A popular Rugby garden centre which has been run by the same family since 1930 is due to close today (Wednesday).
Tebbs Nurseries and Florist in Hillmorton Road has closed after 83 years of trading on that site.
The garden centre will shortly be demolished to make way for a development of new homes.
Richard Overton, the current owner, said: “We’ve had a good 25 years of trading.
“We inherited some very loyal customers from my parents and grandfather.
“We’re very lucky and we’ve kept that loyal customer base.
“We’d like to thank all our customers for their support over the years.
“Without them we wouldn’t have kept going for as long.”
The land used to be an orchard before Richard’s grandfather, Jack Tebbs, started the garden centre business in 1930.
Jack’s daughter, Audrey, and her husband Bruce Overton, took over the business in 1970.
They ran it until 1989 when Richard took over the reins from his parents.
Richard said: “Cecelia and I are retiring.
“We would have needed to invest money into the building if it was going to stay as a garden centre.
“There was just not a commercial justification for it these days.
“So it’s going to be developed for housing.”
A developer is waiting to come onto the site to bulldoze the current buildings which will be replaced by a development of eight flats and five terraced houses.
The flats will be at the front of the development, with the houses behind and an access road off Hillmorton Road.
The flats will have two bedrooms, while the houses will be a mix of three and four bedrooms.
Richard said: “We will still retain ownership of part of the site. We’ve worked for 25 years in the business and hopefully this will be our pensions.”
Although the garden centre officially closed yesterday, there will be an auction on February 1 run by Howkins and Harrison.
Richard said: “We thought it was the best way to do it and go out on a high. People can bid for lots and there will be something for everyone. That will be our final day of trading.”
The couple have also been busy moving out of their family home next to the garden centre. But they haven’t had to go far. In fact they’ve moved to the other side of the garden centre for now, while their daughter and her growing family are looking forward to moving into the family home.
Richard said: “It’s very sad but we won’t miss the long hours. We were working seven days a week.
“We haven’t got any plans for retirement at the moment. We’ll see how what happens.”
END OF AN ERA FOR GARDEN CENTRE
*The Howkins and Harrison auction will begin at 10am at Tebbs Nurseries and Florist on Saturday February 1.
*The auctioneer on the day will be Stuart Long.
*The garden centre will be demolished to make way for housing.
*The new homes should be complete within 12 months.
*The Tebbs family name continues at Flowers by Pauline in Regent Street.