"I'm off down the Legion..."

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by zero-over, Jan 15, 2012.

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  1. The Royal British Legion. What gives? I don't mean the Poppy Appeal side of things, I mean the Legion as a social club & drinking den for former servicemen & attached service bints.

    The local RBL branch recently closed due to lack of demand despite my local area having so many ex-servicemen that I was unable to piss on my local war memorial on Remembrance Day without someone looking at me disapprovingly. Has the Legion lost its place as the premier drinking establishment for former service personnel for a specific reason then? Why aren't we all there trying to chat up ageing WAAFs instead of mixing with the local chavs?
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  2. Funny you should mention that, ours closed and is now up for rent. The rot set in when non ex-service started filling the place up, just to use the snooker tables, we (the ex-service) were made to feel unwelcome in our own club. Tried complaining to the committee but they seemed happy with things as they were. Pay me Legion dues by standing order now, and me card comes through the post.
  3. Shame that the Clubs are dwindling. Does anyone know of an RBL branch near Rochdale/Oldham???
  4. Probably many closing due to being frequented by boring cold war warriors. The days of everyone in there having fought in WWII are long gone. Must be right exciting listening to 'Bill' spout off about his exercises in Germany and 'Fred's' tours of NI. The boring cunts.
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  5. I went to my local RBL club with a view to joining, but found that the beer was crap and no cheaper than the pub 100 yards away.

    The club consisted of nothing more than a snooker table and a couple of fruit machines, only had about half a dozen customers and was in dire need of refurbishment. Not only that, but membership was open to all and sundry, no previous military service required at all, so the local chavs would be eligible to join.

    All in all, the place was horrible and the local pub a far nicer place to enjoy a pint.

    Maybe RBL clubs give off the impression that they are for WWII era old soldiers (not that there's many left) and not really relevant to today's generation of ex-servicemen.

    When you consider how many pubs have closed over the last few years it would be inconceivable to consider that RBL clubs would be immune from going the same way.
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  6. Half the problem is the attrition rate of branches behind those clubs.

    Not enough new blood with new ideas joining the RBL as the old guard shuffles off this mortal coil. Also, many of those that's left are too set in their ways to allow real change to happen.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk
  7. Sounds very similar to problems some of our Regimental Associations experience. The old boys are happy to keep things the way they are and a result young blokes are put off taking an active part and when people do try to instigate change it's the old national servicemen who stamp their feet and complain so things just stay the same.
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  8. Why regret the local RBL's passing at all? It had its time & place - i.e. the 50s - 70s, when most towns had a fairly large number of ex-servicemen, comms were relatively restricted, and it was far less common & affordable to run a car.

    Things have changed. Nowadays if you want to hang out with old mates & fellow minded ex-Army blokes you can chat online, set up your own bashes regionally / nationally and jump in your car to get there. For me thats a change for the better. Why turn up to a shabby quasi-pub on the off chance that a few good guys will be there? I'd rather hang out at my local boozer.

    To be honest, Clubs as an institution are in decline full stop except as hotels. In the 50s and 60s there was a whole hierarchy of clubs in normal life, mimicing the ORs / WOs & Sarnts' / Officers' Messes system of the Army. Now there isn't, and the ones that are left aren't any fun. The Army & Navy Club & Cav & Guards clubs, for example, are practically old folks homes with the odd middle aged guys having a business lunch yet 20 years ago they'd be full of drinkers at lunchtime and fuller after work. RBL clubs are the same - they'll die in the next decade and the world will be none the worse for it.

    Equally, when I hit fifty am I going to shamble behind a bloke in beret, blazer, medals, white gauntlets and flag to the local war memorial? Not likely, old boy. Times change.

    The RBL does need some way of staying in touch with ex-soldiers for fundraising & offering help when needed but local clubs are no longer it, and probably haven't for a while - hence the success of H4H.

    RBL clubs are a thing of the past... let them go.
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  9. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    British Legion clubs and Regimental Assoc can only be asgood as its members and its attitudes. There is a need for younger members with fresh ideas to work alongsidesome of the old and bold and it will take time and decent numbers to make andchanges but time is running out. We havea large RTR Assoc and the Branch in Plymouth has a wide variety of guys of allages and regular input and piss ups with serving members. We regularly get over 20 guys every monthwith over 100 guys and their lovers attending this year’s annual dinner. An RBL in North Devon is also doing well witha mixture of serving RM’s and older guys getting on well and enjoying the oddpint.
    One of the nicer aspects of the2 clubs is (unlike on ARRSE)everyone respects the work and time of those who served without getting hung upabout who’s war was bigger than the other. Unfortunately the only way to change things is to get stuck in and sortit out.
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  10. Agree with you Elovabloke, and I am very much in favour of supporting RBL branches. However, I simply don't see a need for physical clubs. You can initiate & coordinate a reunion / fundraising drive very effectively by phone & internet, and meet up whenever & wherever suits.

    Something tells me that the practicality & popularity of RBL clubs ( along with others ) probably lay in different treatment under licencing laws before they were liberalised. Since then they haven't a competitive advantage over pubs ( who don't make much money on drink anyway ) in terms of cheapness of drink or community ethos, so why go?
  11. One of the main reasons that I joined in the first place was because I grew up with decent old school war movies, and the stories from the old boys down in the legion.

    I think that the legion has a place now, but the old guard I have mentioned need to evolve and let younger members with fresh ideas move it forward so the club can survive.

    My local RBL building is run down, and the inside is a timewarp, and so are the committee. So I'm 50/50 I would love to see it stay, tradition and all that, but maybe we should let them go as a social club.
  12. the RBL has been closeing 2 down a week now ,,the land is worth more than the club brings in,, ellesmere port brings in £30.000 a year on ave and the ones that run the poppys forget that the RBL IS the poppy and not for them to make cash for there own back pockets,,

    one year ago come march i was selling real ale at a £1.00 a pint,, and when hitting the barrles price (40 quid) gave it away,, i never made the cash i paid out for for the pump,, someone was nicking it,,and not just a pint ot two,,it was over half a barrel in one night,, i found out who after i left,, but i will not go back to stanny lane,, i go to little sutton now,, far better
  13. The point is moot. In a couple of years there won't be enough retired servicemen to fill a phone box.
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  14. I can fill a phone box by myself at the moment.

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