DRINKERS at a Southampton pub have been told to chuck out the kitsch and get traditional this Christmas - or face a fine.

The Cowherds on Southampton Common has banished cheap modern Christmas gimmicks in favour of traditional festive decorations.

Anyone caught wearing ties that play a tune, flashing dicky bows, singing Santas and silly hats will be politely asked to remove it and make a 50p donation to the local church.

Landlord Robert Mitchell has been running the pub for 14 months and says his decision will be final on what is tacky and what is acceptable.

He said: "Some of the things that shops are selling these days really take the magic out of Christmas.

"I think it's starting to affect the way people view the festive season and is putting them off this time of year. We have banned tacky Christmas accessories and have set up a charity fine box for people who bring them in."

The Cowherds, which is owned by the Six Continents brewery and has the highest Sunday takings of any of the company's pubs in the UK, has been decked out with traditional

decorations with lights kept to a minimum and an abundance of greenery.

It is one of only a handful of pubs in Hampshire to have been awarded the royal seal of approval.

The pub is also serving mulled wine. But it is not for anyone bringing in Christmas kitsch. Mr Mitchell added: "There is nothing better than a traditional Christmas atmosphere and hopefully giving out mulled wine will help create that."