Quiz 2023

November 25, 2023 in Club News

Here are twelve questions for a short quiz.

These very random questions relate to horticultural items; technical knowledge is not required but a bit of guesswork might be useful.

A pencil and paper is handy to write down the answers.

As always, the answers (which are sometimes much longer than the questions) are at the bottom of the page.


Q1: What colour were Dixon machines in the UK?

1: An easy question to start with: All sold in the UK, the vintage Dixon ZTR (zero turn mowers) and the Ford and Homelite ranges of lawn and garden tractors used what paint colour?

A: Blue
B: Green
C: Yellow

Q2: Wolf rechargeable tools?

2: In the 1970s, Wolf Garden Tools were advertising their Power Pack System. This consisted of a rechargeable battery that could be used with a range of attachments – a very popular system used by major manufacturers today but appears not to be a new idea as Wolf was advertising it fifty years ago. Items were a shrub trimmer which could have a long handle attached for also being a grass trimmer, and a 35cm double-sided hedge trimmer. A third item that used the same rechargeable battery was also sold – but what was it?

A: Torch
B: Powered secateurs
C: Garden sprayer

Q3: Who did Allen buy in 1983?

3. After Flymos’ hover mower patent ran out, many manufacturers started to produce similar machines. Allen Power Equipment Ltd, which is known for making numerous models of horticultural machinery, eventually included hover mowers. In 1983, which manufacturer of hover mowers did Allen purchase?

A: Crown
B: Flymo
C: Black & Decker

Q4: What did Westwood sell?

4. Before starting to manufacture their Gazelle lawn and garden tractors in the 1970s, which American-made lawn tractors did Westwood Engineering Ltd import and sell in the UK?

A: Countax
B: Wolf
C: Dynamark

Q5: Which decade?

5. Electric strimmers/trimmers seem to have been around for a long time and early domestic models have been made by Black & Decker, Qualcast, Toro and AL-KO. But in which decade did Flymo decide to join the game and introduce its first electric trimmers? The models were the Mini-Trim and the Multi-Trim. And for an extra bonus point, can you name the exact year?

A: 1960s
B: 1980s
C: 2000s
……………………..and in which year?

Q6: What did Zundapp make?

6. The German company Zundapp made a range of motorbikes, scooters, microcars, and outboard motors that were sold in the UK in the 1950s and ’60s. But in the 1970s they also made which horticultural item that was sold in the UK?

A: Lawnmowers
B: Woodchippers
C: Hedgecutters

Q7: What colours are Bolens machines?

7. Starting in 1959, Bolens lawn and garden tractors and rear-engine riders have been available in the UK. But what colour schemes have they been painted?

A: Red and white
B: Gold and white
C: Green and white
D: Green and Yellow

Q8: What was the Huff-N-Puff?

8. Bob Andrews Ltd, The Garden Machine Centre, Sunningdale, Berkshire retailed a varied range of labour-saving machines. These included the popular Cyclone lawn spreader, the Spintrim lawn edger, and the Spurspike lawn aerator (it had a bucket at the front which could be filled with stones or sand etc to give added weight). In the late 1970s, Andrews sold a machine called the Huff-N-Puff, but what was the Huff-N-Puff ?

A: A petrol-powered outdoor vacuum that could suck up leaves and blow away litter.
B: A handheld electric leaf blower that could convert to suck up leaves into a barrow or trailer.
C: A pedestrian-pushed rotary brush that created a blowing effect as it swept.
…..Three intriguing answers above, but which one seems most likely?

Q9: What was the Farmer 300B?

9. The AL-KO Farmer 300B, Texas TV3, and Mountfield M1 Gardener are all examples of what type of machine?

A: Strimmers
B: Garden cultivators
C: Powered barrows

Q10: What year did Honda launch their mowers in the UK?

10. In which decade did Honda launch their first range of lawnmowers in the UK? And for a bonus point can you name the year?

A: 1960s
B: 1970s
C: 1980s
……………………..and in which year? Have a guess!

Q11: What was Spearwells’ lawn rake called?

11: In the late 1960s, Spearwell Tools Ltd (a combination of the companies Brades, Elwell and Spear & Jackson) were advertising a hand rake that was used for scarifying a lawn – it had curved tines (as in the image). This tool was pushed and pulled through the lawn to remove dead and matted grass and thatch. What was this lawn rake called?

A: The Scrake
B: The Moss-Boss
C: The Thatcher-Catcher

Q12: How much did this Texas hosepipe cost in 1980?

12: We probably all remember the DIY superstores called Focus DIY, Great Mills, Do-It-All and Texas DIY; it doesn’t seem that long since we were shopping in them. The domestic garden machines and products they sold are immortalised in archives of newspaper and television adverts. In 1980, Texas DIY was advertising many things including the £14.99 Yeoman Ballbarrow which was a small galvanised barrow with a football-sized sphere instead of a solid tyre – these barrows will now be 43 years old! They were also selling ‘Texas Reinforced Hosepipe’ which came in 50′ lengths. How much did their 50′ hosepipe cost?

A: £3.49
B: £10.99
C: £15.49


1: A: Blue. Dixon, Ford and Homelite all used blue as one of their main paint colours although all three also used white/cream for other tinwork and wheels.

2: C: Garden Sprayer. The rectangular-shaped sprayer could hold 3 litres and had a lance and nozzle much like a normal pressure sprayer. Complete with a battery and charger it cost £52 in 1978. The battery could recharge in 40-60 minutes.

3: A: Crown. Allen purchased Crown Horticultural Equipment Ltd, manufacturers of 2-stroke, 4-stroke, and electric hover mowers, in a £500,000 deal in May 1983.

4: C: Dynamark.  Westwood sold the USA-made Dynamark lawn tractors in the UK in the 1970s. The range included the 32″ cutting width D32R, 36″ D36R, and D36E and D1036E with electric start. There were also rear-engine rider models, though none appear to have survived in the UK – but the top-spec 8/36E with electric starter and headlights was £365 in 1973. For answers A and B, neither are USA makes, Countax being UK and Wolf being German…although Wolf did sell USA Yard-Man riders and lawn tractors rebranded as Wolf in the UK in the 1970s.

5: B: 1980s (1987). Flymo introduced their first electric strimmers in 1987. The models were the Mini-Trim and the Multi-Trim. The Multi-Trim could be converted to a lawn edger by twisting the cutting head. With an investment of £500K, the two models had taken three years to develop.

6: A: The German company Zundapp branched out into making lawnmowers. Several models of their two-stroke and electric-powered mowers were advertised and sold here in the early 1970s, but none seem to have survived. The mowers had yellow mower decks, red engine covers, and chrome handles.

7: A, B, C, and D: All the answers are correct. To mention a few: the Husky 800 and some Ride-a-matics were painted gold with white wheels; the early Ride-a-matics were green with yellow wheels; the Estate Keeper and Lawn Keeper were white with red wheels and detailing. Later Bolens were white and green.

8: A: The Huff-N-Puff was a petrol-powered pedestrian-pushed vacuum leaf collector – a mini Billy Goat vacuum for the smaller garden. It sucked the leaves or debris into a rear grass bag that hung from the handles. An optional wand (a flexible pipe that attached at the front end) enabled suction in confined spaces; the wand could also be attached at the rear, instead of the bag, and then it would be able to blow puddles off driveways and paths or “dislodge stubborn litter from shrub beds”. The Huff-N-Puff was £199+vat in 1979.

9: B: Garden Cultivators. In the 1980s, the AL-KO Farmer cultivator was available as a 3.5hp petrol or 1000-watt electric model; the Texas cultivators were advertised with 3hp – 5hp Briggs & Stratton engines, and the Mountfield M1 Gardener was shown with 3.5hp and 4hp Briggs & Stratton engines.

10: B: 1970s (1978). Honda launched their first mower, the rotary HR21, in the UK in August 1978.

11: A: The Scrake. Spearwells’ lawn rake was called the scrake – a portmanteau of the words scarify and rake. However, I think they should have called it the Moss-Boss, they really missed a marketing trick there. In 1968 the scrake was priced at £2.13s.6d – but the Moss-Boss name would have commanded a greater price.

12: A: £3.49. 50′ of reinforced hosepipe from Texas DIY in 1980 cost a bargain £3.49, and had been reduced from £3.99. Currently, in 2023, B&Q are selling a similar product for £19.95, I guess it’s all relative.

Phew! They took some compiling!

Comments are closed.