Lauren Vokes may be just 22 years old – but she has taken becoming a pub landlady all in her stride.
She has held the reins at The Harvest Home, in Copnor Road, Copnor, since taking over from mum Natalie, 37, six months ago.
They co-owned the local for three years until Natalie felt she wanted a break away from the pub industry.
Now fresh-faced Lauren, from Kings Road, Southsea, has relished becoming one of Portsmouth’s youngest landladies.
She leads a team of seven barmaids at the pub, which is managed by Admiral Taverns Brewery.
Despite having a young head on her shoulders, Lauren is urging local punters to put their support behind The News’ Love Your Local Campaign.
She believes a friendly atmosphere and good entertainment has been the key to why the 19th century public house still stands strong today.
There is live music every Saturday with local solo artists who belt out numbers from the 1950s and 1960s to the modern day.
Lauren said: ‘I really couldn’t imagine myself doing a 9 till 5 job. I’m in such a good routine now and I love every aspect of working in and running The Harvest Home.
‘The social aspect of the job is brilliant. The customers are very friendly and it’s really nice because I would consider myself friends with most of them.
‘Everyone loves the live music here. We like to give everybody a try and if people drop in a CD then they might get a chance to play here.
‘It’s very much a locals pub, but everyone is welcome. It’s not one of those places where someone walks in and everyone turns to look.’
The pub, established in 1860, also does its bit for charity. Last weekend it held a fun day in aid of The Rowans Hospice, which saw a day of locals going wild as they waxed their chests in front of an open fire for charity. A bucking bronco, raffle and tombola also helped to pull in £426 for the worthy cause.
Lauren said: ‘It was a brilliant event and everyone had a good laugh. It was something I and the team here decided to do at the very last minute and we’re glad we did it.’
Punter Dave Carson, 53, from Copnor, said: ‘I love it here because there’s such a great atmosphere. I’ve been coming to this pub since 1997 and I live 96 steps away!’
Barmaid Terri Jones, 21, from Paulsgrove, said: ‘It’s a great place to work because there are so many different personalities and characters who walk through the doors.’