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Legion club loses its fight for survival

BATTLE LOST: Womens section treasurer Janet Shaw and Peter Guy with a petition against the closure last August. SG190813-118TW

BATTLE LOST: Womens section treasurer Janet Shaw and Peter Guy with a petition against the closure last August. SG190813-118TW

Sutton Bridge Royal British Legion Social Club lost its battle with the legion’s national headquarters and has been forced to shut down.

Last year, the national HQ ordered the social club – a limited company separate from the veterans’ branch – to close on August 31 in a row over debts.

But club officials won a reprieve after claiming legion bosses based their decision on old figures showing outstanding debts rather than noting an upturn in its fortunes.

A spokesman for The Royal British Legion in London said: “The Sutton Bridge Royal British Legion Social Club closed on January 1. The decision was taken to formally withdraw the legion licence from the Sutton Bridge RBL Social Club Ltd after repeated failures to meet the strict criteria that are required under the terms of a RBL licence.

“Previously additional time had been granted to them to allow them to address the issues. However satisfactory solutions could not be found and the legion licence was withdrawn.

“No decision has been made on the future of the building at this moment.”

A spokesman for the club said a statement will be issued later.

Legion branch chairman Peter Guy, who is in his eighties, has been going to the club for more than 60 years and says he’s disappointed it closed but there’s nothing he can do about it.

He said: “We (the branch) will just carry on having our meetings in the church. The vicar is on our committee and he offered us the churchroom.”

The Rev David Oxtoby said it was “an incredible shame” the club had closed, but the church is happy to give the branch a base.

 

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