Neighbours Create Social-Distance-Friendly Pub In Garden So They Can Drink Together
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A couple of creative neighbours decided to build their own social-distancing-friendly pub in their garden by flipping over a piece of their separating fence to make a bar area.
'The Distant Arms' was created by Abbie Courtney and husband Chris who had a long-standing joke about building a pub with their pals and when lockdown forced us all to stay in our homes.
Chris, a sound engineer, had collected bits of wood over the years, which he was able to put to good use on this project, meaning that it cost him absolutely zilch to create.
Footage shows the converted fence panel flipping easily into a makeshift bar, while a piece of wood perched on top reminds everyone of the safe-two-metre distance.
Once it was all set up, Abbie invited their pals from next door Nichola and Marc Lewis to the grand opening.
Abbie, from Llanelli in Wales, said: "We just want to make people laugh and have some fun.
"It's about friendship and love for us - and staying in touch with loved ones. The pub's open 24 hours a day and cost nothing to build.
"More than anything it's fun and great for us because we've got something to look forward to every night. It's always going to be there now and the memories will stay with us.
"How do you know your neighbours aren't nice? This is the time now to say 'let's have a drink over the wall. Let's burn the bridges'.
"As long as we can make people smile we don't care - we're happy."
The couple say they had talked about making their own home pub since 2017 and when the coronavirus meant they both had to stay at home they decided to get to work.
Abbie added: "We moved back to my hometown when I was pregnant back in 2015 and instantly hit it off with the neighbours, but didn't really get socialising with them until the end of 2016 because my husband and I work away.
"We said 'you know what, we should actually fold our fence down so if ever the kids are in bed we can have a few drinks and socialise over the wall'.
"When we knew the lockdown was definitely on the way we knew we needed to do something. We delayed it until I said 'right, come on. Do it now'.
"I got my husband to work and the best thing is it didn't cost a penny. My husband is a hoarder and keeps every plank of wood. We renovated our house so we have saws and everything.
"Our neighbour's eight-year-old daughter designed the sign and we made it. We already had the paint. That was her home schooling work - it was brilliant.
"Chris did it in five hours. It was just great.
"On their side they have a bouncy castle which is what we call the 'softplay area', then on our side we've got tennis rackets and a ball pool. Our pub's got everything.
"They are balancing on a plank of wood over two chairs and all we can see is from the top of their necks from the chin up.
"When it's sunny, we're out, especially on the weekend, we'll pull the hatch down. It's up when we don't socialise."
The two families are able to enjoy each other's company while also maintaining a safe distance, with their daughters able to chat to each other and play while staying in their respective gardens.
Abbie said: "Nichola is a senior sister at the hospital and it's pretty full on there, so we decided to have a bar where she can just come outside, relax and get away from everything she sees on a daily basis.
"It's a big relief for her. We do ask her 'how is it', then she'll answer, and we say 'okay, let's move on'. It's important for her to unwind.
"The main thing we wanted to stress is we're not drinking alcohol and celebrating all the time.
"Sunday was really nice because we went outside, Chris had his boiled egg on toast and I had my omelette. They had their breakfast. We just had tea and coffee together.
"Sometimes on the weekend we'll have a glass of wine in the afternoon and come back out in the evening.
"Social distancing is still so important. That's why we have the sign. We don't share glasses, they've got their own alcohol.
"I ran out of sherry and my neighbours left a bottle on the wall for me. I love a Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry.
"We're so lucky if we can get out in our gardens and socialise."
The couples plan on keeping the pub even when lockdown has been lifted but will remove the two-metres sign.
Mum-of-three Nichola added: "The closeness of having neighbours and friends that you can have that with is nice.
"Not all neighbours are friends. We just support each other - especially in times like this.
"Abbie and Chris aren't working and in lockdown so it's nice for them to see faces over the wall as much as it is for us after a day's work. We were out with umbrellas [on Tuesday night].
"The girls would usually be in each other's houses but it's nice for them because they were communicating through the fence before. Now they can see each other.
"It's lovely. It's something we'll remember forever."