'Workaholic' butcher notched up nearly 60 years in the trade
THE widow of a well-known Derby butcher has paid tribute to her "workaholic" husband who dedicated his life to the meat trade.
Brian Potter clocked up nearly 50 years working in Derby's Market Hall.
Then, 18 months after retiring, he set up a butcher's shop in the Eagle Centre and was there for another eight years.
His widow, Julie, of Derwent Avenue, Allestree, said her late husband "loved" his job and would rarely take a holiday.
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Mr Potter died on December 23 at the age of 75 after battling lung cancer. He was born in September 1937 and lived in Bainbridge Street, Derby. He was a pupil at Reginald Street School.
At the age of 13 he started working in the Market Hall, fetching ice for the butchers.
Mrs Potter, 54, said: "He started working full-time at the age of 15 when his father managed a butcher's shop.
"He was 18 when he bought his first shop in Borrowash. His whole family moved to Borrowash to be near him.
"Then he got a shop in the Market Hall. At one point he had six shops. Four of them were in the Market Hall, one in Allestree and one in Borrowash."
Mr Potter met his first wife, Margaret, through ballroom dancing and they married in 1962. They had four children – Anthony, Maria, Laurence and Caroline – but separated in 1972.
He met his second wife, Julie, in 1976 at Breadsall Priory, where she worked as a receptionist.
"He used to deliver the meat order. The kitchen was behind the reception in those days so you could always hear Brian coming in.
"He was a larger-than-life character but underneath he was a loving, caring man."
They married at Spondon Methodist Church on January 6, 1978, when she was 19 and he was 40.
Mrs Potter said: "We did work well together because we got on so well. In the shop he was the boss and at home I was the boss.
"He'd cut the meat and I'd serve it to the public. In those days we would have a queue all day long."
After he eventually retired at the age of 62 in 1999, the couple enjoyed cruises to places including Canada and the Caribbean.
In July 2011, Mr Potter was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Mrs Potter said: "He fought a courageous battle ever since. He had an incredibly positive attitude to life.
"He has eight grandchildren and the highlight of his year was taking his grandson, Gabriel, to see Thomas the Tank Engine at Butterley Railway station."