TWO popular York pubs have closed their doors without warning after the sudden collapse of their parent company.

The Tap And Spile, in Monkgate, and The Ackhorne in St Martin's Lane, off Micklegate, were closed on Thursday night and Friday, while the future of The the Golden Fleece, in Pavement, was uncertain.

It followed an announcement by the Local Heroes Pub Group that it had ceased trading on Thursday.

The Golden Fleece, in Pavement, is one of York city centre’s most iconic pubs.

Staff there said yesterday they knew nothing of the collapse of Local Heroes. A spokesman for The Ackhorne claimed the pub was open, but visitors on Thursday evening and Friday found it closed.

A spokesman for the Tap And Spile would confirm only that it was closed and that it was uncertain when it would reopen.

Nobody was available at Local Heroes to comment on the closure yesterday, but an automated voice message confirmed the fate of the group.

It said: “Unfortunately, Local Heroes Pub Company ceased trading at nine o’clock on Thursday, November 25.”

The message advised creditors to contact Newcastle-based accountants Robson Laidler. However, when contacted by The Press, Robson Laidler declined to comment on the future of the three York pubs.

Matthew Grant, chairman of the York branch of the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), said the news was the worst to hit the city centre since the Exhibition Group ran into financial problems five years ago. He said: “I am sure that because these three pubs are three premium city centre pubs, popular with tourists and locals, that there is a future for them.

“We don’t know the circumstances of the closure of the Local Heroes group but I am sure there’s a future for these three pubs.

“These seem like it’s the state of the pub group rather then the state of the pubs involved.

“It’s not good news, but hopefully there’s a future for the three.”

Both The Ackhorne and the Tap and Spile have been recommended in the beer-drinkers’ Bible, The Real Ale Pub Guide, and both have a loyal following.