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Bury St Edmunds: Pub regular with own plaque dies

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:51 16 April 2014

Ken Wales at the Old Cannon in Bury St Edmunds.

Ken Wales at the Old Cannon in Bury St Edmunds.

Archant

A regular at the Old Cannon pub and restaurant in Bury St Edmunds who has passed away will always be part of its history.

Kenneth Wales, known as Ken, frequented the pub so often a plaque was placed above his favourite seat saying ‘Ken’s Seat Reserved’.

Mr Wales passed away on April 8, aged 81, at Ashmore Nursing Home in Stanton. Before moving there he had been living at St Edmunds Place sheltered housing scheme in Bury.

Hannah Clark, who runs the Old Cannon with her husband Garry, said Mr Wales’ plaque would “absolutely” be staying put.

She said: “People do sit there, but they knew he used to get priority when he used to come in. And the reason why we wanted to keep the plaque was almost to try and keep his memory alive really.

She added: “He’s part of the history.”

When this newspaper interviewed Mr Wales last year he said he could not pinpoint how long he had been visiting the Old Cannon, but he did say he used to go when it was known as St Edmund’s Head.

Mrs Clark said he had started to come less frequently as he had not been well. He used to pop in every day, most days for his dinner - of which fish and chips was a favourite - and he particularly enjoyed Adnams Best Bitter and the pub’s own Best Bitter.

Mrs Clark said: “As a character he was absolutely lovely and was one of the most pleasant, polite, unassuming people you could ever meet. I think secretly he quite liked the bit of attention the plaque gave him. It gave him a reason to talk to people and for other people to talk to him.”

Mr Wales’ sister Cindy Stiff, 71, from Bury, said: “He really did look forward to going over to the [Old] Cannon.”

She said Mr Wales, who was one of seven children and never married, had had a number of jobs including working in a dairy and for a seed merchants. She said he had suffered from cancer before he died. His funeral is taking place at West Suffolk Crematorium on April 25 at 4.30pm. It is family flowers only with donations to fund cancer research.

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