Back in the eighties there were some petrol powered Flandria cylinder owners being sold in the UK. Can't remember who by but the distinguishing feature was that the drive to the cylinder and rear roller was, I think, by large nylon? gears rather than chains. I believe that they were made in Belgium and that at one time they may have been distributed by Victa as an addition to their range of rotaries.
Google throws up a few hits , mainly related to entries in auctions and side wheel push machines but nothing of much interest. Does anyone have knowledge, publicity material or even a machine lurking in a shed?!
I had not heard of that brand until now. The English language Wiki says "Flandria a bicycle manufacturer located in West Flanders that also manufactures mopeds, lawnmowers, and motorbikes."
That makes sense. I believe that there may also have been a connection with the Claeys agricultural machinery company.
Further to my original post it appears that I was mistaken in thinking that there was a Victa connection. However Victa parts books of the 80s do show three cylinder mowers but another mystery is that one year they are listed as Swordsman and the next as Lawnsman . I wonder who manufactured them? Another mystery for future historians!
Cannot say I have ever heard of Flandria mowers, mopeds yes.
As for the Victa machines, I thought they came from a New Zealand company ?
Likewise I have not seen or heard about Flandria mowers but like wristpin I have seen that the sidewheel mower on tbe internet was badged Claeys Flandria. Claeys were/are indeed from Belgium and made farm machinery most notably combine harvesters, the company became Sperry New Holland and eventually the New Holland company of today. Where garden machinery sits in among the history is any body's guess, maybe one of our continental followers can throw some light on the subject?
Re Victa mowers they very much an Australian company although I understand they are now owned by Briggs and Stratton.
Victa mowers they very much an Australian company
Yep, and the 1952 prototype still exists:
Flandria was owned by the family Claeys. In the fifties two brothers got trouble and they split up the production plant in two by building a wall in it! Brother 1 produced under the name Claeys Flandria and brother 2 under the brand Superia. Last year I restored a Superia mower with Briggs & Stratton engine. In The Netherlands and Belgium you can find Flandria and Superia mowers quite easy. Spare parts are no longer available.
That's interesting , and a little reassuring that I didn't dream it! Strange the way business partner brothers fall out, I know of a couple of instances within ten miles of home.
On a lighter note there's a spoof advertisement running on UK TV for Twix chocolate bars in which the brothers Twix have a falling out and have separate factories next door to each other!
I viewed your post on the Ipad and there was no sign of the images but have just seen them on the PC and they are just as I remembered them. Do they have the nylon gears that i believe were shown in the literature that I saw in the 1980s?
Yes, that's correct. Plastic tooth gears.
Arnaud, many thanks for that information and those photos.
I still own and use a Flandria cylinder (about 22") motor mower. I was looking for a new, fairly large mower when I moved into a fairly large married quarter at RAF Coltishall at the start of a 3 year tour there in early 1991. A garden Centre in Norwich offered me deal on an ex-demonstrator Flandria, which I had never heard off, for about £200 and so I bought it. I don't know when the factory ceased production but the first time I needed a new clutch cable inner no spares suppliers could find a trace of the company. A bicycle brake cable has sufficed ever since! Mine is fitted with a Tecumseh engine, license built in Italy, and of course Tecno Motor have also gone bust; however, I know a very good garden machinery engineer locally and he manages to keep getting me spares that will fit when I need them. The mower still works perfectly and the nylon/plastic gear train on the left hand sie of the chassis has never given me any problems and makes for a reasonably quiet operation, it just needs greasing every now and again via the convenient grease nipples accessible once the side cover has been removed.
Well, that's the icing on the cake to find one alive and well in the UK. Any chance of an image of this working example?
Never mind the icing on the cake, that's jam and cream in the middle as well!
It Just goes to show that there are treasures out there as yet undiscovered.
I know this is a very old post but I came across it when doing some research about an old mower we have in our shed... please see photos - is this the mower you're referring to?
Well, it says Flandria on it but not as I Remember from the 1980s - however , undoubtedly is . I seem to think that the ones that I saw were a silvery / gunmetal grey.
Your machine’s Briggs engine will have Model, Type and Code numbers stamped into the engine cowling , probably on the vertical face on the carburettor / fuel tank face of the cowling. First two numbers of the code are the year, than the day and month. 81, 91, 01 etc
The ones I have seen were silver/ gunmetal grey for sure . Nylon gears also. Only ever seen a couple and both had Briggs engines.
The Victa Swordsman looks like a rebadged Flandria . See brochure on ' Outdoor King forum' from Australia. Sorry I don.t know how to insert a link.
Lawnmaster cylinder mowers assembled in Norwich with Honda engines also looked like Rover/Masport as did the ones badged Honda painted silver in 16, 20 and 26 inch cut versions