PALMERS Brewery is calling last orders on one of the oldest pubs in Bridport this summer.

The move comes at a time when two of its other pubs have also been forced to shut.

Palmers is in the process of submitting a planning application to change The Boot Inn in North Allington into a residential property.

Current licensees Maggie and Graham Carey, who have been at the pub for nine years, are retiring from the trade in the summer.

The brewery says the cost of complying with legislation makes it unfeasible to retain The Boot Inn as a pub.

Tim Woodrow, tenanted trade director, said: "It is always disappointing to call time on a pub but the cost of complying with current legislation has made the pub unviable."

Mrs Carey, who was a personnel officer before she and her husband took on The Boot nine years ago, said: "Obviously the customers are very upset.

"A lot of them have been drinking here for quite a few years. It is a shame that they are actually going to shut the pub as it has been one for over 200 years.

"We have absolutely loved it here. We had been coming here for 20 years and then nine years ago had the opportunity to come into the pub.

"It was always a secret ambition and we have thoroughly enjoyed the time here.

"The customers have been absolutely wonderful."

Other problems have hit another two of the brewery's main pubs in Bridport town centre.

The Ropemakers closed two weeks ago with the sudden departure of its licensee David Hansen and Palmers says there are contractual difficulties over reopening the pub.

The Tanners has also been closed since April. Previous landlord Jon Whetlor emigrated to Australia and the pub was closed for refurbishment but there has been a delay in the new tenants moving in.

Mr Woodrow said: "It has been an unfortunate set of circumstances for both pubs but we remain confident that the problems can be redressed as soon as possible."

Bridport town councillor and Allington parish councillor Phil Lathey said he was surprised to hear Palmers was going to close The Boot.

"It is going to be a great loss to the community but with the advent of the big supermarkets and cheap beer people are not frequenting public houses so much, they are drinking at home more."