A RADIOACTIVE chemical container found outside a Southampton club had been there for at least four days, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Parts of Shirley were at the centre of a chemical scare yesterday after the discovery of the small chemical canister in the driveway of Shirley and Millbrook Conservative Club.

The canister - the size of a Coke can - was found next to a wooden post soon after 11am. Firefighters were alerted after it was discovered that the canister bore the yellow radioactive symbol.

Club secretary Lynn Davis said: "The lady that does our garden spotted the container by a wooden post on the driveway on Monday, but said that she didn't really think anything of it.

"When we heard about it we went outside to have a look.

"It was really heavy and had a radioactive symbol on it, so we called the fire brigade."

Emergency services set up a 100m cordon around the site in Anglesea Road, Shirley.

Police officers sealed off Anglesea Road at its junction with Shirley Road, and nearby Griffin Road and Sydney Road were also shut after the incident, but reopened by 3pm.

A police spokesman said that the amount of radiation being given off posed virtually no risk to the public. Officers, though, still want to hear from anyone who may know where it came from.