Barton Legion closes doors as membership falls

Jim Lewendon

Jim Lewendon

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

BARTON’S Royal British Legion social club has shut its doors amid concerns about lack of interest.

Tough financial times have been blamed for the closure of the Barton-based Headington Royal British Legion.

Members of the Edgecombe Road club voted to cease trading, the Oxford Mail understands. The club has yet to comment.

We reported in June that there were fears over the future of the club.

It was run by a private committee and affiliated to the Royal British Legion charity but was not under its control.

County secretary Andrew Bowes yesterday confirmed the branch had closed.

He said: “I believe it ran out of money. The members decided, in the financial climate, that they could not carry on.

“It is not only Royal British Legion clubs, many social clubs are finding that.”

County chairman Jim Lewendon said: “It is a way of life that young people don’t seem to want.

“We have lost several clubs nationwide over the last few years.”

The club opened in 1965 but last year club secretary Terry Cox told the Oxford Mail it had seen a drop in members from about 300 in 2011 to 209.

Mike Rowley, an Oxford City Council member for Barton and Sandhills, said: “It is a loss of a community facility, which is a sad thing to see. There were groups that used it who will have to find somewhere else.

“The Legion nationally said it was not able to support the club financially to stay open, so it is the finances of the club, sadly.

“It would be a great shame if all those things went now the generation who fought in the war and set up the British Legions is dying off.”

Wallingford and District Royal British Legion branch secretary Linda Shoebridge said many clubs and branches were struggling.

She said: “We are still functioning at the moment but how much longer it will be, we don’t know.”

She said perhaps it was because the generation who created the social clubs after the First World War had died out.

She said: “The comradeship they knew while they were all at war came back around with the Second World War. But it was not the same comradeship, possibly because in the First World War so many came from the same areas.”


 

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Comments (2)

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7:03am Thu 7 Aug 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

If the Legion spent some of the millions they have in the bank, on these clubs they wouldn't close.
If the Legion spent some of the millions they have in the bank, on these clubs they wouldn't close. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: -2

1:07pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

HomerSimpsonDoh wrote:
If the Legion spent some of the millions they have in the bank, on these clubs they wouldn't close.
As it says in the article, this is a private club affiliated to the legion, but not part of the legion.

Financially, it's probably the right time to sell. The dilapidated church hall next door is also for sale (see Oxford Mail 5/8/14) - so together it would make a fantastic development plot with capacity for around 96 apartments.

What I'm wondering is... As this is a private club - what happens to the proceeds from the sale?

Is it a windfall distributed amongst the members?
[quote][p][bold]HomerSimpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: If the Legion spent some of the millions they have in the bank, on these clubs they wouldn't close.[/p][/quote]As it says in the article, this is a private club affiliated to the legion, but not part of the legion. Financially, it's probably the right time to sell. The dilapidated church hall next door is also for sale (see Oxford Mail 5/8/14) - so together it would make a fantastic development plot with capacity for around 96 apartments. What I'm wondering is... As this is a private club - what happens to the proceeds from the sale? Is it a windfall distributed amongst the members? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

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