A PUB was advertising jobs online days before staff found out that the pub was being mothballed.

The Anchor Inn, a Sam Smiths pub in Guisborough, closed its doors last week.

But staff say they were only made aware of the plans after a stock checker came by and told them.

They then found out their jobs were being advertised on the website Gumtree days before the pub was to be mothballed.

Ruth Foster, manager of the pub, said: "On Friday, October 9 we were getting the pub ready to be opened and a stock taker arrived. Then he said ‘we’re closing the pub down’.

“He said it was because of lack of sales and it was going to be mothballed, and it will be a long time before this pub opens up again."

She added that she then found out the jobs were being advertised on Gumtree.

She added: “Even before we knew we were out, our positions were being advertised. We had no letter or formal saying or warning."

The manager added that once the pub reopened after lockdown, pub owners decided to hike prices, meaning bottled beers went up from £2.50 to £5.50 – a decision she describes as "stupid".

She said that prompted customers to drink elsewhere, adding "You know what, I can’t blame them.”

And she believes a ban on mobile phones also contributed to the drop off in customers, adding: "I was constantly under pressure because of this.”

She added: "It was a thriving little pub before the prices were put up, we had a good nice clientele coming in, it was a busy bar and it was great, we were always busy and we had some lovely customers there."

Samual Smith, owner of the Samual Smith Brewery company, said: "All the brewery can say is that managing a pub is performance related particularly in these very difficult times for hospitality."