TWO articles on the same page of this week’s Hereford Times, but the same old story - pubs in trouble.

Except at least one of the stories has a picture of locals with smiles from ear to ear.

For in Yarpole the community has rallied around to save the village inn, The Bell, and in Hereford there is a determined campaign to keep open The Broadleys.

For almost two decades Britain has seen a startling loss of locals, especially smaller pubs. Since 2001 a quarter of our pubs have closed. At one point in 2017, 20 pubs were shutting each week.

But latest figures show a slowing in the rate, down to 14 a week. Still bad, but not as bad.

The argument that pubs are a cornerstone of British society is surely well won by now. Just look at the reaction in Yarpole.

In towns and villages pubs offer a community meeting point, a place for socialisation that can combat loneliness in our growingly connected and disconnected world.

But what The Bell and The Broadleys also tell us is that saving pubs takes a lot of people with a lot of commitment, a lot of hard work, and involves financial risk.

Would-be rescuers need help.

Taxation that hurts the pub business needs reviewing, planning laws need to be reconsidered.

We salute the people who have helped save the Bell and wish them every success.

And we call on the government to offer more help to our community pub heroes.