Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What next for the New Inn at Rockland

Rockland and Stuart H 001

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.

Rockland and hares 0511 030

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.


  1. We want to save this pub but will need the help and support of all parties concerned about the future of their much loved public house. Today we viewed this establishment with the consideration of embarking on a ten year lease. We are now in the process of producing a business plan but, what is a business without its clientele? For this reason we need to hear from all thoses who would like to see The New Inn at Rockland St Mary reopened. We want to know what you want and we want to make it happen.

  2. In response to the anonymous comment regarding the New Inn, we would like to add our voice to the ranks of those who want the pub to re-open with a permanent licensee. We have just spent some considerable time and money to open a holiday letting business in the village, as we feel that the Southern Broads are an up and coming holiday destination. Obviously a village pub is a complimentary business to our own.

    Good food and drink, a friendly face behind the bar, and a convivial atmosphere in which the community can meet and chat is what we hope for. In return, as well as using the pub ourselves, we can recommend the New Inn to our guests, many of whom choose to holiday within walking distance of a pub, and will gladly provide a link to our website.

    If we can be of any assistance to the contributor he can contact me at Oxnead House Holiday Cottages on 01508 538295.

  3. The only way the New Inn will be succesful is if Punch sell it and it becomes a free house again. I live in the Midlands and Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns between them have decimated the pub trade with high rents after the first year and by restricting tenants to buying beer through their own supply chain meaning they have to sell at a premium price thus driving the wet trade away. In my own town, we have at least eight, once thriving pubs, all closed because Punch are asking to high a premium and with supermarkets selling 'bargain booze' and a low profit margin it's no wonder many are closing. Punch will quite happily close an outlet and sell it for development because they make more capital quickly that way.