A common complaint in the years prior to 1943 was about the heavy growth of grass on Lorn Park which reduced the scoring value of shots played along the ground.
In 1942-43 it was reported that Norm Mudd was constructing a motor mower with a four foot cut and the comment was made: “To those members who followed the small mower seemingly interminable distances, the coming of the new mower is awaited with a silent prayer.”
Norm’s mower, powered by an old Essex motorcar and constructed from scratch, came into use in the 1943-44 season and was of great benefit in improving outfield conditions. The 1943-44 Annual Report of the Maitland District Cricket Club paid the following tribute to Norm and his mower: “Lorn Park was again the Club’s home ground and was generally kept in very fair condition. That the ground was always fast due to the fact that the motor mower constructed by club members during the off-season functioned right up to expectations and whereas the ground was previously mown about once a season, it was mown nearly every week. Consequently the ground kept improving and will continue to do so, to the undoubted gratification of both players and spectators. The more the mower is used, the more we realise what the club owes to Norman Mudd who was the guiding light in its construction.”
Dave Rutherford later recalled:”As a young boy, I can still remember seeing some of the present cricketers of that time learning to drive while driving this mower around Lorn Park at between 20-30 miles an hour.”
In addition to the mower, Norm was also mainly responsible for the construction of a sight screen at the Oval in 1941 – a project that had been mooted many years earlier .
The Maitland teams enjoyed considerable success in the Newcastle competition. Their best season was in 1943-44 when they won the first and third grade premierships, the club championship and all three finals.