As we approach our 100th year of delivering customer happiness, I am extremely proud of our family history and their dedication through good and bad times, from being the first and now the last surviving of the original pioneering families in the industry. It is my very proud duty to set us on course for another 100 years of customer happiness.
Whilst this page is about our family’s history in the business, over the years we truly feel we have an extended family helping us along the way. Our friendly team, past and present, and the many generations of friends and families who have made our journey possible.
I am of course extremely grateful of this support from our ‘extended family’ and I know I speak on behalf of all my family, past and present. Notes of this gratitude are clear to see in my Great Grandfathers’ beautifully written family chronicles, and growing up at Potters I have personally heard my grandparents and my parents Brian and Judy repeatedly say the same so many times. In fact, it was my dear late father Brian’s last words in hospital to echo the same sentiment of how grateful he was in life for the amazing support of what he genuinely referred to then as his ‘extended family’.
Thank you for visiting our family history page, and we hope we get the chance to welcome you, your friends and your family for some ‘quality time together’, and in doing so help us all be part of another 100 years of happy memories to be cherished.
Yours In Gratitude,
Herbert Potter was one of 18 children born in a small house that has since made way for the impressive Forum building in the centre of Norwich. They were all raised by their sick and bedridden mother who was widowed when Herbert was still a young boy. Herbert would later write of his childhood memories in our cherished family chronicles, how they lived off the coal-man taking pity on them in winter and other stories of hunger and suffering that we would find hard to imagine today.
Fortunately Herbert, unlike some of his brothers and sisters, survived. And as a young man he would cycle from Norwich to Great Yarmouth every year to spend his holidays in a tent at Caister Camp, established in 1908 as an all male socialist camp.
Herbert wrote how he loved the friendly camaraderie of camp life. Inspired by this friendliness he dreamed of the possibility of building the first ever ‘permanent’ holiday camp with central facilities, permanent wooden huts and for all the family to enjoy quality time together.
On July 19th 1913 Herbert was by then a poorly paid solicitor’s clerk in Norwich, when his boss summoned him to the office telephone. It was the Sunday Chronicle newspaper informing Herbert that he had won £500 in their national newspaper competition.
The newspaper competitions of the day were often based on wordplay, this one requiring a 3 word answer to another word, ‘Resemblance’, Herbert’s winning answer was “Rarely, Mutually, Approved”!
He had a talent for wordplay that was rewarded on more than one occasion, but it was those three words that won him the ‘big one’. £500 in 1913 (according to the Office For National Statistics) had the same "purchasing power" as £21,671.77 in 2018.
Now his idea to build the UK’s first ever permanent holiday camp suddenly became a possibility, and would later ultimately spawn a whole new holidaying concept in the UK.
Herbert’s plans would be put on hold however for a number of years due to the First World War. He was one of the lucky ones to survive the trenches and the infamous Battle of Somme. Returning home safely he set about building the first permanent and mixed use holiday Camp with timber huts. The year was 1920 and he called it ‘Potters Camp’.
Funded entirely by his winnings, Herbert realised his dream; a dream that has grown to become a national institution. A certain Billy Butlin liked Herbert’s idea so much, he followed suit some 16 years later with his first huts at Skegness in 1936.
Over 100 years, The Potter Family, through four generations, has built on those early pioneering dreams. Brian and Judy taking on the challenge of the foreign holiday packages and re-developing and re-inventing a seasonal holiday camp to a year round 5 star Resort. Offering an ever more extensive range of leisure, entertainment and activity breaks to this day, we have a proud timeline which we share below with you for those interested in a little history. By the way, If you think you, or someone you know, can add to this timeline then please do feel free to contact John Potter directly with suggested additions or email firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to be able to fill in any gaps that we may have missed!