We had a lovely visitor to our stand at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, Mrs Brooks, who was celebrating her 80th Birthday. Mrs Brookes came to see us after we were contacted by their daughter, who informed us of some rather special collections they have.
Mrs Brookes is in fact a cousin of Vincent and Norman Hartley (founders of V & N Hartley) and was called Miss Hartley before she got married. She remembers the two brothers well and even brought a family photograph of her parents with Vincent to show us.
After a lovely chat about the Hartley brothers’ many inventions, they told us that they had a potato ricer that was invented in the early years and sent us the following image:
She then asked if we would like to have the ricer for our reception history display, and we were delighted when it arrived at our office last week.
Mrs Brookes’ enduring memories of Vincent Hartley, were of his innovative inventions such as the pre-sown grass seeds and the 2oz balance. She had seen the clever Billiard Lights he designed for use over a table, and was also aware of his wartime innovation, like the dipped headlight cowl.
Vincent was a gentleman of great ingenuity and was constantly producing new ideas. Many of his ideas were labour-saving and also reflected his keen problem-solving mind. His ideas were wide ranging and always pertinent. On the Chelsea Stand surrounded by the very best of garden design and plantsmanship, it was apt to remember that Vincent had a genuine love of all things horticultural and was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Below you can see images of his Headlamp Cowl (used in the 2nd W.W.), Metal Labels (manufactured by the Hartley brothers and sold in their thousands) and Balansa Scoop (2og balance scoop & original instructions). We do hope you find this as interesting as we have!