Family given late mother's pub memorial from The Picketty Witch
An Ilchester woman has been reunited with a sentimental plaque she feared would be destroyed when retailer Tesco took over a former pub.
Sarah Feltham, 44, of Hermes Place, contacted the Western Gazette after learning The Picketty Witch, on Ilchester Road, Yeovil, is to be turned into a Tesco Express later this year.
She was desperate to salvage a memorial plaque which was hung in the pub in tribute to her late mother Ann Burt who played darts there.
Mrs Burt passed away seven years ago – just one week after doctors discovered she had ovarian cancer. She was 66.
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The plaque was put up by her teammates the following year and hung on the wall next to the oche – the line behind which players must stand.
Tesco workers found the plaque when they began refurbishment work in the former pub last month.
It was presented to Ms Feltham and her son Sam, 20, on Friday.
Ms Feltham, an adminstrator at AgustaWestland, said: “It’s quite emotional to have it back.
“It’s got great sentimental value. With the pub closing, we didn’t want it to just get lost so it’s good to have it back.
“My son is delighted. They were very, very close so it means a lot to him. I’ve decided to let him keep it.”
News of Tesco’s plans to convert the former pub into a shop emerged before Christmas. Work has already started and is expected to be finished by the summer.
Up to 20 full and part-time jobs will be created at the store, a Tesco spokesman said.
The plans were met with a mixed reception – with many people lamenting the loss of another pub while others voiced their concern at another Tesco store opening in Yeovil. There are already three in the town.
Ms Feltham said: “It is sad the pub is closing. I think a lot of people in the area are sad as well. We have been going there since we were old enough to drink.
“After mum passed away, when we used to go the pub, we would see a lot of her friends and we would sit and chat and laugh about something she had said – particularly during games of darts.
“Mum was a very happy person. She loved her family and her dog. She was a good laugh.
“Because I played for a different darts team we would always get picked to play against each other.
“I’m so grateful to the Western Gazette and Tesco for helping me get the plaque back. I think it is brilliant. They put it on a display stand too.”
Ms Feltham received the plaque from a representative of a company contracted by Tesco to refurbish the former pub.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We are delighted that Ms Feltham got in touch with us through the Western Gazette.
“It is a real pleasure to be able to present the plaque to Ms Feltham and we are sure it will take pride of place in its new home.”