Apart from originally sitting in a much larger plot and having a hedge at the front the house looks as it did when i lived in it as a child. As a kid it had a wide drive which went shortly to a garage on the left and further on in between the house and the back of the garage where there was a part we called "The Office". Originally the nursery down the lane was run from here and the daughters eventually did most of the paperwork with the help of a manager called "Nutty". Later they moved the admin to the nursery itself and Nutty moved with it. The house itself had a full size billiard table in the attic with no roof supports to impede the gentleman players elbow extension. Very convenient for the players but unfortunately nature bit back when the coal board came round to check for subsidence. Yes the colliery at Gedling had caused some problems but a bigger concern was the roof, which the surveyor told my mum could slide off the house at any time as it was effectively all of a piece and ready to go flying at the first sign of a big wind. There was an immediate ban on entry to the danger area and my poor mum lived in fear from that day on. We of course waited until she went out for any reason and immediately legged it upstairs and into what was now the most exciting part of the house to play snooker. The only telltale of our defiance being the odd miscue and the resultant hole in the window in the end wall from the flying ball. Fancy putting a window at just the height of a flying snooker ball and even worse, it was the end over the drive where you couldn't miss the broken glass and window. And there were ghosts as well...as in any old house. Any creaks told their own tale and we sometimes cowered in bed. The bathroom was past the wooden ladder to the billiard room and the passage was dark so many a time my brother and i peed out of the window rather than face the challenge of the Passage Of Doom. Great days but a scary house for a kid.
I am a member of the Robinson family through my mother who was one of the daughters of the founder Thomas Robinson. He lived at Lyon House 411 Westdale Lane which was built by his father in law (Mr Lee) who apart from being a builder was also an amateur rose grower and my grandfather's business partner when they started the original nursery on Westdale Lane near the top of the hill into Gedling. Thomas had 6 children but a boy died young under the wheels of a cart leaving 2 boys Tom and Eric and 3 girls May Lily and Joan, all 5 of whom worked in the business at one time or another as the production and sale of their produce was countrywide and also european to some extent. My mother recalled often going south with her father to sell to Notcutts among other buyers. Apart from the nursery where they specialised in miniature roses they also had a farm in Gotham where they grew a wide variety of flowers for the wholesale market and to sell in their own shops. Old man Robinson liked a drink and died relatively young because of it and the 2 sons continued with the nursery and shops for some years before eventually closing the shops and then selling the nursery land to developers. The eldest son Tom had built a bungalow on nursery land and had 2 children Tom and June. His brother Eric was given a piece of land next door to Lyon House and built 409 living next door to his parents although 409 has since been demolished and redeveloped and Lyon House now sits on a much smaller plot then originally.When the nursery was sold Tom the eldest son moved to Thurgarton and his son Young Tom built a bungalow just off the nursery and next door to his sister June. Young Tom as we called him ran the Robinson's wholesale business at the Central Market (under the name of something like Growers Produce i seem to remember) and he carried on for a while before moving to Jersey .Thomas Robinson the founder was a leading rose grower in England winning all sorts of prizes in his pomp and i have a copy of the obituary written at the time which talks about him in very glowing terms but i'm afraid the business didn't last beyond the second generation. One of my Robinson cousins remarked to me some years ago that we must have had the only business that lost money when the garden centre boom started. Oh well.!!