A BREWERY boss is calling for Bolton’s oldest pub to reopen as quickly as possible.

Shocked staff from Ye Olde Man and Scythe say they were told by text message on Monday that the pub had closed and they had lost their jobs.

Enterprise Inns, which is the freehold owner of the Churchgate pub, insists the closure is only temporary.

Pat Kitchen, from Dunscar Bridge Brewery, said: “It’s sad to see such a historic pub close down. I hope it will re-open soon because it is part of Bolton’s wonderful heritage in one of the oldest parts of town.

“I feel passionately that pubs like Ye Old Man and Scythe should be owned locally, wherever possible, as they can have the freedom to serve a range of local beers and provide employment for local people, so boosting the local economy.”

Neil Piper, landlord at the nearby Dog and Partridge in Manor Street, added: “It’s a crying shame Ye Olde Man and Scythe has closed. It’s the oldest pub in Bolton and well known for its cider. It’s always been one of the meeting points for people in the town centre.”

Yesterday workmen from the brewery were securing the pub and put up notices which said: “Take note that we, Enterprise Inns plc, the freehold owner of the premises, have today entered the premises for the purpose of making them safe AND NOT to bring the lease to an end.

“Anyone with a lawful right to entry should contact us to gain access.”

Ye Old Man and Scythe employed seven staff and had been run by John Jewitt before he tragically drowned on holiday in Lanzarote last year. His widow, Jaycee, then took over the running of the popular pub.

Cllr Andy Morgan, a member of Bolton Council’s licensing committee, said there were no licensing problems or enforcement issues at the pub.

This was also confirmed by a council spokesman. The council also said it had invested in street improvements to Churchgate, including new stone paving, and supported summer festivals to assist the area.

Enterprise Inns and Mrs Jewitt were unavailable for comment yesterday.