New base for Royal British Legion in Wellingborough town centre

The official opening of the new shop
The official opening of the new shop
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Members of the Wellingborough branch of the Royal British Legion have a base in the town once again.

Yesterday (Monday) saw the official opening of the new shop in Sheep Street where the branch will be based until Christmas.

The mayor and mayoress of Wellingborough at the opening

The mayor and mayoress of Wellingborough at the opening

The shop will provide somewhere to run the annual Poppy Appeal from, as well as provide a drop-in for people who would like more information or to speak to a member of the branch.

It is the first time since 2007 that the group has had a presence in the town after its previous home in High Street was sold off and has since been turned into flats.

Branch treasurer John Tomkins said: “We haven’t had anything since 2007 so to have somewhere in the town is superb.”

Ian Nunney, chairman of the Wellingborough branch, said eight new members have recently signed up and added: “We have already had people coming in for advice.

The official ribbon cutting

The official ribbon cutting

“It does prove that we need a permanent shop.”

Wellingborough mayor Malcolm Waters was invited to cut the ribbon at the official opening.

He said: “Our poppy is a symbol of remembrance and is part of our modern British life, culture and heritage.

“The success of the Poppy Appeal relies on the committed support of volunteers and I applaud the sterling work carried out by those individuals and for everything they do in the borough.

The parade to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme

The parade to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme

“I urge the public to show their appreciation to the Royal British Legion and give generously to the Poppy Appeal in remembrance of those who have served us so well and for all who have given their lives.”

Before cutting the ribbon, Cllr Waters added: “I wish the Wellingborough branch of the Royal British Legion every success in their new premises and let us continue raising funds for the serving and ex-serving community and their beneficiaries who may be in need.”

Also at the event were representatives from Morrisons in the town and Wrenn Academy, who are both affiliated to the branch.

The shop will be open 10am to 3pm five days a week and it is hoped the opening times will soon be extended to include Saturday mornings.

Members of the Wellingborough branch have already raised more than £58,000 with the Poppy Appeal for 2015/16 and it is hoped that the next 12 months will be even better.

Mr Nunney said: “This year the Poppy Appeal in the Wellingborough district stands at £58,343.09.

“It’s a really brilliant effort, everybody puts a lot into running the Wellingborough branch.”

The Wellingborough branch also held a parade and service in the town this weekend to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme.