91-year history is over as Haslingden's Royal British Legion club closes (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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91-year history is over as Haslingden's Royal British Legion club closes
ONE of the first Royal British Legion clubs in the country has closed its doors for the final time – after a 91-year history.
The club officials at the Haslingden premises in Deardengate have staged a farewell karaoke night after struggling for some time with falling takings.
The town centre club was only the sixth to open its doors to ex-servicemen and women, after the Great War, in 1921.
Cheap booze from the supermarkets and also a gradual shift in caring for ex-service personnel have been blamed for the ven-ue’s demise.
The RBL branch wound down several years ago but the likes of former club steward Dave Taylor and standard bearer Len Riley ensure that the annual Remembrance parade still goes ahead.
Mr Riley, a former RBL branch secretary for 10 years, said: “There was not enough money going over the bar to help to pay the bills.
“I have put it down to the cheap beer that is sold in the supermarkets. Unless the government do some-thing about it then you will see a lot more closing.”
At the end of 2009 Has-lingden Conservative Club, in Bank Street, also shut down after 140 years.
Coun Gladys Sandiford, a former Rossendale mayor and Greenfield ward coun-cillor, said that the legion’s Haslingden branch had struggled for numbers for some time.
“And these days you have also the likes of Help for Heroes and Veterans In Action, both working in the same area, although the Royal British Legion still does an awful lot in the area,” Coun Sandiford added.
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