Having first opened our doors in 1920 and now, with over 100 years of delivering happiness and hospitality in the truest sense of the word, I am extremely proud of our family history and their dedication through good and bad times. As the first and now the last surviving of the original pioneering families in our industry, it is my very proud duty to set us on course in our next chapter of delivering happiness to our amazing guests.
While 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, that is, our friendly team, past and present, and the many generations of friends and families who have helped to make our journey possible.
I am extremely grateful for this support 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-grandfather Herbert’s beautifully written family chronicles, and having grown up at Potters, I have personally and repeatedly heard my grandparents and my parents Brian and Judy say the same. In fact, it was my dear late father Brian’s last words in hospital to echo the sentiment of how grateful he was in life for the amazing support of what he genuinely referred to as his extended family.
May I take this opportunity to thank you visiting our family history page and indeed for your interest in Potters Resorts. We hope we get the chance to welcome you, your friends and loved ones to enjoy ‘Quality Time Together’ with us, and in doing so, helping us all be part of our continued journey over the next 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.
For over 100 years and through four generations, the Potter Family has built on those early pioneering dreams. While constantly challenging the norm in the UK holiday industry, they have consistently re-invented their short breaks and re-invested in their facilities to provide everything needed to enjoy a break away, welcoming and entertaining guests as if they were visiting a second home.
Standing now as the UK’s Only All-Inclusive Resorts, we have a proud timeline which we share below for those interested in a little history. If you’re visiting Potters Resorts Hopton-on-Sea, some of this history is brought to life in our dedicated ‘museum’ room that features an original timber hut, many old mementos, video clips and the awards we’re so proud to have won over the decades. If you think you, or someone you know, can add to this timeline then please do feel free to contact us via email at email@example.com, we’d love to be able to fill in any gaps that we may have missed!