Don Potter: A Cambridge connection

Don Potter was a Scout and a sculpter who first displayed his skills working at Gilwell Park. His work on gateways and Totem poles brought him to the attention of BP who gave him commissions.

The Hele Trophy which remains in County archive was carved by Don. The trophy was first presented in 1937. Don was called ‘Don Potter of Gilwell’ in the newspaper article of 1939 although he had long moved on.

Don was apprentice to Eric Gill at this time and went on to also work in stone. Much of the wood carving that goes under Gill’s name was executed by Don. Eric Gill has links with Cambridge, carving the war memorial at Trumpington and the Angel Archway in Jesus College amongst many other pieces. David Kindersley founder of the Cambridge based Kindersley workshop was also Gill’s apprentice.

Hele Trophy

See Activities/ Trophies/ Trophies Cups and Competitions/ County Trophies/ Hele Trophy

Don carved the Granite statue of BP at BP House and the memorial stone on Brownsea Island. He remained a Scout throughout his life, dying, aged 102, in 2004.

Don was amongst the first Rope Spinners seeing a Music Hall act in 1920 and within a year became proficient. He introduced this to Scouting and Rope Spinning later became a Proficiency badge.

JWR

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