'We feel like we're being thrown on the scrap heap' Potters Bar Royal British Legion Club threatened with closure (From Times Series)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Potters Bar Royal British Legion Club under threat of closure
Potters Bar's Royal British Legion Club may be forced to close if plans go ahead to double its rent to a “ridiculous sum”.
The club has been based in the former village hall in Cotton Road since it was founded 75 years ago.
But The Royal British Legion (RBL), which owns the two-storey building, wants to raise the rent from £5,000 to £10,000 per year – a figure the club says it cannot afford.
Seventy one-year-old Joan Wright, a member for 35 years, said: “We just won’t be able to afford it – it’s a ridiculous sum. I’m so angry and upset. We’ve worked very hard to build up the club but now we feel like we’re being thrown onto the scrap heap.
“I’ve lived in Potters Bar all my life and the club has always been a part of the area. It will be awful if it has to close.”
Over the years the club has helped to decorate the building and has installed toilets as well as two bars on the first and second floor.
It raises money for the annual Poppy Appeal and runs activities including snooker, darts, bingo and weekend entertainment.
The Potters Bar club has 165 members – but Mrs Wright warns the branch "will die" if the building closes.
She said: “The club is the focal point. If it's not providing a hub of entertainment and keeping The Royal British Legion in the public eye then there’s no hope. It’s all doom and gloom.
“The club is important because it makes people aware of the charity and the work it does for our servicemen and women.”
The Legion is meeting members at the hall in Cotton Road at 8pm tonight to determine the club’s future.
Mrs Wright said: “Hopefully they will explain to us why they want to effectively close us down. We want to know their justification for making it impossible for us to stay here.”
The Times Series is waiting for a response from The Royal British Legion.