A VILLAGE pub near York has suddenly closed its doors again, less than a fortnight after reopening from the lockdown.

The Blacksmith's Arms at Skelton shut yesterday, having reopened on July 6 after a long closure enforced by the Government.

Customers posted their shocked and angry reaction to the closure news on the pub's Facebook page yesterday.

One said:"We have thoroughly loved having you behind the bar the last 8 months; you have done an amazing job and should be proud," while another posted: "How sad after all your hard work. Their loss!"

Other comments included:"Really sorry to hear this Will, especially when you’ve worked so hard!", and "Oh, Will, that’s so sad after all your hard work."

Another said: "Genuinely sorry to hear this Will, you’ve not had it easy there at all, especially with the current Covid stuff going on."

The pub was shut for six months last year until it finally reopened last December under landlord Will Garnett and landlady Lucy Scott, following a major revamp which included the stripping of white rendering on external walls to expose original brickwork.

City of York Council had listed it as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) last September to help protect it from re-development after receiving an application from Skelton Parish Council.

Chairman Joe Watt said then that the parish was delighted the vital community facility was back into action.

The parish said in its application that the Blacksmith's Arms had served the Skelton community for generations and had been the only ‘local’ public house in the village for decades.

It said the pub had been a major social centre for a traditional part of village community life and its extended closure had created a notable deterioration in the village's social cohesion and wellbeing.

But the brewery, opposing the application, said its principle was not to sell or redevelop its pubs, and that it planned to carry out renovation work and was fully committed to re-opening it once suitable new management had been found.

The landlord declined to comment yesterday and the brewery does not comment to the media.

*It emerged today that an advert has already been posted on Gumtree for a new management couple to run the Blacksmiths Arms, along with several other Samuel Smith's Brewery pubs which have been closed since last year.