Students launch campaign against revamp of Portsmouth pub

Sand dunes similar to those that Walter Menteth and his supporters want to see installed as part of 'soft' sea defences in Southsea

Seafront road may be removed in aid of coast defences

More than 6,000 people have joined a campaign to save a popular student haunt from turning into a trendy bar.

Cheap food and drink and a location near the Students Union and halls of residence has made The Registry pub in St Michael's Road, Portsmouth, a popular venue for the past decade.

But pub operator Mitchells and Butlers want to change it from a Scream pub catering for students to a trendier venue with more live music, which many fear will drive prices skywards.

Now a 'Save The Registry' Facebook group has attracted more than 6,500 members in two weeks.

The group on the social networking site was set up by former student Harry Paul Brownjohn.

He said: 'People go there because it's friendly place but a lot of people are worried it won't be the same atmosphere. And from what people are saying it's not going to be cheap any more.

'You get could get a pint for 1.25 on Tuesdays.

'I've been taken aback by the response the group has got. I would like to think the Mitchells and Butlers will listen to us and that we won't be ignored.'

Andy Berwick is head of the 600-strong ski and snowboard club at the University of Portsmouth who use the pub as a venue for club meetings.

The 23-year-old enterprise technology student said: 'The Registry has been a home for our club for many years and we've had financial support from the pub to pay for skiing events.

'It's pretty shocking it's closing.

'It won't be the same.'

The Registry is due to close on March 13 before six weeks of refurbishment is carried out.

Mitchells & Butlers said it couldn't give full details about what the new pub will look like or about prices.

But spokesman Andrew Roache said it would be similar to the Sixty Million Postcards pub in Bournemouth.

Mr Roache said: 'We would still be looking to cater for all those people who enjoy going to The Registry. It's a popular pub and we're investing money into it in the hope to make it even better.

'It's too early to give full details about any changes, but it's likely to be an unbranded pub with a different name.'

>> Vote in our latest web poll.