SITUATED on the border between two rival football teams’ territory the Strawberry Field Tavern is a pub that attracts both sets of fans.

But remarkably this is one pub where Southampton and Portsmouth supporters sit side by side and enjoy the banter.

The pub, in Locks Heath on the border between the two cities, has witnessed the rising and falling fortunes of both teams, but through these times only good natured teasing on both sides.

Manager Chris Wood thinks that friendliness is what makes the pub, which shows live sport, stand out, alongside its more unusual location.

“It’s all taken in jest rather than anything to start a rivalry which is good to have,” he said.

“It means they all get on and enjoy it - a lot of pubs you wouldn’t normally have that.”

The pub, pictured below, grew up in the mid 1980s as part of the Locks Heath Retail Centre, an outdoor shopping area, which it is physically attached to.

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Though Chris admits that its tucked away shopping location, off Centre Way, does not put it in the way of casual passing motorist trade, he says it has its advantages.

Much of its trade comes from the flow of shoppers who come in, particularly for lunch, after getting their purchases.

And the pub also has a loyal band of regulars, some of whom have been coming more than 10 years.

Chris, 37, said: “It’s a great pub of the community with a great atmosphere and always something for everyone.”

“We attract people of all ages.”

Formerly called The Lock, Stock and Barrel, or The Lockie for short, the pub changed its name two years ago when it came under new owners the Adastra pub company as part of a £30,000 refurbishment.

The name now reflects the original purpose of the land it stands on – strawberries picked here were once loaded onto trains at Swanwick station bound for London.

For Chris, who had previously managed a number of pubs in the Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford area and has more than 20 years’ experience in the trade, says even off duty he is always looking for ways to improve customers’ experience.

The Strawberry Field Tavern prides itself on a large amount and variety of entertainment for its guests and tries to put on events on Bank Holidays.

This includes a DJ on a Friday night and live music on Saturday evenings featuring local performers.

And the pub is always looking for new emerging local talent.

Other entertainment includes free pool on Monday nights, a Tuesday quiz night and a meat draw on Sunday night as well as the pub’s own pool team competing on Thursday nights.

This weekend coming the pub is having a beach party.

The cheapest beer is £2.75 a pint and the cheapest wine £3.55 for a 175ml glass.

  • The Strawberry Field Tavern, Locks Heath Shopping Centre, Centre Way, Locks Heath, Hampshire SO31 6DX. Tel: 01489 589316