Club News

by alan

2021 VHGMC Calendar

January 1, 2021 in Club News

There is a new 2021 VHGMC Calendar available for download. This has been created by Robert Page and contains some brilliant archive photographs.

The calendar can be downloaded from the Members Download Page .

A comment can be left in the forum to let us know you have downloaded the calendar. 




by alan

12 Christmas Questions 2020

December 18, 2020 in Articles, Club News

It is once again December and here are twelve horticultural questions we have gathered together to pass a few minutes.  The answers are at the bottom of the page. 

Last year’s questions can be found here: 2019 Christmas Questions.


Questions:

Q1: Jonsered make a range of machines, but nationality was the founder?

1. Jonsered are famous for chainsaws, but also make a huge range of mowers, tillers, cultivators and powered equipment. Jonsered is based in the Swedish town of Jonsered. It was founded in 1832, but what nationality was the gentleman that founded the company?

A: Scottish
B: American
C: Australian

—————-

 

Q2: What does the Husqvarna logo represent?

2. We are all familiar with Husqvarna. Their current logo is a development of their original logo but what does it represent?

A: Cross section of their first engine crankcase
B: Gun sight viewed from the end of the barrel
C: Their family emblem from Huskvarna, Sweden. 


—————–


Q3: What was the distinguishing feature of the Wheel Horse B145 tractor?

3. In 1975 in the UK Wheel Horse launched the model B145 tractor which was aimed at warehouse and factory use for moving goods about. But what was the distinguishing feature of this machine that meant it required more than one battery?

A: It had electric power steering 
B: It was powered by electric
C: It had an electric fork-lift as standard


——————


Q4: AYP in Orangeburg produced products carrying which brand name?

4. American Yard Products, better known as AYP (and associated with Electrolux), is based in Orangeburg, South Carolina. They produce a huge range of badge-engineered machines. But which of the following names did they make branded products for which were sold in the UK? 

A: Victa
B: Black & Decker 
C: Flymo

——————–


Q5: Allen sold the Gutbrod HB46B mower with what feature?

5.  In the mid 1980’s, Allen Power Equipment were advertising the Gutbod HB46B lawn mower. This was a really basic pedestrian pushed mower with a pressed steel shell, 47cm width of cut, 3.5hp Briggs and Stratton engine with recoil start and a maximum 4″ cut height. It cost £199.50 ex vat in the 1980’s. But what outstanding feature was it advertised as having? 

A: It had telescopic handles to suit all users across Europe
B: It had the largest grass collecting box in Europe
C: It had a flexible yet reinforced nylon cutting blade to withstand damage, an industry first in Europe. 

———————-


Q6: The Gilson YT11E had an unusual feature, but what?

6. Also in the 1980’s, Ensign Distribution Ltd of Sedgefield were advertising the Gilson YT11E garden tractor, available with an 11hp Briggs and Stratton engine and either a five speed manual transmission (£1675+vat) or hydrostatic drive (£2083+vat). They were able to take mower decks, dozer blade, snow blower and a rear tiller. But what unusual feature did the tractors have that needed to be done in order to start the engine? 

A: A pin code needed to be typed in on a keypad
B: A button on the steering wheel needed to be held in for five seconds
C: The gear/hydro shift selector had to be in a specific position labelled ‘Stop and Start’

———————


Q7: Was it the Merry Tiller?

7. In the 1975 budget VAT was added to domestic use horticultural machines at the rate of 25%. The rate for commercial machines was 8%. At the time the definition of a commercial machine was (and I quote) “entirely subjective according to the manufacturers own estimation of his product” although there were guidelines. Regardless of it’s capabilities, which of these cultivators was classed as domestic in 1975? 

A: Howard Gem cultivators
B: Merry Tiller cultivators
C: Honda F80K cultivator

——————–


Q8: Do you remember the Guiness Book of World Records?

8. How many of us can remember getting the Guinness Book of World Records at Christmas? In 1989 a diesel  Iseki SG15 ride-on mower was in the Guinness Book of World Records because it had been driven between Harlow and Southend Pier, it’s a 40 mile distance between the two, but why did this feat enable it to be a record breaker? 

A: It was driven backwards the entire 40 mile distance in 5 hours and 51 minutes breaking the previous record by 34 minutes for a ride-on-mower in reverse covering that distance
B: It was driven back and forth between the two places until it had racked up 3034 miles
C: It achieved 34 mpg over an uninterupted 40 mile distance making it the most economical ride-on-mower on sale in the UK.

——————–

Q9: Who was based in Sheffield and originally started in 1730?

9. Garden centres sell a range of hand tools from companies such as Wilkinson Sword, Draper and Fiskars, with some other names just used for branding tools and marketing purposes. But which name, that can be found on hand tools, was originally started in 1730 and based in Sheffield? Was it: 

A: Ceka (CK) Tools 
B: Spearwell 
C: Burgon & Ball

————————-


Q10: Which company is associated with the Waterolla?

10. The 1970’s ‘Waterolla’ garden roller that could be filled with water or sand and now a much copied design was originally a product of which company? 

A: Poly-Gard Products
B: Kirk-Dyson
C: Gardena




————————–

Q11: What AL-KO product from the three would be easiest to get into an Austin Metro car?

11. An easy question: In the 1980’s which of these bright yellow painted machines sold by AL-KO Britain LTD would be easiest to fold up and without scratching the paintwork get into the back of a desirable Austin Metro car of the time? 

A: AL-KO Alkotrac 
B: AL-KO Corvet City 
C: AL-KO Farmer scythe



————


Q12: Who made the M3, M30, Super and Monarch models?

12. A range of machines, produced from the 1960’s and later, with the advertised model numbers and names of M3, M30, Super and Monarch, were by which manufacturer

A: Mountfield – retailed under the Mountfield name
B: Morrison – retailed under the Flymo name
C: Murray – retailed under the Hayter name

————


Answers:


1: A: Scottish. Jonsered was founded in 1832 by Scotsman William Gibson. The company moved into making chainsaws in the mid 20th century. Jonsered was sold to Electrolux in 1978.

2: B: The Husqvarna logo is based on the image of a gun sight. The company was originally founded as the Jonkoping Rifle Factory in the 1600’s producing about 1500 musket pipes per year. Later, the company name changed to the Husqvarna Rifle Factory.

3: B: The Wheel Horse B145 was a battery powered tractor sold in the UK as a warehouse tug. It was based on an equivalent battery-powered garden tractor model by Elec-Trak, a company which Wheel Horse had purchased from General Electric. 

4: C: Flymo. American Yard Products (AYP) of Orangeburg, South Carolina, produced silver painted ride-on-mowers badge engineered as Flymo from the 1980’s. AYP had company associations with Electrolux and as such produced machines under many of the Electrolux brand names including Flymo, Poulan, Bernard and Sovereign to name a few. 

5: B: The Gutbrod HB46B had the largest grassbox in Europe at the time. How well-balanced and easy to push the machine was as the grassbox filled up, particularly with wet UK grass, was perhaps open to scrutiny.  

6: A: Pin code on a keypad. The Gilson YT11E  tractor in the 1980’s featured the ECAM 2000 Computer Monitoring and Testing setup. This required the user to type in a pin number on a keypad to start the tractor rather than using a key. ECAM 2000 also told the user when to change the oil, check the tractor or battery, alerted the driver when they were in reverse gear and whenever an implement such as mower or tiller was engaged.

7: B: Merry Tiller cultivators were classed as domestic machines and subject to 25% VAT from 1975. Surprisingly, most cultivators were classed as domestic although this did change over time. Initially in 1975 only the Howard Gems, Wolseley Twin-Six cultivator, Iseki K1000 30 and Honda F80K were deemed to be commercial machines and had 8% VAT. 

8: B: The Iseki SG15 with hydrostatic drive was driven back and forth for a total of 3034 miles between Harlow and Southend Pier in 1989. This made it the longest lawnmower drive at that date and why it entered the record books. 

9: C: Burgon & Ball which still exists in Sheffield has it’s company origins starting in 1730, their name can be found on garden tools being sold in garden centres and online today. By the mid-1800’s Charles Burgon and James Ball are listed as sheep shear manufacturers in Sheffield. Later they are listed as manufacturers of sheep shears, sickles, scythes, knives and garden shears. They registered their invention for “Improvement in the manufacture of sheep shears” in 1869, selling their patent sheep shears worldwide and exhibiting at the Sydney Exhibition in 1880. By 1900 it was an international company, but by the 1920’s the production of garden equipment had outstripped that of sheep shears.

10: B: Kirk-Dyson. In the 1970’s, the Waterolla garden roller which could be filled with water was being sold by Kirk-Dyson. One partner better known as James Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame. There was also the plastic bodied Ballbarrow which has a round football-type wheel and was a design by James Dyson.

11. B: In the early 1980’s the advertised AL-KO Corvet City was a small foldable electric lawnmower that took up little space. The Alkotrac was a lawn tractor and the Farmer scythe was a reasonably sized, pedestrian machine, petrol powered with an out-front scythe attachment. It’s a reasonable assumption that more AL-KO machines have survived than Austin Metros.

12: A: Mountfield made the M3 (mower), M30 (rider mower) and the Super and Monarch cultivators. The Australian company Morrison had associated with Flymo, and also Hayter with Murray. 

Did you get them all correct? 

by alan

Around The Country With Atco

August 23, 2020 in Club News

An Atco mower at the Hereford Bowling Club in 1929. The bowling green still exists.

Successful advertising can make all the difference to a brand. Displaying a product to the public can aspire them to owning one as well as convincing them they deserve something better than bog standard. Just think how cunning  the newspapers, magazines, TV or internet adverts are at convincing us to upgrade our ideas and our spending power, too.  Joe Bloggs may only have a patch of grass big enough for a 12″ push mower but advertising will do it’s hardest to convince him that a 14″ model would make more sense, no, perhaps a 16″, or even 18″ would be better and have (unneeded) added features too, how about petrol instead of electric, and self propelled would be an advantage. Eventually that £49.99 purchase becomes £349.99 and the newly acquired mower spends several weeks being hidden in the shed, hiding from the family, like the guilty secret it is. 

The better the advert then potentially the better the merchandise will be presented to the public. That’s the theory, anyway. Paying an advertising company to create convincing sales material to sell ones horticultural machinery should be a wise move. A good advert is easy to spot, advertising boffins have obviously spent time, considered how a range of adverts look and been compiled and the resulting consistency makes the public feel reassured. 

A new fleet of Atco liveried Morris vans outside the Morris premises at Foundry Lane, Soho, Birmingham, in 1932.

As an example, in 1967 Mountfield hired the services of Robinson, Scotland and Partners to create consistent adverts for their Mountfield and Wheel Horse machinery. Additionally, manufacturers did provide copy (text), images, incentives and assist franchised dealerships with advertising. I even have a set of Flymo printing plates for dealerships to use. 

Atco was another manufacturer who, from the following adverts, hired professionals to carefully craft adverts. From around the country they used photographs of well known landmarks, pristine properties and testimonials to create the ambiance that their mowers were far superior to any other make. Have a look at the six adverts below from the likes of The Crystal Palace and the Italian garden of Lord Birkenhead and see if the adverts convince you that their machines are the very best. 


1930 Atco advert. Trent Bridge, Nottingham, scene of the first test match beginning June 13th. Also the Oval, Brisbane, Australia. Both maintained by Atco lawnmowers.

Atco lawnmower used at the Crystal Palace, London, since 1924. As shown in this 1930 advert.



Battle Abbey, Sussex, had been using Atco lawnmowers since 1922.  Advert from 1930.


An Atco lawnmower was used by Sir Algernon Guiness at his home in Henfield. The property still exists but the pristine lawn does not.

Atco mowers were used at Hawarden Castle, Flint since 1926.


Lord Birkenhead used (or rather his gardener did) an Atco mower at the Italian gardens of his residence at Charlton, Banbury.

by alan

VHGMC in the Telegraph newspaper 2009

March 3, 2018 in Club News


In April 2009 the Telegraph newspaper ran an excellent article about the VHGMC with the headline of ‘Down Tools? Not these vintage gems’.

The Telegraph article can be read online and can be found at:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningequipment/5124249/Vintage-garden-machinery-Down-tools-Not-these-vintage-gems.html


The VHGMC featured in the Telegraph newspaper in 2009 –  Click this image for a larger version

 

by alan

Ireland’s first golf course gang mower with Cletrac – 1922

August 20, 2017 in Club News

Although this article is about trialing machinery on an Irish golf course, it is also a good example of engine powered machinery and mechanisation taking over from horses.

In October 1922 A newspaper in Ireland printed the following image along with a text article, describing and depicting a tractor and set of gang mowers during a demonstration at Malone Golf Links, Dublin:

Squint at the image a bit and try to see what is shown…..


Cletrac Crawler

Being of not the best scanned quality the machinery depicted is at best blurry and indistinct. But as with many images the detail can be deciphered to a degree anyway. The means of towing the mowers is a Cletrac crawler (similar machine shown right) and the gang mowers are, as we later discovered a set of Ransomes gang mowers. 

Almost a year later in September 1923 another Irish newspaper printed the following photo shown below with the caption that ‘This motor lawn-mower is at present at work on the Malone Golf Links, Belfast. It is the first of it’s kind introduced into Ireland‘. 

From that statement we can assume it is the first golf course gang mower that they had, rather than their first mower. Image below.


The images at the top of the page show three gangs yet the image above shows more – actually five. The Cletrac model shown would also have been new around the early 1920’s too. 

Additionally some text in the 1922 newspaper with the first image tells us about the demonstration of Ransome’s triple mowers at Malone golf links, all arranged by T & J McErvel, Victoria Square, Belfast. Dealers names and addresses are always useful for research. 

The golf course had been trialing the Ransomes mowers for over twelve months – so they must have started in mid-1921. However the mowers had been drawn by a single horse with the three gang mowers cutting a seven-foot width of grass. They then tried five gangs (shown above) and had to use two light horses or a 17hp Cletrac tractor. The tractor ‘being the caterpillar type‘ does not mark or injure the ground in any way. 

McErvel, Belfast, advert showing that they were agents for Ransomes as well as having a working Cletrac tractor on their stand at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Show, May 1923.

Apparently a similar combination had been employed on the Neasden Golf Links near London and they were able to cut an area of eighty acres in four days or twenty acres per day of 7.5 hours each. The cost of the tractor was 2s per hour (so were Cletracs used on several golf courses??)  and in comparison with horses there was a saving of £7 per week after allowing for depreciation. It used to take four men and four horses one week to cut the same area of fairways. So here the Cletrac and gangs is starting to use less labour as well as being quicker and cheaper and presumably easier than using horses.

At the 1922 demonstration several golf clubs were present to see the machinery in action. Additionally Mr Tom McErvel represented the local agents, Mr J H Cathcart of Dublin represented Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies. Mr Alexander Milligan represented H.G.Burford & Co Ltd makers of the Cletrac tractor

Wonder what happened to the horses once the Cletrac and mowers took over?

A little more information about Ransomes in Ireland from an 1895 newspaper column (image below) in The Belfast Newsletter reads: “Celebrated Lawn Mowers, – A large consignment of Ransome’s famous machines has just reached their Sole Ulster Depot, and should be inspected by all lovers of nice lawns and tennis courts. These mowers have been largely supplied to local Golf Clubs, and the best families in North of Ireland. Ransome’s New Sweeping Machine for lawns, paths, and the public parks has also reached Belfast. – Address of Depot, 14 Lombard Street (T. EDENS OSBORNE’S well known Warehouse). Free trial against any other make – British or Foreign. Mowers sent carriage paid to any Railway Station in Ulster. Write for illustrated catalogue“.


1895 Ireland Ransomes mower advert

 

by alan

Newark Vintage Tractor Show Entries 2016 & Video from 2015

August 22, 2016 in Club News

VHGMC STand Newark Tractor Show 2015
Newark Vintage Tractor Show on the 12th and 13th November is fast approaching and the closing date for entries is the 16th September. 

Entry forms can be found at: http://newarkvintagetractorshow.com/exhibitors.html

The VHGMC also has a video of images from the 2015 show to see what was there: 


https://youtu.be/AnSGIvXJfC0










New Item for Club Shop

October 26, 2015 in Club News

As hinted at in the forum, there will be a new addition to the club shop’s stock ready for the Newark Show. In a complete departure from the normal stock of clothing with the club’s badge embroidered on, this new item is a “must” for any Trusty owner.

If you have a Trusty that will not disengage drive on tick over, the chances are that your clutch springs are either broken or stretched and if you continue to use it you run the risk of ruining your steering dog clutches or worse, having an accident. Now, you can buy new, replacement clutch springs to transform the performance of your Trusty.

Use the email link on the “Club Merchandise” tab at the top of the page to send our shopkeeper an email to order a pair.

by charlie

Website database cleanse

October 12, 2015 in Club News

It is now 2 years since the new website went live and time for a clean up of the website membership database. Any user id’s that have not been used for a year or more will be deactivated. If you are having problems accessing the forum please use the ‘contact’ link to inform the admin team.

Club Shop Now Online

April 9, 2015 in Club News

SnipMugsThe ideal accessories for your show exhibit. Fly the flag and show that you are part of the only club that caters for all things vintage and horticultural. Whether it’s just an enamel badge, windscreen sticker  or a weatherproof jacket there is something to suit everyone; if there is something that you would like that you can’t see, why not drop Shopkeeper a line and ask him if he can do it?
You can pay by cheque, postal order or PayPal (he even takes cash!). Distance is no object either- he has just sent a club banner to a member in Australia- so let’s see everyone sporting club clothing around the shows this year.
TShirtSnip

Stop Press- Club shop now has hats for Christmas!

November 30, 2014 in Club News

Warm hat club logo Warm hat mini GnomeNEW ITEM IN THE VHGMC CLUB SHOP.

Keep your head warm this winter!

From 1st December Fleece Hats are available from the club shop.

One size fits all with turn-up band to reveal VHGMC logo. Colour: Indigo Black with embroidered logo in green. Priced at £6.00 each + £3.00 postage. Multiple postage discounts.

Ideal stocking filler for Christmas. 

Contact Shopkeeper: Steve Woollas, 9 Ermine Drive, Navenby, Lincoln, LN5 0HB. 01522 811067. 07973 250661. stevewoollas@yahoo.co.uk