Neighbours create hatch in fence to enjoy socially-distanced drink

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Kris Hindley and Tony Bennison from Aldridge have been joined by their families to use the hatch between their gardens.

Neighbours create hatch through fence to have a socially-distanced drink with

A man who described his neighbours as a “big family” has built a hatch in their shared fence so they can enjoy a socially-distanced drink.

Kris Hindley, 39, from Aldridge, created the hatch with his neighbour Tony Bennison, 54, when lockdown began and they could no longer socialise.

“It was a week going into lockdown,” Mr Hindley told the PA news agency. “Obviously we can’t do socialising but we’ve always had a drink together, there’s only so much you can do shouting over the fence.”

The two created the hatch over a weekend using hinges and other DIY equipment they had already.

(Kris Hindley)

Mr Hindley, who owns alcohol company GinTing, said his family and Mr Bennison’s have been friends since 2015, after the pair bought a plot of land together and split it to build two houses.

He explained that before the hatch, the two families would take benches into their own front gardens for a socially-distanced chat.

“We don’t stop using it now,” Mr Hindley said, adding that he would keep using the hatch after lockdown is lifted.

Mr Hindley told PA: “My daughter’s 15 and my son’s 12 and they’ve got older children that live there, we all get on, we’re like a big family anyway, we always used to socialise together.”

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