Ye Olde White Horse, Spalding, is closed and people in the town have their say about it
The sudden, mystery closure of a pub "institution" in Spalding has provoked sadness and shock in the town.
No pints have been served at Ye Olde White Horse, in Churchgate, for the last two weeks, with rumours that landlords Sean Packham and Jason Kibble have left the pub.
The Spalding Guardian approached pub owners Samuel Smith Old Brewery, of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, for a statement on the future of the 16th century pub, best known for its thatched roof.
There was no response from the brewery at the time of going to press, but a statement on recruitment website Gumtree stated that Samuel Smith was looking for a "live-in joint management couple to run a well-maintained, historic, thatched roof pub".
Andrew Law, owner of The Crystal Inn Chinese restaurant, next door to Ye Olde White Horse, said: "It's really sad not to have it open as the locals there also used to come into our restaurant.
"I know customers who had drank at Ye Olde White Horse for 40 years, so for it to be closed is a culture shock for them.
"The pub is an institution and it should be the best pub in Spalding, so we're hoping that it will be open soon.
"It's just not right that the best-looking pub in the town is closed and, with the Bull and Monkie closed as well, it's really hit this side of town."
The pub was listed in the 2008 Good Beer Guide and became one of the first in Spalding to join the ShopWatch/PubWatch scheme in 2015.
Speaking to the Guardian at the time Jason said: "Pubs should work together to make the town safer and if we can help bring people into Spalding, all the better."
Earlier this year, the pub made very different headlines in April when it banned customers from using mobile phones, laptops and tablets in an effort to encourage "social conversation", according to the brewery.
Mandy Stancer, landlady of The Lincoln Arms, in Bridge Street, Spalding, said: "I've been here for 12 years and it's a job that you either love or loathe.
"I love my work, but it's not getting an easier to trade because people would rather drink at home."
Charlie Rawlings, of The Prior's Oven, in Sheep Market, Spalding, said: "It's a challenging time for pubs because nobody feels safe in coming into town during the winter.
"People no longer need to be social when it comes to drinking because they can get from the supermarkets."
More by this authorWinston Brown