Ad finds drinking buddies

A Hampshire widower lacking a drinking buddy has two new companions – after his son advertised the post at £7 an hour, plus expenses.

Jack Hammond, 88, struggled to find someone to have a beer with after moving from his Barton-on-Sea flat to a care home 20 miles away, reports The Guardian.

His son Mike, 56, put a notice in the post office asking for someone with similar interests or background to accompany his dad to the Compass Inn in Winsor, twice a week for a couple of hours.

He was so inundated with offers – including one from a 16-year-old – that he interviewed candidates by phone before asking a shortlist of three to join him and Jack for a trial drink.

Trevor Pugh, 78, a retired kitchen fitter from Southampton with a military background, and Henry Rosenvinge, 58, a former doctor, will now spend several nights a week with Jack chatting about military history and current affairs.

Pugh said: “I like having topical discussions and meeting new people and I’d be happy to take him down the pub and enjoy a chat … we are both ex-army so we have that in common.”

He will accept the £7 an hour to boost his pension, but will not claim the expenses.

Rosenvinge, from Lyndhurst, Hants, will do the job for free. He said: “He has a lot of stories and we are both from Lancashire so we have a lot we can argue about. I’m looking to come once a week for a couple of hours but we will be careful – we know what our limits are with alcohol.”

Jack’s son Mike, a chef in Brockenhurst, added: “He would rather have found his own friends, but he is limited in what he can do.

“Ideally, he wanted me to take him out seven nights a week, but as much as I love going for a pint with him I can only manage a couple of nights. He’ll now be going several times a week – three with his new friends and twice with me.”

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