Plaque honours Phyllis Pettitt and her popular tea hut in Bury St Edmunds

Brian Pettitt, Linda Moden, Stephen Pettitt and Colin Roberts with the plaque at the arc shopping centre. 
Picture by Mecha Morton.
Brian Pettitt, Linda Moden, Stephen Pettitt and Colin Roberts with the plaque at the arc shopping centre. Picture by Mecha Morton.
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A plaque has been unveiled in Bury St Edmunds to remember a popular cafe which was a fixture of the town for 73 years.

Based on the site of the former Cattle Market, Mrs Pettitt’s tea hut served hot drinks, filled rolls and cake and closed nearly 11 years ago to make way for the arc shopping centre.

Gwyneth Pettitt, Phyllis Pettitt and Linda Moden at the closure of the tea hut in August 2006

Gwyneth Pettitt, Phyllis Pettitt and Linda Moden at the closure of the tea hut in August 2006

Phyllis Pettitt ran the cafe for 32 years after taking it over from her parents Bill and Annie Chapman who opened it before World War Two.

As time passes, the quaint hut could have been forgotten but the Pettitt family have ensured its memory is kept alive.

After approaching bosses at the arc, a plaque has been installed at the shopping centre to mark the spot where the tea hut once stood and to remember Phyllis.

Her son Brian, 63, of Bury, said: “We were delighted when the site owners agreed to our proposition.

“Colin Roberts and the owners could not have been more helpful to us, to which we are very grateful.

“We all believe this plaque will be viewed with fond memories by many townsfolk - marking something of recent old times in the pristine surroundings of the modern and busy town centre that it now is.”

Colin Roberts, manager at the arc, added: “When the Pettitt family approached us wanting to mark this very important family history at the arc, we could not think of a better way to remember a little piece of Bury, right here in the arc shopping centre.

“We were delighted that they approached us, as it seems like such a lovely piece of history that will now be remembered in coming years.

“This way, people old and young will get the chance to remember.”

Phyllis’s daughter-in-law Gwyneth Pettitt ran the cafe with her sister-in-law Linda Moden for eight years until it closed in August 2006.

To mark its closure, long-standing regulars flocked to say farewell and the Thurston air cadets band and Morris dancers brought some cheer to the proceedings.

Phyllis passed away aged 79 in December 2006.