Ross on Wye and the Wye Valley Home Page, Current and archive news for Ross-on-Wye and the region from Wyenot News.
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I made the original version of this page back in 2000, when this web site was in its embryonic stage and always intended to try and both improve and to add to it. With maintaining the rest of the web site however, it has taken me just under four years to get around to making the changes. Recently working on the new Hope & Anchor web site brought back memories and reminded me that it needed doing.

The Potters Bar was always my favourite drinking establishment in Ross-on-Wye during my youth and indeed is what made my decision to choose Ross-on-Wye as my future home when the London office I worked for relocated to Gloucester back in 1976. A decision I have not regretted for a single moment!

The photographs below, all except for the first one which I took during the flood in 1978, depict the 'Last Night of the Potters Bar'. The 'Last Night' to me seemed something akin to a wake, during which the dearly departed will be forever sadly missed but the party was great! I worked behind the bar that evening with Julia Race, and Alan Weston, who had retired from pub work some months previously came in later and gave a hand when Julia and I were somewhat under the outfulence of incohol. Sic transit gloria mundi. Please also see the Summer Barbecue Page.

I have left the original text for this page in tact and it can be seen below the photographs. Potters Bar Reunion - November 2004 Photos are here.

The Hope & Anchor in 1978 - the Potters bar is the barn Type building to the left. The Potters Bar before the party began on the last night.
Bar staff and ex bar staff. Tom, Glynis, Christine, Bryony, Julia, Gill, the Two Alans. John aka Basil Fawlty and Bryony.
Julia Race and I busy behind the bar. 'Farmer Dave,' Bryony and Christine.
Alan and I behind the bar after hours. The football table gang - Geoff Gwatkin, Joe Griffin, Mike Arnison and Rob Nicholls
Martin, myself, Alan, Bryony and Christine. Julia and I, either coming out of or going in to the ladies loo. I suspect the former.

Brass Band Night - A Confession

My first experience of Ross-on-Wye took place in the summer of 1970 and, looking back on that visit, I feel something of a hypocrite. In order to explain why, I have to tell you that between the years 1977 and 1984, when I was in my twenties, I had a part time job as barman in the, then, "Potter's Bar," at the Hope and Anchor. It was a great place to work. Barmen in the Potters Bar seemed to hold an almost celebrity status. I have a good many memories of those halcyon days. Working along with Alan Weston, we became known as, "The Two Alans." However, we used to hate working of a Sunday evening. The reason for this was that the Potter's Bar jukebox, loaded with its amazing collection of 1970s records, was about the best in Ross at the time, but of a Sunday evening one of the local brass bands would play outside and we would be forced to turn the volume down, and to add insult to injury, supply the band members with a free drink at half time. Sucking lemons outside was a very popular pastime during brass band time but at 9:30, when the band finished, the jukebox would immediately revert to its more usual volume and staff and regular customers of the Potters Bar became their usual cheerful selves once again.

I was born in East London but lived in Barking, Essex and the reason my first experience of Ross makes me feel so hypocritical is that, between the ages of seven and sixteen, I had played in a brass band myself. I had been on Holiday with my parents in Westward Ho and, on our way back home, we detoured to stay with my father's friend, George and his family, who lived in Mitcheldean. George, at that time, played E flat bass for one of the Forest Brass Bands, which at the time of our visit, was due to perform at the Hope and Anchor. Being the summer holiday period, the band themselves were short of some members and I voluntarily (with a gun held to my head by my father) helped out by playing guest solo cornet with them at that very gig.

I would like to have been able to name the band more precisely but, being a nineteen year old at the time, I didn't take note of the name of the band - pubs however, were a different matter and I remember liking the girl I had to sit next to, though I never saw her again after the event.
Looking back now, I wouldn't have missed my brass band upbringing for anything - or those Sunday evenings at the Hope and Anchor. This is the main reason for my adding this Potter's Bar page to Places, buildings, ways of life, friends are often taken for granted and one doesn't miss them until they are forever gone.


Photography, video and web design copyright © Alan J. Wood, All rights reserved.