Guest Alan Swallow has been to Potters 50 times, first visiting\nin 1956 with his parents, and later enjoying breaks with friends and with his\nown family. We had a chat with Alan to find out about his memories and how much\nPotters has changed over the years…
Alan, can you tell us\nabout your earliest memory at Potters?
I first came in 1956 with my parents when I was 16. My\nparents were in a chalet together and I shared one with another boy of a\nsimilar age, as they used to put similar ages together if there was an odd\nnumber of you in your party. As we stayed a fortnight, I had two different\nroommates as the first one was only staying a week. Not that we were often in\nour rooms as there was so much to do! The room was very basic and the showers\nwere in a separate block.
What did you get up\nto on your first Potters break?
There was a bar and jukebox room, and all the youngsters\nwould go in there. Brian Potter was the same age as me and used to go in there\nwith us all, even though he later said that the red floor in the room used to\nhaunt him! I’ve been to Potters around 50 times and over the years Brian would\nalways stop to have a chat with us. Everyone used to go to the beach as there\nwas no pool back then. Geoff Parsons used to do all the organising and\nentertaining, and we would have to do forfeits. I remember he would tell us to\nget girls knickers to put up on a flag pole in the dining room! Geoff would\nplay the accordion and would sort out a sports day, snooker and tennis\nsessions. In the evening there was a dance band and everyone would dance. We’d\nalways finish with a Potters song too that went something like… “When you’re\ndownhearted and feeling blue, always come to Potters and we’ll show you what we\ndo.”
How has Potters\nchanged over the years?
Quite dramatically as now it is five stars! It used to be\nopen from May to September, then Brian opened it at Easter as a trial, then it\nwas soon Christmas and Summer, then all year round! It is brilliant how it has\nchanged as it is now five-star and so good! The entertainment and food are just\nfantastic, and are better now than before, and guests are served four meals a\nday. It used to be afternoon tea though, rather than the midnight dish of the\nday! We used to help make our own entertainment all them years ago, such as\nmaking costumes out of crepe paper, and now we have the fantastic Potters\nTheatre Company performing shows every night.
Have you got any\nother memories from over the years?
Well my two boys learnt to swim at Potters and my other two\n(from my second marriage with Marie) have also been to Potters. Some of my 13\ngrandchildren have also been to Potters and I’m sure it’s not too long before\nmy great grandchildren come along too. I just remember how Brian Potter was\njust a very fair man and would always put things right. It was the world cup\nand the TV in the television room was broken. When Brian found out he asked why\nno-one had told him, as he said he can’t put it right if no-one tells him. That\nnight he had someone out at 9pm to repair the TV! He would also tell us that if\nwe left the dining room hungry that it was our fault as we could ask for as\nmuch food as we wanted! He also put a stop to people reserving tables with\ntheir coats and it meant that he ended up shutting the Atlas Theatre at\nlunchtimes. I have so many happy memories of my time at Potters and it is just\na wonderful place. I now enjoy breaks with my wife Marie and come on Midweek or\nWeekend breaks when we can.
Thanks Alan for sharing your Potters memories with us. It\nwas great to hear about the old Potters song and the days of television rooms\nand making costumes for competitions.