WELL that didn’t last long. The New Inn at Rockland St Mary has shut its doors again – barely two months after its last closure. The picture shows the removal van outside today as Jim Ravenwolf and Sandy Jarvis (below) packed up for the last time. They say the pub might open again in a fortnight – but that would be with more temporary managers via yet another holding company. So the recent history for this pub goes; closed November, opens mid-April, closes mid-June.
Clearly this is no way to run a pub. The regulars have presumably defected to other boozers – or the supermarket. Wherryman’s Way walkers don’t have that option. One well-place source in the village today told me that this size of pub is being crippled by a combination of high rates, high rents from the pub chain and a hefty increase in overheads like electricity. I used to think that location, location, location would mean that the New Inn would always survive. Now I’m not so sure. What’s happening this summer feels like the beginning of an unstoppable decline. It’s very sad.