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LEGENDARY LICENSEE: Pub landlord celebrates 40 years of serving the community

 Published on: 29th October 2023   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

The landlord of The Compasses pub in Abbots Langley has become the longest-serving licensee in the Watford licensing district.

Tony Vodden arrived at The Compasses with his parents on October 31, 1983, aged 16. His parents went on to run the pub for 19 years before handing the reigns over to Tony, who has now been heading up the team for 21 years.

Unusually, there have only been four licensees at the pub since 1947, and Tony is now the longest-serving licensee in the entire Watford licensing district.

The Compasses is the closest pub to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, and Tony says that the arrival of the studios has seen set workers and actors frequent the pub and has given a huge boost to the business. Prior to this, employers of the Rolls Royce factory which formerly occupied the studio site were regulars at The Compasses.

Tony says that the pub has changed dramatically over the years after being extended twice, knocked through and refurbished.

Tony added: “The pub is a TARDIS – it looks small from the outside but inside we have lots of space. The Compasses was number one on Tripadvisor for Abbots for nine years. We’re proud of the pub you see today.”

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