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Home   Medway   News   Article

One last gathering as Royal British Legion club in Gillingham shuts

06 August 2013
by Rebecca Hughes
Royal British Legion Club, Livingstone Road, Gillingham.

Royal British Legion Club, Livingstone Road, Gillingham.

The club, in Livingstone Circus, Gillingham, shut despite numerous attempts by its members to save it.

Its committee decided it would have to close after struggling to cope with £40,000 of debt.

Members rallied round and launched a campaign looking for a new owner.

A number of interested people came forward, but after finding out the rent would more than triple, no one was willing to take over.

James Abrahart, 28, who has been going to the club since the age of five, said it was a sad day for Gillingham.

“It was like a family to me. My mum, Leila, met my step-dad there and the man who walked her down the aisle.

“I’m just at a loss really. My mum is talking about different clubs we can go to but there is nowhere like the Legion.”

The club closed on Sunday, July 28 with many members turning up to enjoy their last day there.

Mr Abrahart, of Gordon Road, Gillingham, added: “Everyone was just making the most of it really. It was quite jolly, but sad too.

“Everyone is absolutely devastated. We all tried hard to save it, but in the end there was nothing we could do.”

A spokesman from the British Legion said: “The Gillingham club was forced to close due to its insolvency and the trustees of The Royal British Legion need to make a decision as to how to obtain best value from the premises in order to fulfil their legal duty to the ex-service population of the borough of Gillingham.

“Any future tenant of the property would be expected to pay full market value for it.”

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