British Legion branch in trouble.

#1
Looks like the Legion in Birkenhead could do with a hand from any in the area.

Linky

The very first branch of the Royal British Legion faces closure due to its declining membership, it has been revealed.

With barely a week to go until Remembrance Sunday, the historic home of the organisation is facing a fight for its very survival.
First World War veteran Lance Bombardier Frederick Lister founded the Royal British Legion in 1921 out of a group of organisations helping ex-servicemen.

The first branch was established in Birkenhead, Wirral, in a grand, seven-storey building, but it is now under threat as it has only one active member, chairman Malcolm Upton.
 
#2
Also heard the RNA(Royal Navy Association) in Childwall, Liverpool is also to close in January. There's been a Bags ball there on a friday night for years, fantastic place for copping off with the Hyton ladies.


CTC
 
#4
Come on you wooly backs get it sorted.
I live across the water so it's a bit far.
 
#5
When I was a student in London I joined the British Legion in Kilburn.
It was full of walts wearing "Committee' badges.

A classic moment was when I got talking to a 'Committee' member at the bar and I asked him who he served with and he said "The Paras"(Surprise, surprise).
So I told him I was ex 1 Para and he said "I know" tapping his nose.

It was only later I realised I had just been initiated into a 'walts club' and was on the border of being accepted into said group of saddos.

When they found out I really had been in the army I was ostracised.

I went there twice.
 
#6
Birkenhead was formed in July 1921 but it was not the first branch.

The Royal British Legion Paris Branch holds the distinction of being the very first Branch of the organisation, its articles dating from 14 May 1921 which actually pre-dates the official establishment of the RBL.

Hope Birkenhead gets the support.
 
#7
Here's another first. According to the Ypres League, the RBL branch in Ypres was a continuation of the Ypres League, so arguably the original RBL. Here you go:
www.rbl-ypres.org
:wink:
 
#8
Okay, I live on the Wirral of which Birkenhead is a part. When I became a civvy in 1978, I joined my local branch at Moreton.

The prick sitting on the door at the time asked if I had served in the forces and when I said army he commented along the lines of "what the salvation army?" I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let it go only to find that the majority of those who frequented the place were no marks who had never put a uniform on unless it belonged to HMP and I am not talking warders.

I was a member for about a year and occasionally dropped in for a beer or two and discovered that if one hung about a bit in the upstairs bar, at the end of the night the "committee" held an O group while the steward cleared the pumps. i.e. it was free beer all round. Can't have beer festering in the pumps all night what! Not being totally stupid I took my share but felt slightly guilty about it.

I'm not sure exactly what I am trying to say but the whole place was very clicky and outsiders (even if they had served) were treated with suspicion. I suppose I only got free beer to keep my gob shut?

I have moved now but have another Legion within five minutes walking distance from my house. Rumour has it that it is in trouble. I have been in there roughly twice for family parties which brought welcome income yet some of the "regulars" have taken exception to our being there and sitting in their regular places. It's quite a sight to see a private family party being gate crashed by geriatrics all demanding their regular seats yet feeling free to help themselves to our scoff. Genuine ex servicemen I will give anything to but lets not kid ourselves that a lot of these are nothing of the kind.

A great pity because mostly the beer is a lot cheaper than most places!
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#10
Howler said:
When I was a student in London I joined the British Legion in Kilburn.
It was full of walts wearing "Committee' badges.

A classic moment was when I got talking to a 'Committee' member at the bar and I asked him who he served with and he said "The Paras"(Surprise, surprise).
So I told him I was ex 1 Para and he said "I know" tapping his nose.

It was only later I realised I had just been initiated into a 'walts club' and was on the border of being accepted into said group of saddos.

When they found out I really had been in the army I was ostracised.

I went there twice.
Why twice?
 
#11
oldbloke said:
I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let it go only to find that the majority of those who frequented the place were no marks who had never put a uniform on unless it belonged to HMP and I am not talking warders.

I'm not sure exactly what I am trying to say but the whole place was very clicky and outsiders (even if they had served) were treated with suspicion.
quote]

I had a similar experience at the club in a market town not far from Aylesbury.
Went through quite a complicated membership routine, forms sent away to confirm service, number etc.
The first time I went for a drink it was full of the local scum, none of whom had ever donned uniform. The atmosphere was less than welcoming.
Never went again.
 
#12
This seems to be a recurring theme. Where my OH lives in Cornwall, the RBL has closed down due to debts and declining membership. They were given the opportunity to get themselves sorted by RBL HQ, but this meant putting plasmas in, open up more often, being told to actively recruit locally etc and HQ would pay off the debts, but they said no, so club closed and it's a real shame as the building is huge and had loads of potential for use. Also when I ran pubs for a national chain, I poped into the local RBL (Norbury) and asked for a collection box to place on the bar. The look on the commitee's faces was one of disbelief, I explained that I was ex services and why I wanted it and the answer I got was "Sorry, we only use the collection boxes at the appropriate time ( this was in March)" I got told by the Old'n Bold in the pub that the Legion is only used by the local unwashed due to the prices and most of the oldies had gone to other Legions. The one in Norbury at the time hadn't had a new member in over 5 years.
 
#13
alas its the same all over..county say theres one a month (legion) closeing now.. and meny are going into "shops" to keep the welfare going.. the legion is a reg charity and as such cannot give cash to other charitys... dont know why,,, they can do as we did once let them hire the room out and make it a ticket do.. and every penny made is given back to them... the only cash made now is in a TA hall.. this sunday a £1:00 a pint.. thats for the ones on parade.. :)
 
B

Bottleosmoke

Guest
#14
fairmaidofperth said:
Birkenhead was formed in July 1921 but it was not the first branch.

The Royal British Legion Paris Branch holds the distinction of being the very first Branch of the organisation, its articles dating from 14 May 1921 which actually pre-dates the official establishment of the RBL.
Hope Birkenhead gets the support.
Does that rather strange Scot still run it?
 
#15
Bottleosmoke said:
fairmaidofperth said:
Birkenhead was formed in July 1921 but it was not the first branch.

The Royal British Legion Paris Branch holds the distinction of being the very first Branch of the organisation, its articles dating from 14 May 1921 which actually pre-dates the official establishment of the RBL.
Hope Birkenhead gets the support.
Does that rather strange Scot still run it?
Funnily enough had a drink with him there today in between ceremonies, so yes.
 
#16
The BL in Syston nr Leicester shut down for similar reasons but re-opened recently under the new name and set up which seems to be the way forward if the clubs are to remain open which I think is "The Legion" I must say they have done an excellent job on the place, another club closing or is closed is the BL in Oakham Rutland our club in Melton seems to be doing very well and we all had a go day in there on Sunday.
 
#18
This sadly seems a recurring theme, I had a friend who joined one and he is the youngest member and another who served in green all his life and is 62 in another branch both had progressive ideas but any suggestions they had to improve the Legion branch went over the Committees heads, they didn't want to know and jealously guarded their "in aspic" status and I think that is the root of the problem.
The legion was right for the time it started and did have noble aims, this seemed to have fallen to the wayside.
Unwillingness to change and take on new ideas as well as refusing to listen to new members is whats killing them, one by one, when will they take notice before its too late ?
 
#19
Just a quick question, if the RBL closes, does it cease to have a commitee and do the standards have to go back to RBL head office?? The commitee question was raised because I know of one RBL branch that shut down last year on Remembrance Sunday, but still manage to have a commitee who still hold meetings to decide what is going to happen each Remembrance Sunday.
 
#20
the "club" closes,,,however the branch takes over... as we have done in the port... AND we are makeing more cash without a bar... the club rooms are used every day cept sat... all standards are laid up if the BRANCH closes..
 

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