The Potter Pavilion

21 July 2022

The Wellington Community Team is delighted to share the letter below from Mark Milliken-Smith (Bd 81), Wellington College Governor and Chair of the OW Executive Committee providing further information about the modernisation of the Pink Pavilion and its exciting transition to The Potter Pavilion.

Dear OW and all within the Wellington Community,

I write to you, amidst the sweltering heat, with some exciting and poignant news for the OW and wider Wellington Community.

This summer College is undertaking a thorough modernisation of the Pink Pavilion. This work will transform this iconic building. Whilst importantly retaining its original external character, it will provide high quality co-educational changing facilities which are designed to meet the requirements of both high performance and recreational Wellingtonians, as well as providing the opportunity for Wellington to host representative sport both on Turf and around College more widely.

“The Potter Pavilion”

I am absolutely delighted to inform you all that, upon its reopening later this Autumn, the Pink Pavilion will be renamed “The Potter Pavilion” in honour of the Potter family who have given so much to generations of Wellingtonians over the last 90 years.

Potters have graced Turf with distinction, both for College and for the OWCC, for much of that time. Their contribution to Wellington cricket has been immense.

Most of you will know Chris (C 65) well of course, and will readily identify with his powerful, understated and enduring impact upon the life of College and upon the lives of countless Wellingtonians and their families.

However, for those of you who don’t know him, Chris (C 65) spent his childhood at Wellington College and proceeded to enter the Combermere in 1960, rose to become Head of College, was Captain of Cricket in his final two years, and came back to the Common Room after Cambridge and a sojourn in Australia. HM of the Hill for 17 years, Master i/c of cricket, and thereafter secretary of the OW Society, Chris remains a central player within the Wellington Community team – friend to all, and loved by all.

The “de facto” College Historian, Patrick Mileham, put it thus, in 2009:

“Omniscient about College, he has done so much for Wellingtonians, colleagues and friends, that he earns the rare distinction of being absolutely indispensable”. ‘Twas ever thus…..

His father, Arnold, joined the Common Room in 1932 where he served College for a record of 42 years. He was a distinguished mathematician, highly respected HM of both the Lynedoch and the Benson, and mountaineer extraordinaire of chapel spires as well as the Alps. He and wife, Fraye, played a major part in the musical and wider life of College.

The closest of ties between Arnold, his wife and their family with the Wellington Community are manifold: Chris is their epitome. Together they have served College for well over half of its history.

The “Robin Norris Room”

As part of the redevelopment of the Pavilion, a larger and more welcoming Club Room will be shaped. This is designed not just for the enjoyment of those playing sport at College, but will provide a space for more formal meetings and events across the school calendar, ensuring that Pavilion is at the centre of College activity all year round.

This will be known as “The Robin Norris Room”, in memory OWCC member Robin Norris, who we sadly lost in early 2020, and whose typically generous and kind legacy to the Club has helped to fund this aspect of the work.

Robin made his debut for the OWCC in 1952, a year after it was founded, and was central to the success of the OWCC in its formative period, and remained so for many years after his playing days ended, embodying the spirit and fun which so many OW cricketers have enjoyed.

I shall let you know in due course how we will celebrate the PP’s new identity.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Milliken-Smith (Bd 81)

Governor and Chair of the OW Executive Committee

Please see here for a photograph of the The Potter Pavilion (Pink Pavilion as it was known then) after it first opened in 1902!