Bar to reopen at Bracknell Legion club today

Published: 26 Jul 2013 12:002 comments

A TEMPORARY bar will open at the Royal British Legion club today (Friday).

Bracknell town mayor Cllr Alvin Finch will officially open the bar, in Stanley Walk, at 6pm, followed by music from a live band.

This temporary establishment will be run by Michael Theal - former manager of the now-closed Bull pub - but will be superseded by an RBL branch-run club in the autumn.

Branch chaplin Sue Marshall-Halls said: "It's really good to have this because people keep asking us when we're going to be open again. Now we can say 'here it is!' "

The Bracknell RBL club was forced to close back in March because it was making a loss.

Ms Marshall-Halls stressed the Legion club is still defunct but that the new bar is being done privately, with support from the branch. RBL members and serving military personnel will have free entry. Temporary members can pay a fee of 50p per visit.

Opening in the first week will be: today (Friday), 6pm-late; Saturday noon-late;

Sunday, noon-10.30pm; Monday noon-late. Then it will be open from August 1, Thursdays-Tuesdays, 10am-late.

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  • TomEdwards
    47 posts
    Jul 26, 13:50
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    i thought this was being demolished as part of the supposed Regeneration?? are we really going to have a nice shiny new town centre with this old building at one end?

    What about the apartments that are in the plan? will they now not get built?? As much as i supporter of the Royal British Legion, if the Council or BRP are offering them a cheque for a new building that the RBL will be liable for, would it not be a much better idea to take the Money [I hear that they've been offered over £2m] and invest it in the legacy fund for the RBL, or perhaps give the Crowthorne Branch with its leaky roof money to improve the facilities, or Binfield, or Winkfield or Wokingham???

    If the club made a loss over a number of years, and they have a building that is ageing and needs a LOT of money spent on it .... surely the trustees are duty bound to get the best deal for the Royal British Legion!

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  • AlvinFinch
    5 posts
    Jul 30, 16:39
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    The building remains as was, and is still in the hands of the Trustees, what I opened was the "bar".

    The origins of the Bracknell and district Royal British Legion date back to 1919, when the men of the village who served in the Great War, organised themselves and formed a "Comrades of the Great War Club". Their premises, which were situated on the eastern side of the village, was a construction of part brick and part corrugated iron and was to serve them for the next eleven years. When the British Legion came into existence in 1921, the club immediately affiliated as a Branch.

    During the late 1920s Harold Footman OBE, decided that the men who served the country so well were deserving of better premises and facilities which he offered to provide from his own funds. This was a time of severe economic depression, with the unemployment figures at record high levels. Mr Footman insisted that only local labour should be used on the project - even the bricks were manufactured by the famous brick works situated in the village. Opened in 1930, the building dominated the village and was regarded as the finest Legion in the Southern England.

    During the mid 1960s, a compulsory purchase order was served on the branch to make way for development of the Town Centre. After protracted negotiations, the Trustees were successful in reaching a satisfactory agreement, along with a limited choice of alternative sites. It moved to the present location in 1968 with the official opening in 1969.

    The building, which is still in the hands of the trustees, housed the social club that recently had cash flow problems.

    Now that social club has been wound up, the Trustees are looking for a way forward, with some trial openings of the "bar". If this is successful then it is possible that by the autumn a new body can be created to run the "bar". I believe that discussions are in hand with a recently defunct club, to join together in that venture.

    As for the moving of the building, the Trustees are duty bound to see that provision for Ex Service Personnel in the form of a building continues to exist, as they did back in the 60s. I gather various plans are being put in place by the Trustees to ensure the viability of this or perhaps another new building. (This it seems is subject to negotiation as the Compulsory Purchase Order has been lifted)

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