Remarkably, three generations of one family have had custodianship of The Dragon continuously for nearly 80
This vital - though highly unusual - degree of continuity has enabled the pub to evolve gradually with the
changing community needs of the village and of the times, whilst retaining
the widely acknowledged and established elements that served to make
the great English pub recognised worldwide as a totally unique cultural
Bob & Ida Burgess took over The Dragon in 1932 as tenant landlords to
The Cannon Brewery, and later to Taylor Walker.  And during World War
II, Bob was head of Flaunden’s Home Guard unit, which met in the Old
Club Room at the rear of the pub - a structure which survives to this day.
Their daughter, Barbara, who grew up at The Dragon, can still recall the
occasions when she played in the garden with two little girls who visited
the pub with a groom whilst staying at Latimer House just before the war.
Back then in the late 1930s, neither she nor, indeed, her playmates had
even the slightest idea that within some 15 years one of them was to
become Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Yes, those two little girls were Elizabeth
and Margaret, daughters of the then  Duke
& Duchess of York - unexpectedly, soon to be crowned King George V1 &
Queen Elizabeth on the abdication of the Duke’s brother King Edward VIII.
Following her father’s death in 1975, Barbara took over The Dragon,
purchased it as a freehouse, and has played an active role in the life of the
pub to this day.
Between times, she carved out a successful career for herself on the
London stage - most notably, as understudy to the leading lady in the
musicals Carousel and Oklahoma, alongside Howard Keele - before
marrying and raising two sons and a daughter, The Dragon’s current
The Dragonistas:  Eight decades of continuity.
Bob Burgess and young
grandson William Nickell -
now a custodian of the
Green Dragon.
The Green Dragon, Flaunden, Hertfordshire, HP3 0PP. Tel: 01442 832269.  Website creation: Mike Barnes.  Text & original photography: David Sowter.