Virginia Cooke, who first visited us in 1984, chose to celebrate her 70th birthday and 100th visit to Potters Resort with a break at Potters! We caught up with her to find out about the celebrations, what Potters means to her and some of her memories of the Resort…
How are you celebrating your special birthday?
At Potters of course – I can’t think of anywhere better to celebrate and my friend, Teresa, has come with me. It is also my 100th visit to Potters and it is amazing to think I have been here so many times, but it is such a special place for me. You can’t beat it and I have been staying at Potters for 35 years. I will also be celebrating my birthday when I get home with a meal with my family.
What was Potters like when you first visited?
I first came in 1984 after being recommended it by a local when I went to have my hair cut. I popped in to see what it was like and it was such an eye opener. Even in 1984 it was a special place, not like anywhere else, and when you walked in you couldn’t help but be taken aback and impressed by it. After seeing it, we booked a break and have been back ever since. I live in Bury St Edmunds now and it means I can visit more as it is so close.
I remember that the restaurant was on one floor and we would see the Potter family all the time on our breaks. It’s just a happy place with happy people.
What are some of your happiest memories of Potters?
Just all of it. All the good times me and my husband, Hugh, who died last year, had here. One year he won a lookalike competition as football manager, Brian Clough.
I’m a big fan of Mark Brewer. Just after Hugh died, I visited Potters on my own and Mark was so kind. He came over and spoke to me and said what a lovely man he was. Mark is a character and we used to always get out of his way in the days of the water pistol! I remember when he went through a phase of cutting people’s ties!
My father used to come to Potters and I remember him dancing with Mark’s sister, Teresa Brewer. I remember chatting with Andy Feet and Roy Greenslade too, and all the team are lovely to talk to. Johnny Laff is always friendly and I’ve known Jonny Mac for a long time. Buz is so funny and never changes, and Rachel is just lovely to talk to. I love speaking to all the team.
Hugh had Parkinson’s and, later on, dementia. Not long before he died, we were meant to be staying in a bungalow. Unfortunately, he struggled with it and we told reception and they moved us straight away to the hotel. That’s one of the best thing about Potters, nothing is too much trouble and they look after everyone so well.
My children and grandchildren visit too and they love Potters. In fact my granddaughter told me that she wanted to come to Potters for her seventh birthday, so that is what we did and we had a great time!
What breaks do you come on?
I’m a big fan of the World Indoor Bowls Championships and have been on lots of breaks during the Championships, as well as coming up for the day with a day ticket. I love the sixties break and like to add the two and one night break together, to make it a three night break.
When it opened seasonally, we used to come for two weeks. I’ve seen lots of star acts too at Potters like Chas & Dave, Joan Collins, Bob Monkhouse, Joe Pasquale and I am a big fan of the Joe Loss Orchestra.
Of course, the family breaks with my children and grandchildren are really special.
This year I went on Potters Abroad Cyprus holiday for the first time and really enjoyed it.
What do you like to do on your break?
The quizzes and bingo, but the main thing is seeing the Potters Theatre Company shows, which are truly spectacular. The shows are always evolving and somehow just get better and better every time we visit. The grandkids love the swimming pool too. I love seeing the bowls and watching Greg play.
Potters also allows me to just relax as we are so looked after with entertainment and food.
How would you describe Potters?
Welcoming, relaxing and friendly. It is the only place I recommend and I think that says it all! Potters is such a special place and I am so glad I found it