Meet the landlord: Tony Coles

Tony Coles
Tony Coles
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TONY Coles stepped from one side of the bar to the other.

The dad-of-three always loved going to pubs while he was working in the Royal Navy.

Working for the Royal Naval police for 25 years, Mr Coles investigated all kinds of cases, from theft to indecency to drugs.

But he decided he wanted a second career when he retired at the age of 44.

He has been running The Heroes on and off for 21 years and was also a landlord at the Bridge Tavern in Old Portsmouth.

The Pompey supporter said: ‘I enjoy the camaraderie.

‘It’s my social life. My staff are brilliant.

‘My staff stay with me and they all come in during their time off. It’s a family affair we have here.’

He is also proud of the history of the pub and particularly its name.

Legend has it that the pub gets its name from the weary soldiers, who had just disembarked at Portsmouth returning home from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, decided to stop at an inn and celebrate their victory.

The old Heroes pub was based at the town’s crossroads, near where the bus stops are today.

But in 1962 the pub relocated to the north of the precinct.

Drinking in the pub today, it’s hard to believe the building was once a doctors’ surgery.

Mr Coles added: ‘It’s a busy pub compared to a lot of pubs.

‘It’s mainly due to the entertainment element. Like a customer once said, if you came here on a stag or hen night, it would be somewhere you would want to stay and not move on to anywhere else.’