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By Royal Appointment
  • The Horticultural Trade


Early horticultural equipment built by Gibbs, circa 1900.

The horticultural trade around London was also thriving, with growers using greenhouses to provide a wider variety of flowers and edible produce. Gibbs, as usual, was ready to supply this trade with specialist equipment.

Letter from John Gibbs dated 1850, to a customer confirming an order for barrows.

‘Bedfont, November 18th 1850. Gentlemen, I will make 6 navigating barrows at 10 Shillings each with ash sides, oak base and Elm boards with a wood wheel 1 foot 6 inches high with hoop tyre and painted. J. Gibbs.’

An early Gibbs Hampton Pattern wheelbarrow.

In 1920 the firm designed and built the first Gibbs Hampton Pattern Wheelbarrow, specially designed to negotiate the narrow doorways and aisles of the greenhouses in Hampton, Middlesex where flowers, especially carnations and chrysanthemums, were grown for the London markets such as Covent Garden. The wheel was under the body of the barrow so that it could carry extra weight more easily, especially when lifting long boxes of carnations. The back came down for ease of unloading and higher sides could be added if required.

A later Hampton Pattern Wheelbarrow seen in use inside a greenhouse.

An advertisment for Gibbs horticultural equipment from 1949.

John Gibbs


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