A POPULAR post-war pub in Eldene suddenly shut six weeks ago but no-one seems to know why.

Regulars at the Crumpled Horn have described it as a popular community hub but the building has fallen into disrepair since it abruptly closed its doors. The garden is noticeably overgrown, the toilets are boarded up, one of the windows is broken, and a sign on the front door notes that all valuables have been removed from the premises.

Built in 1975 to designs by Roy Wilson-Smith, the eight-sided Crumpled Horn was inspired by nursery rhyme This is the House that Jack Built.

Ray Foulds visited the pub regularly from the day it opened and worked as its landlord from 2003 to 2009. He told the Adver: "It was my second home and I was fuming when it shut. The new landlady really built the business up and now no-one knows what's happened."

The nearby community centre's bar was full of gossip about the pub's fate. Patsy Moloney said: "I won't miss it, I come here instead because you saved 40p a drink just by walking 50 yards. There are a lot of pubs closing now, there are no locals in Walcot or the Parks. I think the smoking ban played a part, and the fact that you can buy cheaper drinks at the supermarket."

Jane and Graham Scott took over the Crumpled Horn in 2017 and spent time renovating the post-war local with hopes of turning it into a family-friendly social centre.

One resident known only as Ken said: "There are a lot of rumours and hearsay going around. I heard it was supposed to re-open last Friday but there's been nothing happening there since the vans came round to empty the place. I think they're waiting for new management."

One punter, who didn't give his name, said: "The best thing that could happen to it is if they tore it down and built a new proper community pub that everyone can access."

The building received a Grade 2 listing from Historic England for its unusual roof last year. Inspectors said it had an “air of eccentric craftsmanship in its asymmetrical roof and ramshackle brickwork”. This isn't the first time the pub has suddenly shut down under mysterious circumstances - in February 2015, the Crumpled Horn closed amid rumours of falling trade before reopening two weeks later.