ANGRY pub-goers are protesting against the unexplained closure of a Mottingham pub which is more than a century old.

The Porcupine, in Mottingham Road, is rumoured to be replaced by consumer giant Tesco following its closure last week.

But, despite speculation, no planning application has been filed for the site and owners Enterprise have been unable to comment on the length of its closure. Meanwhile, the pub building has been put up for sale.

John Parkes, of Castleton Road, said: "I think it’s a bit of a disgrace really. It’s our local, I’m 70 and it’s always been here.

"It’s a joke, it’s the only pub around here, a good village pub. A lot of people go in there, so there’s no real need for this to happen."

David Bigley, of Mottingham Road, said: "It’s a great pub, in the summer the garden is full of families with children. We’re not very happy about what’s happening.

"It’s gone downhill rapidly, now we’ve heard they’re going to board it up. We don’t want that, we want our pub back."

The public house has swapped hands many times, though residents said they did not always feel managers were best suited to the job.

My Bigley, aged 56 and a Mottingham resident since 1980, added: "It has had nothing but scum managers running it down, who have made it into a pigsty.

"It’s always been put in the wrong hands, instead we want decent managers in there to tidy up. The potential has always been there for it to be the great pub it is.

"The landlord and staff were booted out two week ago, we haven’t seen them at the pub since. Days later the place was a full house of old faces for St Patrick’s Day."

Ronny Lee, of Bilsby Grove, said: "My family’s been going there since 1933, it’s a damn shame it’s closing. Where do we go from here?"

"I’ve grown up here, it’s been my local pub for the last 60 years. We want to stop it from happening after all these years."

Residents fear a Tesco Express will be the future occupants of the site, however a spokesman for Tesco said no deal had been made and nothing had been signed.

69 year-old Mick O’Hara, of Alnwick Road, said: "What can we do? Not a lot. We want it to stay open over Easter, it’s part of the community."