British Legion

#1
Is it just me who feels unwelcome when I go in them? I was in one last week and didn't find it that welcoming, many of the members there had never been in and seemed to just use it as a cheap drinking club and I tried to go to one on Saturday night when I popped my head round the door and asked if anyone would mind signing me in as a guest I was just looked at, and then ignored, so I left. Maybe I need to PVR before I can be accepted there?
 
#2
They can get like that mate, my local one was going that way, there was a clique that only went there to use the snooker tables.

It took a change of committee members to get it sorted out. The trouble is of course that the club part is separate from the Legion Branch , sometimes privately owned. The club part cannot survive without beer sales, that's a fact of life I'm afraid, so camerarderie sometimes suffers.
 

Pararegtom

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
I,d agree with you on that, Full of associate members who have done no time, and have there own Barstools, Had not been there in a couple of years, donated a signed print some time ago saw it in the corner filthy with dust ,Regimental plaques and silver dirty.
Cheap drinking club and civvies with attitude, treated as the old working man,s club. I wont be spending my money there.
 
#4
Well there just as bad round here, a serious clique of non-forces more or less run the Legion, its that unforces they cant even get more than 2 for the November parade,very civvy minded place oh and drugs.
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#7
Anyone can join the "Legion", or more properly The Royal British Legion. It is no longer required to have served in the military.It has an extensive network of Social Clubs which used to be known as Legion Halls; sometimes "United Services" or "Ex-Servicemens Clubs". Unfortunately I've not set foot in a good, welcoming Legion Club for many a year, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there I suppose.

Since these Clubs have been seemingly unsupported by the TRBL and self-supporting running as businesses, they can do pretty much whatever they like and take anyone whom they like. Hence the drop in standards?

But it seems a few Clubs are definitely not in the spirit of the Royal Charter in some cases, and hardly "ex-service" at all these days.
 
#8
bobos said:
I thought if you were still serving, you were entitled to drink there ??
You might be "entitled" but you don't seem to be welcome.

It seems a shame things have got this way because I remember going in our local Legion with my grandfather, after Remembrance Day Parade when I was a Space Cadet, and I don't think there was a single non service member (apart from all the Crabs). And I remember people who were serving were made very welcome..
 
#9
I had the same sort of reception in the 80's, Mate signed me in for a few bevvies, only four people in (early doors) me, my mate the barman and an old scrote sitting up the far end of the lounge.
I went and got the drinks in and had a quick go on the bandit.
The old scrote, upon seeing me chuck my quid in the machine, was now up and mobile, heading in my direction and very vocal.
He was harping on about me using the machine, when other people who are members where still playing it. :? no one was anywhere near the thing, there where no credits clocked up, and I asked the barman if I could have a go and he said yes. Anyway this geezer is getting a bit hysterical by now so I him told I would finish what games I had left then I would step away from the machine.
Well fcuk me I only won the 100 quid jackpot on the last go. This bloke was apopletic by now, and having a coronary.
I scooped the winnings up, stuck 10 quid in the charity box, and bought me, my mate and the barman a couple of drinks.
about 10 mins later I was approached by a member of t'comittee and told that "because I was not a member, I was not allowed to play the machines" and "as I had broken the club rules" I was asked to leave.
I appolgised for this flagrant breach of the rules but did ask why there was not a sign barring non members from using the machines on or by the machine.
Now I was serving at this time so I showed him my ID, to no avail, because of MY attitude I was told I wasn't welcome there.
I didn't have an attitude before I went in or while I was there, but I had certainly developed one on leaving and have never been in a British Legion since.
 
#10
Out of the four I have drunk in on a regular basis 1 was very pro military (Garrison Town), one had no interest in the Army, but were still friendly to the only serving member drinking there (me), the other two were just 'cheap pubs' struggling to survive.

As Tremaine points out these are self supporting clubs that come under the banner of British Legion. They have to run as a business, and they also have to have a committee, which causes enough issues.

The committees, as with any other, have their own politics and if there is no military input by serving or past members of the military then the priority is going to drop.

The best, and most military friendly legion I have been in (Market Drayton for those who are interested) has a minimum of three ex Army on the committee, and I suspect some Navy and RAF are on there as well.

Same story as anything else, the more you put in...
 
#11
Dogdrool said:
I had the same sort of reception in the 80's, Mate signed me in for a few bevvies, only four people in (early doors) me, my mate the barman and an old scrote sitting up the far end of the lounge.
I went and got the drinks in and had a quick go on the bandit.
The old scrote, upon seeing me chuck my quid in the machine, was now up and mobile, heading in my direction and very vocal.
He was harping on about me using the machine, when other people who are members where still playing it. :? no one was anywhere near the thing, there where no credits clocked up, and I asked the barman if I could have a go and he said yes. Anyway this geezer is getting a bit hysterical by now so I him told I would finish what games I had left then I would step away from the machine.
Well fcuk me I only won the 100 quid jackpot on the last go. This bloke was apopletic by now, and having a coronary.
I scooped the winnings up, stuck 10 quid in the charity box, and bought me, my mate and the barman a couple of drinks.
about 10 mins later I was approached by a member of t'comittee and told that "because I was not a member, I was not allowed to play the machines" and "as I had broken the club rules" I was asked to leave.
I appolgised for this flagrant breach of the rules but did ask why there was not a sign barring non members from using the machines on or by the machine.
Now I was serving at this time so I showed him my ID, to no avail, because of MY attitude I was told I wasn't welcome there.
I didn't have an attitude before I went in or while I was there, but I had certainly developed one on leaving and have never been in a British Legion since.
I've noticed that about the legions and fruit machines I've been in at least five that the members sit and watch you put your money then come flying over to tell you that you have broken the rules when you win, (even if you put a tenner in and only win a fiver). I always ask the barman before putting my money and they alway say its OK but then some fat old git informs me (after I've won) that its in the unwritten rules. Then they wonder why people don't support the place.
I recomend the Ex-servicemens club in Basingstoke, never have any problem in there.
 
#12
Tremaine said:
Anyone can join the "Legion", or more properly The Royal British Legion. It is no longer required to have served in the military.
I just read that on the RBL website... It does beg the obvious question - what's the point?
 
#13
DeltaDog said:
Tremaine said:
Anyone can join the "Legion", or more properly The Royal British Legion. It is no longer required to have served in the military.
I just read that on the RBL website... It does beg the obvious question - what's the point?
Its not so much the 'clubs' its the RBL as a whole that they are after recruiting for, though most RBLS,are Civvy id guess.
 
#14
I cannot disagree with any of your comments guys, as being a RAFA member for many years. Due to the demise of local branches through lack of members and ex-service committee, which included the BL, I was forced to look outside my area to continue and maintain my association with the services as being an ex- member of the RAF/ TA./RAFVR. This TRBL club was located 25 miles single journey from my home, and for the last 3 years I made a real effort to support by being a member (which is like looking for rocking horse shit today), showing my face and spending dosh over the bar.
It took me this time to observe the kind of cretins that are committee, and not being ex- service, are two faced...sounds like our MP's, and the slot machine comments are dead right...must be from the same mold? I had moved from a different toilet, to the same shit.
Until the local clubs etc get there Act together with all thats going with the external enemies on what will effect the long term existance of the BL( financial,/retention of members,/ new membership,/ and attitude from the enemies from within.
I still support the Legion, but no longer make that 50 mile round trip
 
#16
Pretty much the same as for me. When I moved into our house about 4 years ago, I joined our local legion, I never really used it but didnt mind paying the yearly fee to be a member. I popped one night after voting a couple of years ago as they set up the polling station in the village hall next door, I was asked for membership on entry which I provided

"Never seen you before" said the old Cpl Jones type on the door

"Dont really get in here much mate, I do every rememberance sunday mate, never seen you in here then" said I.

I was then again asked for proof of membership at the bar, the club was populated by the local civvy chav darts/pool/football team all in for a cheap beer. I then went into the lounge bar and was looked at by all in there as though I was the first Japanese soldier into Singapore.

The whole expirence was very off putting, so much so I didnt bother renewing my membership, I only go in for a pint after rememberance sunday now, funnily its nice and quiet then. Not a civvy member to be seen.
 
#17
Sad really. Had the same problem a few years back at a similar establishment in Staines. It called itself an 'Ex-Serviceman's Club'. Questioning the barman on a very empty Saturday afternoon (half a dozen gobshites playing pool and arguing with the bar manager about the price of a pint. A quid twenty FFS), found out that the vast majority of members had no links to the Services, tenuous or otherwise. Full of Grannies and pikey's playing Bingo on the Ground Floor while the poor old sods (average age 70 years onwards) from the Burma Star Association had to go to a first floor meeting room (no lift, had to come down the stairs for their own drinks etc). It's now some club or other but no Service link in its publicity after an Irish 'band' played there and played nothing but rebel songs for two hours.
 
#18
ham-shank said:
Sad really. Had the same problem a few years back at a similar establishment in Staines. It called itself an 'Ex-Serviceman's Club'. Questioning the barman on a very empty Saturday afternoon (half a dozen gobshites playing pool and arguing with the bar manager about the price of a pint. A quid twenty FFS), found out that the vast majority of members had no links to the Services, tenuous or otherwise. Full of Grannies and pikey's playing Bingo on the Ground Floor while the poor old sods (average age 70 years onwards) from the Burma Star Association had to go to a first floor meeting room (no lift, had to come down the stairs for their own drinks etc). It's now some club or other but no Service link in its publicity after an Irish 'band' played there and played nothing but rebel songs for two hours.
What the shit??!

Hope somebody was re-educated over that by the old boys :evil:
 
#20
I would have gladly invited any serving member to my RBL club but it burned down last night.

As a RAFA welfare officer as well, I do see the problems the RBL has. It is supposed to foster the good relationships with the armed forces but the young serving men and women don't want to go to the legion on a Friday night because

1. it is normally bingo night
2. it is either a RAFA / RNA / RBL committee night
3. No totty (under 55)
4. No totty (under 45)
5. No totty (with a pulse)
6. No food (competition now from pubs down the road)

Many of the clubs are struggling financially and the old image of being the cheapest booze in a town is seldom true in the current recession. Our area has liaison officers with the local RAF camp and hopefully that will encourage a 2-way meeting of ideas. Also, the RAFA and RNA support each other but the army associations seem to have few functioning groups.