The owners of the New Inn at Rockland St Mary say they hope to have the pub re-opened by Easter. There are no guarantees, say Punch Taverns, but certainly that’s the plan and they’re “currently talking to interested parties”. Phew, some hope for this classic Wherryman’s Way staging post at last. But it’s becoming a familiar pattern isn’t it? Close down as winter approaches, re-open with a quick link of paint come the Spring. If it is that difficult to make a go of it throughout the year, then perhaps some pubs are going to have to make this pattern official and try to cut the overheads in the process. And perhaps so-called “micropubs” are the way ahead. There are none in our part of the region, but a boozer in Kent keeps winning awards by keeping it simple, low key and low-cost. The Butchers Arms at Herne is a free house – a whole different ball game admittedly – but I wonder if it shows the way ahead for some of our back of beyond Broads pubs.