TWO village pubs have been closed and the landlords have disappeared, amid claims they had been driven out.

Cliff and Wendy Jones, who ran the Old Riverview Inn and the Crown Riverside pub, in Earith High Street, shut both venues on Sunday, February 12, claiming on social networking site Twitter that "the level of abuse, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage" had driven them out.

They also used Twitter to list incidents they claimed had occurred since they took over the pubs almost four years ago, including damage to vehicles, burglaries, curtains set alight and smashed windows.

And in a note to The Hunts Post, Mr and Mrs Jones said: "As landlord and landlady we are appalled at what the local people of Earith have done to us over the past three years and seven months.

"The police do nothing, the parents do nothing, the local council does nothing. Who do we turn to for help?"

Some villagers said people had been avoiding the two pubs, using others in nearby villages.

Ron Hodge, 81, of Orchard Crescent, said: "I read the notice and couldn't believe it said the village had driven him out. I've lived here all my life but was barred from the pubs."

Sharon Valentine, 64, of Colne Road, said: "I'm really hoping both pubs reopen so we can get our community back.

"Earith has become fragmented since people felt they had to drink in other pubs."

Cliff and Wendy Jones were unavailable for comment.

Enterprise Inns, which manages The Crown on Earith High Street on behalf of Unique Pub Properties Ltd, said it was unable to comment on the situation but had recently entered the premises to make them safe.