May 25 2013 Latest news:
By Mariam Ghaemi
Thursday, March 14, 2013
FOR Kenneth Wales the Old Cannon pub and restaurant in Bury St Edmunds is a home away from home.
So much so his favourite seat - with a large table and conveniently situated near the bar - is permanently reserved.
A plaque saying ‘Ken’s Seat Reserved’ - which was arranged by Old Cannon regulars about 18 months ago - means no matter how busy it is, the 80-year-old always has his spot.
Hannah Clark, who owns the business with her husband Garry, described it as “his armchair in his front room”.
She said: “People will sit and talk to him and he will sit and chat away to many people as well. I think it’s about somewhere he has got company and I think he feels very at home with us.
“He can sit there all day and not buy anything or buy anything - it doesn’t matter to us. He comes in and sits down. He’s got somewhere comfortable to sit, reads the paper and he has people to talk to all day and knows we will look after him.”
Mrs Clark said everyone accepted that was his seat, and not once had someone who had inadvertently sat there refused to move.
“He’s never rude about it, but people just go ‘ah, okay’ and move for him,” she said.
Mr Wales, who lives near the pub, could not pinpoint how long he had been frequenting the Old Cannon, but he did say he used to go when it was known as St Edmund’s Head.
He said he comes in every day, most days for his dinner - of which fish and chips is a favourite - and he particularly enjoys Adnams Best Bitter and the pub’s own Best Bitter.
Mr Wales, who is not married, likes the convenience of the Old Cannon, adding: “Nice people come in here, very interesting people to talk to. They come from all parts of the country because they do bed and breakfast as well. The meals are very good. The beer is very good, and they brew their own beer.”
He said he was “quite happy” to have his seat reserved, adding he could not sit on the tall chairs because of his legs.
“I sit here all the time. I have got my own table, my seat anyway. People do move. I just ask them or the pub is very good. I get on very well with the people who come in.”
Mrs Clark, who has been running the Old Cannon with her husband for two years this June, said staff made sure Mr Wales - who does pay for his food and drink - got home alright.
The Old Cannon, in Cannon Street, is a bar, brasserie, brewery, and bed and breakfast.