The Riversford Hotel has been forced to shut after 42 years of trading in Northam due to financial difficulties.

A POPULAR family-run hotel in Northam has thanked its customers for their support after unexpectedly closing this week.

The Riversford Hotel in Limers Lane has been owned and run by the Jarrad family for 42 years but due to financial difficulties has had to shut its doors.

The hotel was originally bought in 1971 by Maurice and Merrilyn Jarrad, who handed the reins over to their sons Nigel and Tony around 17 years ago when they retired.

But Tony, who handled the office side of the business, was diagnosed with leukaemia last year and sadly lost his battle in April.

Since his death the hotel has struggled with financial difficulties which has left them with no option but to close.

“We just want to say thank you to everyone for their support over the years,” said Mr Jarrad, now 81.

“December was looking fully booked and we have had to turn down a lot of functions, including several funerals, because of what has happened.

“We have many loyal customers who have been coming to Riversford for its own unique place and charactor, which many of the regulars loved over the years, and will have special memories of the hotel.

“We just want to apologise to all of our customers for circumstances that were out of our control and extremely unexpected. It is just devastating.

“We would like to wish all of our customers a happy Christmas and New Year.”

The hotel shut on Monday and is not expected to reopen.