Residents have been left devastated after a pub that has become "an amazing asset to the community" in Eltham suddenly closed.

The White Hart, in Eltham High Street, was run by a strong team of Simon and Dave Hinchley-Robson, Alex Mayers and Helen Hollett, who worked together since February 2012.

They have raised more than £100,000 for local charities through events at the pub, and also endeared themselves by feeding the homeless at Christmas and supporting young football teams.

Simon and Dave owned the lease but unfortunately due to personal reasons they have had to surrender it and so the pub closed on July 29.

Mr Mayers, 37, has worked at the pub for the past six years and said it has been an emotional time and there have been a lot of tears.

He told News Shopper: “Over the last few days I have received lots of phone calls and text messages from people who are devastated that we have closed.

“I am a bit shell-shocked actually, it does take a lot out of you and now I am just deciding what to do next.”

Local mum Clair Pearcy, who runs Boppin’ Bunnies mother and child group, said: “Simon, Dave and Alex opened their doors to me to run my Boppin' Bunnies classes here for five years. One of the first pubs to take on this innovative idea of using their space for the whole community.

“I am lucky enough to have a new home for my classes but they will be hugely missed. Thank you for taking a chance on us and for enabling so many families to make friends while chatting over a cuppa.”

Mr Mayers said the White Hart wasn’t just a pub, it was a community hub and a place where people could come for someone to talk to and laugh with.

Hundreds of people have taken to This is Eltham, SE9 Facebook group to share their own memories of the pub and how disappointed they are.

Customer Beverley O'Brien told News Shopper: "The White Hart was an amazing asset to the community of Eltham.

"The amount of money they have raised is outstanding. They really helped support local groups from providing raffle prizes to offering them the use of the quiz night to raise much-needed funds.

"Nothing ever seemed too much for the staff, so welcoming. This place will be missed by all."

A spokesman from Ei Publican Partnership, the company that owns the pub, said: "We can confirm that the White Hart, Eltham, is currently closed due to the publican’s decision to cease trading, due to personal reasons.

"We would like to reassure the local community that we plan to reopen the site as soon as possible.”