won by Wiltshire farmer Pippa Aakers, who found a pair of 1930s hand-powered 184 Lister clippers in an old shed on her farm.

    Pippa’s clippers were the first designed exclusively for horses, following the invention of hand-powered sheep shears in 1909, also by Lister of Gloucestershire.

    She said: “I knew the clippers were old but I didn’t realise just how old. It will be nice for them to be showcased and appreciated once again, as I’m sure in their day they would have been a valued piece of equipment.”

    The 184 clipper, with its straight blades, as opposed to the curved sheep shearing combs, was made to give a smooth finish.

    It would have been slower and more difficult to use than modern clippers due to the weight of the flexible drive hanging from the back. Remarkably the 184’s blades are interchangeable with the Lister A series which is used today.

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