“Not many firms in this neighbourhood can claim to have served the public without a break since the year 1777. This however is the record of Messrs. Lane’s, Berkhamsted who are holding an auction of their surplus stock at Gossom’s End Nursery, with a view to concentrating the retail stock at their Balshaw Nurseries, Potten End.” (Bucks Herald, Feb 1938).
“Staghunting.- A stag hunted by Sir N.M. de Rothschild’s hounds got lost by the dogs, and visited Messrs. Lane and Son’s nurseries, where, in leaping about among the glass houses, it got its legs much lacerated. It was ultimately secured and placed in a stable at the White Hart until it could be removed. It bled a good deal, but was not much injured.” (Bucks Herald, Oct 1880).
Important sale of property…
“An important sale of valuable freehold properties… of the late Mr. John Edward Lane, of the Nurseries, whose death occurred some time since, was held at the King’s Arms Hotel, Mr. D. Woodman… being the auctioneer. The sale was attended by a large and influential company [including Mr. Lane’s son, F. Quincey Lane], the familiar room at the hotel being crowded.
In his introductory remarks the Auctioneer said the sale would form an epoch in the history of the rapidly-rising town of Berkhampstead, and he wished to do justice to it. It was to such men as Mr. Lane, the Messrs, Cooper, and others that the town owed much of its prosperity, and they could not too highly appreciate men like these. No town in the country had gone forward more than Berkhampstead had done recently. Three things were necessary to make a place successful – natural resources and advantages, easy means of access, and a spirit of enterprise in the inhabitants, all of which Berkhampstead possessed. Mr. Woodman then proceeded with the sale.
Lot 1, The George Inn, High-street… G. Ratcliffe, £850.
Lot 2, the Brownlow Arms… Mr. Foster, £1,230.
Lot 3, the Crystal Palace… Messrs. Roberts and Wilson, £550.
Lot 4, the Greyhound Inn, Dunstable… Mr. Foster, £235.
Lots 5-6, withdrawn.
Lot 7, part of the King’s Arms garden, with a frontage of 108 feet to Prince Edward Street… Mr. Henry Kemp, owner of the King’s Arms Hotel, £55.
Lot 8, the King’s Arms meadow… Mr. W. Chilton, £300
Lot 9, a pair of freehold villas, occupied by Mr. F.Q. Lane and Captain Hudson… Mr Lane, £770.
Lot 10, a pair of freehold residences, known as Oaklands, in Gilham’s Lane-hill [now Cross Oak Road]… Mr. Foster, £1,080.
Lot 11, 13 acres of freehold orchard ground planted with trees (now in full growth)… Mr. Lane, £2,900.
Lots 12-13, freehold land adjoining the property of Miss Duncombe… Mr. Lane, £550.
Lots 14-15, withdrawn
Lot 16, slip of 50 feet by 600 by the side of land belonging to Earl Brownlow… [various buyers].
Lots 24 to 30, 31 to 43 Gas Shares and Water Works Shares… [various buyers].
The Auctioneer having thanked the company for their attendance and support, the proceedings terminated.” (Bucks Herald, Mar 1890).
The Head Post Office was opened on this site on 27 Jun 1958 (now Marks & Spencer).