Ilford branch of Royal British Legion under threat as call for new members made

A charity and social club that raises money for ex-servicemen and their families will be forced to close unless more members join.

The Ilford branch of The Royal British Legion, in Durban Road, Seven Kings will not be able to stay open for much longer, bringing an end to its 87-year history.

The club, which opened in 1925, has 150 members at present but unless �40,000 is raised through new members, people making use of the facilities and donations, the club will close its doors for the last time.

Richard James, 62, who is currently the longest serving member at Ilford, said: “We have unfortunately had to cut down on staff and on the hours in which the club is open. Last year we raised �22,000 during the poppy appeal, which was the highest in the area, and if the club went under that support for serviceman would be lost.”

‘Wrong impression’

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The family friendly club offers snooker, darts, quiz nights, fish and chip evenings and children’s activities and is �20 a year to join.

Vice chairman Ian Triggs said: “The problem is people have the wrong impression of both the British Legion and the club itself and they seem to think it is only for ex-servicemen which isn’t true.”

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Secretary John Hopkins added: “Many of our members are dying off but I believe we can go from strength to strength and I am determined that we can have a positive outcome. I only joined the Ilford branch recently and I am hoping the group will become more active. We have a stall planned at Fun in the Park and we are keen to work with the public and become a vibrant centre in the community.”

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