RESIDENTS have spoken of their sadness after two village pubs, with hundreds of years of history between them, closed down on the same day.

The Galphay Inn, in Galphay, and the Henry Jenkins Inn, in Kirkby Malzeard, both North Yorkshire, closed on June 29.

It is thought the Galphay Inn may eventually be sold for housing.

A Galphay resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "It is really upsetting for the village because it is such an important part of village life.

"We do not have a village school any longer, and the post office has shut down.

"Now the pub, probably the only village facility left in Galphay, is gone too.

"I have heard it may end up as housing."

The resident said the Galphay Inn had a reputation for serving good food, as well as providing employment to young people in the village.

The villager said: "It was often very busy.

"The building is hundreds of years old - there has been a pub of some sort at the site for centuries. Everybody I have spoken to thinks this is sad news.

"It is a blow to the village and the wider community. Perhaps someone else will take it on and have a go. Who knows?"

Landlady Karen Green blamed falling takings for the closure.

She said: "We love the village and wanted to stay here for the rest of our lives.

"Unfortunately, it did not work out that way.

"Not a lot of local people used the pub very often.

"This is a really tough time for the pub industry. Nobody wants to invest in it."

In 2004, Prince Charles visited the county to launch the "pub is the hub" campaign.

Supported by the Campaign For Real Ale, the scheme aimed to place pubs at the heart of rural communities by offering landlords advice on making their businesses more viable.

Residents in Kirkby Malzeard expressed shock at the loss of their village pub.

One said: "It's a shame to see it go, but I am not surprised. I wonder what will be next to close?

"This is another kick in the teeth for rural communities."

No one from the pub was available for comment.

The pub was named after 169-year-old Henry Jenkins, thought to have been North Yorkshire's oldest ever resident.

Mr Jenkins, who was a labourer, died in December 1670.

A memorial to him at St Mary's church, in Bolton-on-Swale, where he is buried, recalls "a person obscure in birth, but a life truly memorable".