Should Ivor Potter be celebrated by Bude?

Yes, says Lucille Opie, who spotted the proposed re-naming of the Ivor Potter Hall in the Parkhouse Centre on the last Town Council meeting agenda:

I have just read the agenda for the full Council meeting last Thursday and one of the items was to change the name of the Ivor Potter Hall. Why? I ask.

Ivor Potter deserves to be remembered in this town for a very long time. He is part of the history of Bude. He is the person who had a lot to do with the hall being built onto the old Bude Junior school, now the Council office. He did so much for local people from a very wide age range. He was a very good musician and an actor himself and for many years produced musical shows with young people at the Bude Youth Club. He produced them in the old parish hall at the bottom of Belle Vue Lane until the interior was changed to make several small shops.

He encouraged people, both young and old to take part in that exciting and interesting activity in their spare time. In fact, it was an education. They learnt many important life skills, skills there was not enough time to cover properly in schools by taking part in some form or another in his shows. It helped them to learn how to socialise and respect others, life skills needed by everyone and lifelong friends were made. Those young people made positive use of their spare time which saved many from resorting to drink and drugs through sheer boredom when in their teens.

I think there will be a backlash from members of our community who grew up in the Bude area and were able to enjoy the experience of being in or having something to do with any of Ivor’s shows. They haven’t forgotten him. As they have become parents and grandparents they have told their children about Ivor Potter and what he did for Bude. If it wasn’t for Ivor I very much doubt whether the hall would have been built until many years later.

All over the world people are remembered for many years for doing something for their community, county or country. They deserve to be remembered, just as those 90-year-old ex-servicemen deserve to be remembered for what they did during the world wars. We should remember them.

The name ‘The Ivor Potter Hall’ sounds special and we all know it as that, just as we know the other rooms as 1,2,3 and 4 in the Parkhouse centre. Perhaps we should name those rooms after notable people who have been rewarded in Bude?  Ivor Potter is part of the history of Bude, therefore he deserves to be remembered for many more years yet. Do not ‘Change for change sake’, as the saying goes So, please Bude Town Council, for these very valid reasons, and I am sure I speak for many people in Bude and the surrounding area, we shall be very grateful if you will not change the name but let us continue to know it as ‘The Ivor Potter Hall’, The Parkhouse Centre, Bude.

There are already lots of Facebook comments on this. A sample is below:

 

Ivor Potter lived in Kilkhampton, he put on summer shows in the Old Parish Hall, Belle Vue Lane. I was one of the dancers in my teens! The hall was packed every week, and he should still be remembered for his work.

Should definitely be kept in his honour,all locals know who he was; perhaps there could be a plaque with the story of his musical and playwriting skills to inform visitors on display.

Of course it should be named after the man who insisted on its importance to replace the Parish Hall when that was sold. He put all his time and effort into the Bude Theatre Club as well as his productions in Kilkhampton and Morwenstow. Not only is he respected by many locals, but there were holiday makers who would come and see the summer shows every year.

Ivor Potter is and always will be a legend within the Bude and outlying areas. I took part in a number of Potter Productions in my youth along with a great many others. To change the name is completely disrespectful.

I will never forget his funeral – the most resounding rendition of 🎶there’s no business like show business🎶 as he was carried out of the church. His memory should live on.

Ivor Potter shows were a large part of Bude life. He encouraged many young people to take part in drama and music and was a very gifted musician and playwright. His name should be remembered.

Many a marriage was made in Bude Theatre Club!

Yes definitely, it should remain The Ivor Potter Hall! Ivor is very much part of the fabric of the history of Bude and always will be.

He was born and brought up in Kilkhampton living with his parents and sister on the Penstowe Estate where his parents worked for the Thynne family. Ivor always had many tales to tell about the gentry and living there. Modelled some of his characters in his musical shows on some of them. He worked for the GPO on telephone systems most of his working life. When he wasn’t writing and producing shows all around the area, he regularly played the organ in hotels in the evenings entertaining the guests, especially the Summerleaze Hotel which is now The Beach in Summerleaze Crescent.

3 Comments

  • John walter says:

    A Legend.
    Keep his name alive

    • Tanky Williams says:

      I have a CD recording of one of Ivor’s first shows “Away from it all” With Bude Football Club and Bude Surf Life Saving Club. A lot of the cast of those shows are still very much alive. I have some photos taken at the dress rehearsal along with the original programme. My late Mum was in at least 2 of Ivor’s Shows (Away from it All and Honeymoon Holiday)

  • Edward Ian Davies says:

    Ivor worked so hard for Bude and its people. He deserves to be remembered in this small way. I suspect that few Council members were around when he was alive.

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