Northamptonshire’s oldest RBL branch could be forced to close

Sheila Cowell, Veronica McCurdy, Frank Cowell and Norman Byrnes
Sheila Cowell, Veronica McCurdy, Frank Cowell and Norman Byrnes

Volunteers at one of the oldest Royal British Legion branches in the country have said it might be forced to close unless new members can be found.

The Thrapston branch, which holds its annual meeting on Monday, November 11, now has about three dozen members, which is a significant decline in recent years for what is also believed to be the oldest branch in Northamptonshire.

Veronica McCurdy, who is currently acting as the group’s secretary and treasurer, as well as organising the branch’s annual Poppy Appeal, said more people were desperately needed to join.

She said: “It’s gradually eroded away. We have about 36 members but some live away and can’t physically take part.

“They do back us and are very generous with their donations.

“But we have got an ageing membership and we are not getting younger people in to take their place and keep the branch going.

“You don’t have to have been a member of the armed forces to join now.

“We are trying to encourage the general public in Thrapston to come to the annual meeting and keep the branch going, otherwise we will lose out on all the traditions.

“We are looking for help on the social side as well.

“At the moment I am doing three jobs on the committee, which I can’t keep doing.

“I am 73 but I am one of the younger ones.”

The branch, which was founded in 1921 – the same year as the Royal British Legion itself – is holding its annual meeting at the Thrapston Town Council offices from 7.30pm on Monday.

If anyone is interested in joining the branch they have been asked to call 01832 735206.