A new ‘virtual pub’ experience to get people together and partaking in ‘distant socialising’ has been set up by a mum of two from Torrington.

Raising a glass at the Under Loch and Quay Inn at Northam in North DevonRaising a glass at the Under Loch and Quay Inn at Northam in North Devon

Jen Cooper has launched a free range of ‘Getting Together, Miles Apart’ events at her own cyber space ‘hostelry’ Under Loch and Quay Inn.

She saw it as a great opportunity to inspire good-humoured fun at home, getting together with friends and family across the miles.

Weekly themes and an hour long playlist from ‘resident DJ’ Silent Streets Collective are presented on the website, so that people can make their own fun along the lines of the theme.

This week the theme for the ‘Getting Together, Miles Apart’ #distantsocialising event will be the May Bank Holiday and Jen is encouraging followers of her events to invite their neighbours to join in too.

Use the social media network and device of yoru choice to join in at the Under Loch and Quay InnUse the social media network and device of yoru choice to join in at the Under Loch and Quay Inn

She said: “I will miss May Day celebrations this year, but there is no reason why we can’t collectively recreate them at home. We will be out on our front lawn, pretending we are at a campsite with a pop up tent and some chairs, listening to the music, eating cake, drinking cider and dancing round a homemade Maypole. It would be really exciting to see some neighbours out too!”

Participants can use social networking of their choice to share the afternoon with family or friends that they are currently isolated from.

Jen said the events are free, you don’t have to register, or sign up, you don’t even have to tell anyone that you have taken part.

Although as people can see on the website, there is a growing picture gallery of cheery faces from people joining in all over the country and individuals can post photos or videos themselves using the hashtag #socialdistancing.

Joining in with distant socialising in Darlington, County Durham.Joining in with distant socialising in Darlington, County Durham.

Jen said: “The events are a bit of silliness really, but are also a welcome relief from the repetitiveness of life in lock down.

“Being around dinner time, they encourage us to do something a bit different - have an easy tea. Now on Saturdays, we enjoy to take our daily walk in the afternoon, come home, switch off and have fun – just like going to the pub!”

“This is really a stay at home initiative to motivate people to keep up the good work protecting our NHS and saving lives, but at the same time connect socially with their loved ones and have fun! I will miss May Day celebrations this year, but there is no reason why we can’t collectively recreate them at home.”

As the May Bank Holiday approaches, Jen encourages people to take a look at the website www.underlochandquayinn.wordpress.com and consider getting involved in the Getting Together, Miles Apart event ‘Morris and May - Bank Holiday’ on Saturday, May 9 from 4pm - 5pm. Look at the Events page for details.

Domestic bliss with the Under Loch and Quay Inn.Domestic bliss with the Under Loch and Quay Inn.

Under Loch and Quay Inn has advocates in Woking, Surrey, tooUnder Loch and Quay Inn has advocates in Woking, Surrey, too