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A Brief History

Pettits is one of the largest and oldest businesses in Wallingford. It was started on 6th March 1856 by Mr. William Pettit, then a young man who came from Newmarket where his father was a saddle maker.

Very shortly afterwards he was joined by his brother Thomas and the firm became known as W & T Pettit. This patnership continued until 1896.

They were then joined by their respective son's Henry and William Holland and also Mr. Thomas Clifton, uncle of Mr. H. Franklin, a long serving member of the firm.

The partnership was joined in 1913 by Robert H. Pettit.

Over the course of time various members dropped out until finally Mr. Henry retired in 1932 leaving his son Robert Henry as sole propietor.
In 1948 Robert Henry's son Robert A. Pettit joined in a new partnership and the firm was made a Company in1961. These directors were joined the next year by Mr. W. B. Stevens shortly before the death of Mr. R. H. Pettit.

After the death of Mr. R. A. Pettit and Mr. Stevens, the son and daughter of Mr. R. A. Pettit, Robert S. and Rachel, continued to run the business until 1987.

At this point the Company finally left the Pettit family when it was sold to the Rowse family, another local family firm famed for it's honey production. The present Managing Director is Mr. Richard Rowse.

Picture Gallery - Advertising

Picture Gallery - Advertising
The photographs on this page are reproduced with the kind permission of Robert S. Pettit, Rachel Pettit-Smith and Margaret King.

Celebrating Special Events

The store front during the celebrations of the Queen's Silver Jubilee and the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.


Silver Jubilee1977

The Royal Wedding1981

More celebrations!

This time the staff of Pettits celebrate being in business for 100 and 150 years.

The staff of 1956 pose for the camera

50 years on and the current staff pose in 2006
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