A landlady expects to call time on the traditional east London pub when the final bell for last orders bell rings behind her bar later this month.

Rita Acharya and Malcolm Durrant, who have run the Hare and Hounds in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, for the past 18 years are set to hand over the keys to the pub on October 30 after their lease was not renewed.

Ms Acharya, 48, began drinking at the pub 30 years ago when she first moved to Leyton and soon stepped behind the bar as an evening job while studying accountancy.

She and partner Mr Durrant, 56, then took over running the Hare and Hounds in 1999 and have been pulling pints ever since.

Ms Acharya said: “This really is the last of the old style, traditional community pubs in east London.

“We have been here through thick and thin, we have had our ups and downs but we made sure we kept the pub going for the community.

“We have got regulars who have been coming here for more than 15 years and have made friends or met partners they will spend the rest of their life with because of this pub.”

Mr Durrant added: “We have an 84-year-old man who comes in here and we do not know what his support network is going to be when we are gone.

“We are his support network at the moment, if he doesn’t come in we make sure everything is alright. It is so much more than just a job, in many ways we are the fourth emergency service.”

The Hare and Hounds, which has been open as a pub since 1861, staged a wide range of community events every year while managed by Ms Acharya and Mr Durrant.

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Ms Acharya and Mr Durrant have run the Lea Bridge Road pub since 1999

The publicans say they will look back with good memories such as opening every Christmas Day for locals to celebrate and welcoming football fans for several World Cups.

The Hare and Hounds was also used as a base for BBC World Service radio during the Olympic Games in 2012, with broadcasts made from inside the bar.

“It has been the most valuable experience of my life and it has been an absolute pleasure to serve everyone who has walked through the door.

“I am even looking back on the rows fondly now, we have had to bar the odd person over the years, but that is what working in a pub is about, every day is different and you meet a lot of characters.

“We have grown to love what we do over the years and the service we provide in the community, it is the most wonderful extended family and leaving them is going to be the hardest thing.”

The landlords have planned a series of events to say goodbye to the pub before they leave at the end of the month, after which it will be rennovated and turned over to new management.

The pub will stage an East End knees up this Friday (October 13) before a Diwali celebration and its final curry night on Wednesday, October 18.

A karaoke night and closing party will be held on Sunday, October 29 from 7.30pm before a final night send-off at the pub on Monday, October 30.

  • Ms Acharya also wants to get in touch with former staff and regulars at the pub to invite them to the festivities. For more information, email ritaacharya@aol.co.uk, or call: 0208 558 8282.