Most UK machines are front loaders. They sell top loaders here in France, but never fancied one because we Brits nearly always fit them under a counter top as part of a kitchen or ute room. The OP's machine must be quite old - modern machines use sophisticated motors you could never mess with because everything is wired though a printed circuit board- and they have been like that for years, albeit with grooved-belt drive in earlier versions. My present machine was bought in the UK 2012 and runs from dead slow to 1200rpm electronically, direct drive. Downside is that they are not economically repairable like our 1960's Hotpoint twintub. That was little more than a motorised paddle in a tub, and took all day Saturday to do the weekly wash, rinse and spin chores aided by a pair of wooden tongs!