80-year-old Legion club at risk of closure as membership dwindles

The women’s section of a Royal British Legion club could close after 80 years due to a lack of members.

Chairman Sheila Rowley, president Rosalie Price, and vice chairman Gwen Bratton
Chairman Sheila Rowley, president Rosalie Price, and vice chairman Gwen Bratton

Membership has dwindled at the Market Drayton branch of the charity to the point where just three people turn up to meetings.

The charity provides financial, social and emotional support to veterans and serving members of the forces, and the ladies organise fundraising events and days out.

George Bratton, whose wife Gwen is chairperson, standard bearer and stand-in treasurer, said membership is on the decrease because of members getting old. He thinks the image of the Royal British Legion isn’t helping attract new blood.

He said: “It’s old age. It’s like everywhere else.

“Every club is losing members. They are struggling to get people on committees.

“People think the Royal British Legion is a stuffy old men’s thing with white shirts and blazers.

“Unless they’ve got someone inside the branch they know, outsiders don’t want to know.

“There are only three members that go to meetings. There are 14 in total but most of them are old now so it’s difficult for them to get there.

“You don’t have to be in the armed forces to be a member. Those days have gone. To fill the committee positions you have to have other people. They raise money for the National Benevolent Fund in different ways. They have stalls, events and coffee mornings. They have days out and meals out.”

AnyoneIf you’re interested in joining, call George and Gwen on 01630 654810, email glbratton@hotmail.co.uk or visit royalbritishlegion.co.uk. Yearly membership is £17.50.

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