A TAUNTON pub has closed after 33 years following the landlords' bankruptcy.

The official receivers called Bob Watson at Henrys, in High Street, at 9.45am this morning (Wednesday) and ordered him to shut immediately.

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Mr Watson, who has run the pub with his wife, Annie, for the past 33 years, had to ask customers to drink up and leave before locking up for the last time.

"It's been very emotional, but we were expecting it," said Mr Watson, aged 77.

"We were bankrupted yesterday and the receivers phoned and instructed us to close this morning.

"We'd only been open an hour when we got the phone call telling us to close immediately.

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"The last five years of trade have sadly declined due to changing patterns - very few people come up High Street any more.

"We've had a number of customers phoning up and expressing their sadness."

Mr Watson, who previously ran a pub in London for ten years, said many people, particularly elderly customers, used to meet up in Henrys every day.

"They're going to miss their morning get togethers," he said. "Many have been coming since we opened in 1986.

"But it's been an ongoing battle for us for the last five years. We didn't make any money and poured our pensions into the business - it's all gone now.

Somerset County Gazette:

"Fortunately, none of our local suppliers will miss out because we always paid them in cash. But there's always a knock on effect when a local pub closes.

"We're going to retire now. We're just waiting to be evicted and have applied for a council house.

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