Barford (Agricultural) Limited made a range of small lightweight garden tractors at their works at Belton near Grantham, Lincs. in the post-war years. Their original Barford Atom machine was introduced in the late 1940s and came in two versions, the "single" or 2-wheel" version. It had a 11/4hp Villiers engine with a meagre fuel consumption of 1 gallon every 8 hours. Power was transmitted through a reduction gear and chain drive to the wheels. The "single" in effect had two pneumatic-tyred wheels side-by-side underneath the engine and cost '62 10s in 1950, whereas the conventional two-wheel model cost '69 10s.
The Barford Atom model 15 replaced the original model in 1951. It had a 11/2hp Villiers engine with V-belt drive to an enclosed reduction gearbox and had two forward gears giving 11/2mph or 3mph. It was advertised as the "All The Year Round One Machine, 20 Different Jobs", and cost '84 10s in 1952, excluding attachments. Attachments were available for hedge trimming, grass cutting, hay sweeping, potato lifting, disc harrowing, drag harrowing, seed sowing, spraying, ploughing, hoeing, ridging, cultivating, log sawing, earth dumping, trailer towing, snow ploughing, water pumping, fertilizer spreading, rotorvating and plant pot washing.
The 1959 Chelsea Flower Show provided the horticultural public with the launch of the Barford Atom model 30. There were two engine options here, either a 3hp Villiers Mk15 or a 41/2hp Clinton. Again power was transmitted via a V-belt drive to a two-speed gear system with a lever-operated jockey pulley to engage drive to the wheels and the rotorvator attachment.
Two-wheeled tractors were often used with a trailer to move materials around, and Barford were no exception in offering a 71/2cwt trailer with internal expanding brake shoes. A wooden platform seat was provided for the driver and both sides and rear tailboard could be removed for easy loading. In addition, a steel sided 5cwt tipping dump truck with its own parking brake was also manufactured for the Atom range.
Oscillating cutter bar attachments, commonly called finger bar mowers, were offered in 3 sizes for the Atom. Described in a 1950 catalogue as "an invaluable accessory for private gardens, nurseries and estates", a 3ft bar cost '17 10s but was also available in 18" or 2ft widths. These were centrally mounted on the front of the tractor with an independent clutch to engage the drive. Barford also entered the lawnmower market in the 1960s offering a rotary mower called the Rotomo. This cost GBP30 and had a 98cc two-stroke engine, which was claimed to have ample power for the 18" rotary cutter.