The History of Potters Bar Hockey Club
It was in 1948 that a number of cricketers from Potters Bar Cricket Club decided that some exercise during the winter months would be beneficial, and as a result Potters Bar Hockey Club was formed. The two clubs continued independently until 1970, when the new Potters Bar Cricket Club, comprising of cricket, hockey and table tennis sections was set up. The Ladies Hockey Section, initially comprising of mainly the wives and girlfriends of the cricket and hockey playing members, was formed in 1976.
Potters Bar Hockey Club (Mens & Ladies) continued with a fixture card of friendly matches until the advent of league hockey in the mid-1970s, when the Men’s Section initially secured a position in the Middlesex Leagues, changing to the newly formed Herts & Beds League shortly thereafter when the regular away trips to south of the river became increasingly tedious. This in turn was subsequently followed by admission to the Eastern Counties League, by which time the Club was running three men’s sides, two ladies and a mixed site on Sundays in addition.
In an attempt to create a larger hockey club and to overcome the usual problems experienced by the smaller clubs in finding fixtures for their lower sides, Potters Bar Hockey Club merged with Barnet Hockey Club in 1996 to form South Herts Hockey Club. Whilst this was a solution that worked out well for the Ladies Section, the amalgamation was not a success for the Men, with the result that South Herts Hockey Club Men’s Section ended in 1999 with 50 years of men’s hockey in Potters Bar coming to a close. Only temporarily though, in that a group of elderly former members resurrected Potters Bar Hockey Club in time for the 2001-2002 season, when seven matches were played, followed by a further fourteen in the 2002-2003 season. By that time, a group of younger and rather fitter club members had arrived, so the club joined the East Leagues for the 2003-2004 season.
Since the Men’s section’s return to League Hockey, Potters Bar Hockey Club have gone from strength to strength. In 9 years the Men’s 1st XI climbed from Division 8SW to Division 2S for the 2011-12 season. Having taken several years to crack Division 2S, the 1st XI won the division in 2017-18 and then finished 8th in Division 1 in 2018-19. They will compete in Division 1 again in the coming season.
As the Men’s 1st XI have climbed the leagues, the whole Men’s section has experienced a remarkable renaissance. The 1st XI were followed into the League by the PHBC 2nd XI in season 2007-08, and by PBHC 3rd XI in season 2008-2009. Having started in Div 9SW on entering the leagues, the 2nd XI won Division 4SW in 2018-19 and will compete in Division 3SW in the 2019-20 season. The 3rd XI will play in Division 6SW in the 2019-20 season. 2014-15 saw the start of another new side as Potters Bar 4th XI made their league debut, winning promotion out of Div 9SW at the first attempt. They now compete in Division 8SW.
The Ladies section, which reverted from the name of South Herts Hockey Club to Potters Bar Hockey Club prior to the start of the 2009-2010 season has also enjoyed considerable success. Going into the 2019-2020 season the Ladies 1st XI will be playing in the Premier Division of the 5 Counties Hockey League. The Ladies 2nd XI were promoted into Division 3 of the 5 Counties Hockey League at the end of the 2009-2010 season. After a number of seasons a much changed side will be playing in Division 4 next season.