Wellingborough’s Royal British Legion forced to close shop after just four months

The official opening of the shop in September
The official opening of the shop in September

Members of a town’s Royal British Legion branch have said they feel ‘let down’ after being left without a home again.

The Wellingborough, Great Doddington and District branch of the RBL was delighted to open a new shop in Sheep Street, Wellingborough, just four months ago.

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

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

But today (Wednesday) will see the shop closing as the branch has been told by the Legion that there is no need for premises of this type in the town.

A statement from the branch said: “We are very sorry to inform you that as from 22 December 2016 we have been told by the Royal British Legion administration that we have to close our shop as they feel that there is no need for a premises of this type in Wellingborough.

“This is not our decision and we would like to inform everyone that we are still an active branch so if anyone is in need of help in any way or just information please keep in touch by email on iannunney@yahoo.co.uk or ringing Ian Nunney on 07870 830046 or 01933 279410.

“Thank you once again for all the support given to us by Wellingborough and the surrounding areas.”

Ian Nunney, chairman of the Wellingborough branch, said: “We just want an office to operate from and that small shop was ideal.

“We had the full support of the council, but the Legion didn’t seem to think it would fulfil a need.

“We put a lot of effort into it and a lot of the members feel let down.”

Mr Nunney said it was back to the drawing board for them as they try to find alternative premises which the Legion will allow them to have.

And he added: “We are not going quietly.

“The council was pleased that we were there as we were going to offer information and welfare help to a lot of the local ex-service community and there’s quite a lot of ex-servicemen in Wellingborough.”

But for now, branch members will be marking the short-lived success of the shop with mulled wine and mince pies today.

Mr Nunney said: “You are invited today from 11am onwards to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at the shop in Sheep Street to thank the people of Wellingborough for all their support and to say farewell to our little shop.”