Other Models

Prior to the First World War, the firm was offering thirteen models of frames, pits and other plant protectors, besides the Loughborough models. These were mostly a variation on a theme, with all the frames being constructed in 1½in. tongue and groove boards; the lights in normal 2in. red deal, with 21oz. sheet glass bedded in putty and painted with three coats of white lead. The bars were 2in. by 1½in. They were all available for dispatch to any English railway station.

Over the following two decades the range slowly shrank; by the late 1930s, it had been reduced to just a handful. Following World War Two, when wood was in short supply, the range appears to have been reduced to three; the 900, a span-roof frame, the 661, a lean-to frame and the 662 garden lights.

F1 - ¾ Span Melon Frame

F1 – ¾ Span Melon Frame

A span roofed frame with the lights being held open by iron legs. Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-light variants, all 6ft. wide, and ranging from 4ft. upto 24ft. in length, in 4ft. increments.

F2/No. 658 - Cucumber and Melon Frame

F2/No. 658 – Cucumber and Melon Frame

This was a standard lean-to frame, with sliding lights and was being sold by the firm as early as 1877, when it was being offered in a three-light frame configuration, measuring 9ft. x 6ft. By the early 1910s, then known as the F2 mode, it was available in a large range of sizes, including 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-light variants, all 6ft. wide, and ranging from 4ft. upto 24ft. in length, in 4ft. increments.

In the mid-1920s it was known as model No. 658 having lights made of 2in. timber, fitted with an iron handle, glazed with 21oz. glass bedded in putty and well sprigged, and painted with three coats. The frame had wooden ends and sides made using 1¼in. tongue and groove boards held together with wood angle blocks and bolts. It was meant to be placed directly on the ground but equally be placed upon top a brick base. It was only available in one width – 6ft. and in 4ft. length increments from 4ft. (1-lights) upto 20ft. (5-lights).

It was still available upto World War Two.

In 1922[1] they sold six 3-light (12ft. x 6ft.) frames, to be used for growing melons, to the Duke of Bedford, Woburn Abbey. The following year Mr. S.C. Croker of Kettering purchased a 90ft. x 12ft. twin span greenhouse, together with seven 3-light frames and one 2-light frame[2]. They regularly displayed the frame at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Spring Show (Chelsea), where in 1925 they sold an 8ft. x 6ft. model to Mrs. French, Wellington College[3]. In 1937, Loughborough Corporation, purchased a heated 30ft. x 12ft. partitioned span greenhouse with a boarded base, together with a 24ft. x 6ft. frame to be installed in Queen’s Park, Granby Street[4]. The following year, Walter S. Ferris of High Warren, East Horsley, Sussex purchased a 30ft. x 12ft. span carnation house, portable staging and a 24ft. x 6ft. 6-light frame[5].

No. 658
F3/No. 654 - Span Plant Protector

F3/No. 654 – Span Plant Protector

Superficially similar to the F1 model, it was available in 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-light variants, all 6ft. wide, and ranging from 4ft. upto 24ft. in length, in 4ft. increments.

By the mid-1920s it was being marketed as model No. 654. The lights were fitted with short iron opening rods and were capable of being turned over so as to allow access to the inside of the frame. It still had solid wood ends with wood sides made of 11in. by 1¼in. tongue and grooved boards held together with wood angle blocks and bolts. Again, it was only available in one width – 6ft. and in 4ft. length increments from 4ft. (2-lights) upto 20ft. (10-lights).

It was still in production in 1936.

At the 1924 Royal Horticultural Society’s Spring Show (Chelsea), they sold a 6ft. x 4ft. to the Marchioness of Breadalbane[6].

No. 654
F4 - ¾-Span Forcing Frame

F4 – ¾-Span Forcing Frame

Designed to be placed on a brick base (not supplied, although plans were provided free of charge), the lights were held open by iron legs. Available in 2-, 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-light variants, all 6ft. wide, and ranging from 8ft. upto 24ft. in length, in 4ft. increments.

F5/No. 660 - Lean-to Forcing Pit

F5/No. 660 – Lean-to Forcing Pit

Again, it was designed to be placed upon a brick base (not supplied), typically adjoining a greenhouse or other such structure. The pit was available in four lengths (8ft., 12ft., 16ft. and 20ft. (2-, 3-, 4- and 5-lights respectively)) and three widths (3ft., 4ft. and 6ft.).

In the mid-1920s and mid-1930s it was referred to as model No. 660. It had wood rafters with wood ridge and plate for fixing on the brickwork in front of a greenhouse or against a wall. The lights were made of 2in. timber glazed with 21oz. glass held in position with putty, well sprigged and painted with 3 coats. They were attached to the frame such that they could be easily removed when required and fitted with an iron handle and a long and short iron rod for opening purposes. Whilst the frame was offered in 4ft. and 5ft. widths, other widths could be quoted for. They were only normally available in three lengths 12ft., 16ft. and 20ft. (3-, 4- and 5-lights).

No. F5
No. F5

The only known record of a purchase of No. 660 was in 1936, when Samuel Rolfe & Sons, builders, of Cheveley, near Newmarket, bought a 46ft. x 4ft. 6in. frame on behalf of a client, who lived at Clarehaven Stables, Bury Road, Newmarket, Suffolk.

No. 660

 

F7/No. 659 - Lean-to Forcing Pit

F7/No. 659 – Lean-to Forcing Pit

Similar to F2, the cucumber and melon frame, it was designed to be placed on a brick base, instead of a boarded base. It was available in two widths 6ft. and 7ft. 6in. The former was available in 6 lengths (from 8ft. to 28ft. in 4ft. increments (2-7 lights), whilst the latter was only available in three lengths (12ft. to 20ft. (3-5 lights)).

In the mid-1920s and mid-1930s it was normally only available in a 6ft. width but other widths could be quoted for. In terms of length these ranged from 4ft. (1-light) upto 20ft. (5-lights). in 4ft. increments.

 

No. 659
F8/No. 655 - Span Forcing Pit

F8/No. 655 – Span Forcing Pit

Similar to F2, the span plant protector, it was like the lean-to forcing pit designed to fit onto a brick base. It came in four lengths (8ft., 12ft., 16ft. and 20ft. (4-, 6-, 8- and 10-lights) but only one width, 5ft.

In the mid-1920s it was known as model 655 with glass ends, it was available in 5 length variants from 4ft. (2-lights) upto 20ft. (10-lights), all 6ft. wide.

It was still in production in the mid-1930s.

 

No. 655
F9 - Border Frame

F9 – Border Frame

Reminiscent of a cross between an ‘A-frame’ and an elongated wigwam tent structure, these were small very portable frames. 2ft. 6in. wide and 18inches high, they were sold in 6ft. lengths, with ends available at extra cost.

F10 - Border Protector

F10 – Border Protector

This was a smaller and narrower version of the F3, the span plant protector. Constructed with a 1in. thick boarded base with 1½in. lights, glazed with 21oz. glass and painted with three coats “good oil colour”, it was sold in four sizes, 6ft. x 3ft., 6ft. x 4ft., 12ft. x 3ft. and 12ft. x 4ft.

F11 - Cheap Violet or Border Frame

F11 – Cheap Violet or Border Frame

A lean-to version of F10, the border protector, with hinged lights, it was available in two lengths, 4ft., and 8ft., and two widths, 3ft. and 4ft.

F12/No. 661 - Cheap Violet or Border Frame

F12/No. 661 – Cheap Violet or Border Frame

A sliding light version of F11, the Cheap Violet or Border Frame, it was available in one width 4ft. and four lengths, 3ft., 6ft., 9ft. and 12ft.

In the mid-1920s and mid-1930s it was marketed as model No. 661 and still of “cheap construction”. The sliding lights measured 3ft. x 4ft and made out of 1½in. timber. The frame was 4ft. wide with wood ends and sides made out of 1in. tongue and grooved boards supported by wood angle block and bolts. It could be placed either directly on the ground or on a brick base and was available in 5 lengths 3ft to 15ft. and was 14in. high at the rear and 7in. at the front.

The lean-to frame, still known as model No. 661, was still available into the 1950s and 1960s. In the early 1950s it was constructed using best quality hardwood throughout and by the 1960s in Red Cedar. In the 1950s, the sliding lights were still 3ft. x 4ft. and made out of 1½in. timber; however, by the 1960s the size had increase to 3ft. 6in. x 4ft. The base was still made using tongue and groove boards and bolted together and painted with one coat of oil. It was available in four lengths, 3ft. 6in., 7ft., 10ft. 6in. and 14ft.

In 1924, they sold a 4ft. x 3ft. model to Mrs. Nicholson of Five Ashes, East Sussex[7].

No. 661
No. 661
F13 - Special Cheap Border Frame

F13 – Special Cheap Border Frame

A small 3ft. x 4ft or 4ft. square lean-to with a single sliding light; it was constructed with a 1in. thick boarded base and 1½in. lights painted with 2 coats.

Garden Frame Lights/No. 662(a-f)

Garden Frame Lights/No. 662(a-f)

These were individual lights, based upon those used to make the greenhouses and protectors. They came in two sizes:

  1. x 4ft. (approx.) constructed of 2in. thick well-seasoned red deal, with 2in. x 1½in. bars; available either glazed with 21oz. glass and painted with 3 coats or unglazed and unpainted.
  2. x 3ft. (approx.) constructed with 1½in. thick well-seasoned red deal and 1½in. x 1in. bars, they were only available glazed (21oz.) and painted (3 coats).
No. 662

In the mid-1920s the frame lights were known as model No. 662. Only available in one size, 6ft. x 4ft., they were made of 2in. timber with iron strengthening bar and iron handle. They could be supplied either:

  1. Painted three coats and glazed with 21oz. glass
  2. Painted one coat, unglazed but glass supplied.
  3. Painted one coat and unglazed.
  4. Unpainted and unglazed.

 In the mid-1930s, still known as model 662, it was available in five variants, although still only in one size, 6ft. x 4ft.:

  1. Glazed with 21oz. glass, painted with 3 coats.
  2. Unglazed, glass supplied, painted 1 coat.
  3. Unglazed, glass not supplied, painted 1 coat.
  4. Unglazed, glass not supplied, unpainted.
  5. Glazed with 21oz. glass, painted with 1 coat
  6. Glazed with 21oz. glass, painted with 2 coats.
Nos. 671 and 672

Nos. 671 and 672

Two new models of garden frames were introduced in the 1930s; No. 671 was a span frame and No. 672 a ¾ span frame. Both models were of similar construction with the wooded base consisting of 1in. tongue and groove match boarding, painted with three coats of good oil colour. It was dispatched as a flat pack, with wood angle blocks and bolts for connecting the base. The lights were made of 1½in. timber, glazed with 21oz. British sheet glass and well sprigged, and painted with three coats of genuine white lead. Similar to other models the lights were hinged so that they could turn right over, giving access to the frame. Each light had an iron handle and single iron adjustable opening rod for ventilating purposes. It was recommended that the frame was placed preferably on a low brick wall or at least one course of bricks. The lights were finished in white and the base and solid gables in a lead colour.

Both models were only available in one size, 6ft. x 4ft. The span roof model (No. 671) was 12in. high at the sides and 22in in the centre; the ¾ span (No. 672) was 12in high at the front, 17in. at the back and 24in. in the centre.

No. 671
No. 672
No. 990

No. 990

In the 1950s/60s the firm sold a 5ft. long and 3ft. 6in. wide span garden frame known as model No. 900.

In the early 1950s the lights were constructed in new red deal and the base in reconditioned timber, treated with woodworm preservative. Surprisingly there was a hardwood option available at a 33.3% premium. By the 1960s, the firm was constructing them using Red Cedar throughout.

It was glazed with horticultural glass, bedded in putty and well sprigged. Similar to earlier models the lights cold be turned right over, allowing access to in the inside of the frame.

No. 900

References:

  1. The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Record Office: Ref DE2121/51.

  2. The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Record Office: Ref DE2121/51.

  3. Private Records.

  4. The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Record Office: Ref DE2121/53.

  5. Private Records.

  6. Private Records.

  7. Private Records.