MYSTERY surrounds the future of a popular pub in Gosport which has closed down.
Boards have gone up at Madeline’s in Forton Road after it was sold by owners Punch Taverns.
The pub was last open on October 3 – but it is not clear what will happen to the site.
Landlord Karl Ovenden said: ‘I was told by Punch Taverns three weeks before that we were closing.
‘All I know is that they have sold it to someone. I don’t know anything about what it’s going to be now or who they have sold the site to.
‘It’s a real shame. I started working there when I was 18.
‘I told my regulars as soon as I found out and they were sad to hear it would be closing.
‘We had just started to get the place busy again too.’
The Gosport and Portsmouth Association of Rangers Supporters had its base at the pub for several years.
Chairman Joe Fisher said: ‘I was absolutely gutted when I had to tell everyone at our last match day that it was the last time we would be watching it at Madeline’s.
‘It was quite emotional for me having to give a speech. It’s a real shame that the pub is gone. It was a good pub and you never got any trouble in there.’
The group will now hold its meetings at The Vine pub in Stoke Road.
Ann-Marie Titcombe, who runs the nearby Market House Tavern in Forton Road, said she was shocked to hear Madeline’s had closed.
She said: ‘It’s a shame another pub has closed.
‘You can’t help but wonder who’s going to go next.
‘When pubs close it means things like darts teams have to find a new home and if they can’t then they stop playing.
‘The government should do something to help because we have got to pay too much with rents, rates and drink prices.’
Punch Taverns refused to comment on who the site had been sold to.
A spokeswoman said: ‘It is always our preference for our pubs to continue to trade as pubs.
‘However, we do review our estate regularly and may explore other options. Following such a review, a decision has been taken to put Madeline’s on the market and it was sold.’