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Entrepreneur's legacy continues

PUBLISHED: 17:20 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:44 03 July 2010

A FIRST: Brian Potter watches a snooker tournament

A FIRST: Brian Potter watches a snooker tournament

The original Pontin's was set up by a home-grown entrepreneur whose legacy continues today, explained Brian Potter of Potter's Leisure Resort.

He said: “It all started with my grandfather Hector Herbert Potter who was born in Norwich.

The original Pontin's was set up by a home-grown entrepreneur whose legacy continues today, explained Brian Potter of Potter's Leisure Resort.

He said: “It all started with my grandfather Hector Herbert Potter who was born in Norwich. He used to cycle to Caister Camp which was under canvas and he was inspired by the camaraderie - but he did not have two ha'pennies to rub together.

“But in 1913 as a very poorly paid solicitor's clerk he won £500. He went off to the Somme and he was one of the very fortunate ones to come back and with that money he purchased the field where Pontin's stands.

“He started it in 1920 as the first in the UK with permanent structures and sold it in 1924 to Maddieson's for £8,000. And with that he moved to Hopton, not to our present site, but to a site close to the railway before the closures by Beeching in 1961.

“He had a son (my father) and a daughter, and left the railway site to her.

“In 1936 he purchased our current site which was a cabbage field, from the Squire of Corton, a member of the Colman's Mustard family.”

Meanwhile, Mr Potter went on, a lad called Jack Bishop - the son of a Northgate Street butcher and future mayor - was delivering meat to the camps when he hit on the idea of setting up a rival version across the road and Seacroft was born when he was just 19.

He went on to marry a beauty queen and they had a daughter - Judy was to become Brian Potter's wife. However, although he got the girl he lost the camp which was sold to Fred Pontin in 1971.


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