Town’s last Legion club to close

An inside view of Thatto Heath Royal  British Legion Club after a devastating roof collapse.
An inside view of Thatto Heath Royal British Legion Club after a devastating roof collapse.

ST Helens’ last remaining Royal British Legion club is to be permanently closed following a roof collapse.

It was confirmed this week that the British Legion club on Scholes Lane, Thatto Heath, will NOT re-open.

However, a spokeswoman for the Royal British Legion said there were still two Legion branches in St Helens - in Thatto Heath and Rainford.

She said: “While the club is closing due to a roof collapse, there are still two branches. Clubs are run separately from the Legion – they are licensed to use the Legion name but are not part of the charity. Whereas the branches are Legion-owned.

“I can confirm this is the last Legion club in St Helens but there are two Legion branches in Thatto Heath and Rainford. And the latter occupies a Legion owned property which is run as an ex-serviceman’s club.”

A member of the Thatto Heath British Legion club, who asked not to be named, said it was “a very sad day” for St Helens.

They said: “I can honestly say with hand on heart, that I never thought we’d see the potential end to what is a great institution. Nobody appears to be secure in the current climate.

“However, I have to ask myself, ‘Where would the town be without the organisation that has helped so many veterans past and present including those current serving members of the armed forces?’”

“The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at Thatto Heath Legion throughout the year goes unrecognised as the majority of people tend to associate the RBL just with Remembrance Day.

“Not only is the Legion a charitable concern, it is a club which provides facilities to its surrounding community and has done so for many years.”

They added: “Sadly, it has encountered major structural damage of late and due to difficulties in circumstances, sorting the issue has become problematic.

“It will be a very sad day if St Helens loses its only British Legion club. Words cannot express the disappointment its members feel at this time - a time when we are vulnerable and looking for help.

“No doubt most people will have encountered some aspect of the Royal British Legion in their lives, whether they’ve been to a function there, had support from the branch or taken part in annual ceremonies.”