Founded in 1860, John William Potter opened Potters of Buxton as a department store specialising in fine quality clothing, hosiery and home textiles. Today the principles of fine quality and excellent service are paramount to what we do whether you wish to give us a phone call, write us a letter or send us an e-mail we will endeavour to help. Today our range includes Menswear; which you can find all of which online, Womenswear; which our online range is now growing daily and Home Textiles however unfortunately because we are only a small team here at Potters you can only find our Home Textiles in store but we are working as hard as we can to get our full range of products online as fast as we can.
John William Potter
His father was the pioneer of the hand-wrought hosiery, the good qualities of which were synonymous with the family at the time and known across the country for, upon his retirement Mr Potter succeeded his father in the production of these goods. After initially serving his apprenticeship at the family drapery business in Bakewell, he continued his business training in Manchester and London; and in 1860 established the business at Burlington House in the beautiful Spa Town of Buxton, this was his first department store and is just 100 metres from where we are situated today.
The Hot Bath Colonnade
In May 1867, John William Potter re-opened the Hot Bath Colonnade Branch after the complete rebuild of the gentlemen’s hot thermal baths which the store was next door to. It was these thermal spas and baths that the town was famous for and brought in visitors from across the country. The store stocked an extensive range of Hosiery (the majority of which was still produced at the family’s factory in Matlock), gloves and perfumes. This store was much smaller than the store at Burlington House and it was typically where visitors could buy hosiery and gifts after visiting the thermal baths.
After 10 years of service to the town, selling hand wrought hosiery and clothing; the business had reached a point where it need to expand and this brings us to where we reside today; London House, a 4 story property on the corner of Terrace Road looking out onto the slopes, the main business premises moved from Burlington House just 100 metres away to London House. The shop is housed over two floors of the four story building and in 1903 a major renovation took place which led to the installation of the central staircase that today runs through the middle of the shop up to the second floor of the store. Up until the mid 1970’s there was also a work room where clothes were made and in its later days it was used as an alteration room where customer purchases would be tailored to the requirements.
Taverner and Cole Family
Between approximately 1938 and 1960 the shop was owned and run by a Mr John Edenbrow Taverner, Mr Taverner worked under John William Potter and then his sons; for many years learning the trade until the point at which he bought the business in approximately 1938. While in 1960 the shop was then sold to Mr Harold Cole and his wife Ethel who managed the business until 1971 when they both retired. Our research has unfortunately been unable to locate much information about the shop during this period of 1938-1971 however what is clear is that both maintained and preserved the original traditions and roots that John William Potter built the stores foundations on back in 1860.
Upon Mr Harold Cole’s retirement in 1971, the store was sold to Roy Nuttall and his wife Joan who were originally from Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The store is still run today by the family with its original charm and features still integral to the shop today with hand written receipts and a team of knowledgeable, friendly staff members on hand to assist customers however required. While in 1995 the company had a new sign produced by sign writer Phil Hutson which was devised from one of the hand wrought hosiery labels from the times of Mr Taverner and Mr Cole and created by Denise and John Nuttall, this logo (seen on the right) is integral today to the stores identity and is used in all publications and print. The logo was updated in 2014 incorporating slightly smoother curves and a new font to match the new fonts that are to be used in all publications as well. Today the store is managed by the second and third generation of the family; John Nuttall plus his son and daughter; Matthew and Lucy. With the three of them leading different areas of the business steering the business to exciting times ahead.
Now of course we can’t predict the future, but we have many exciting projects and plans in the pipeline which are sure to make the next few years very exciting with a focus on preserving the original foundations that the business was built on while further developing the range and choice that we can offer to our loyal customers that we would like to thank for supporting us in the past and present.