A POPULAR Basingstoke pub closed its doors for the final time on Sunday, November 12, marking the end of an era that has left the community in a state of lament.

The Beacon, in Kings Road in South Ham, announced the immediate closure on its Facebook page.

As previously reported, the pub's assistant manager had hinted on social media in October that The Beacon would be closing by the end of November.

Later, Greene King, the brewery that owns The Beacon, confirmed the decision, though the official date had not been disclosed until the recent announcement on Facebook.

READ MORE: The Beacon Pub in South Ham to close at the end of November

The reports of closure sparked a reaction from the community, leading to the creation of two petitions, calling the Greene King to ‘reconsider the decision and keep The Beacon open’.

However, the pub, well-known for its warm atmosphere and community spirit, made the official announcement on Facebook on Sunday, November 12.

Expressing gratitude to the community and loyal patrons, the pub posted on Facebook: "We have made the difficult decision to close The Beacon with immediate effect. We appreciate that this is disappointing news to the local community and our loyal customers, and we would like to thank each of them who have enjoyed visiting us over the years.

"We are continuing to work with our team to find alternative roles at our other pubs in the local area where possible, and any customers that have bookings with us will be contacted in due course and offered a refund or alternative booking at one of our other pubs in the area."

The early closure has come as a surprise for the residents who were planning to organise a send-off on Saturday, November 25, a day before they thought the pub would close.

But vans arrived at The Beacon on Sunday morning and boarded up the premises, before announcing on Facebook that the pub had closed.