‘USE it or lose it,’ is the stark warning from a leading member of Shaw and Crompton Royal British Legion.
Treasurer Phelyp Bennett fears the Newtown Street club could close unless there is an increase in members.
But membership is not exclusive to serving or former Armed Forces personnel confirmed the event organiser of the town’s annual Remembrance Sunday service.
Mr Bennett made his plea for an injection of new members after around 2,000 people attended the Remembrance Day event at Crompton War Memorial.
“If we do not hold regular meetings as an organisation they (the Royal British Legion) will take the building from us,” he explained.
“I have a document dated 1948 confirming this and we have been told subsequently that this can happen.
“If that happens then we will lose it for the whole of the community. That would be such a shame as it is used by various community and church groups, various art classes and by a Slimming World group.”
Mr Bennett will use the Legion’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, November 19 (2pm start) to underline the seriousness of the club’s plight. He will also propose quarterly meetings to keep RBL bosses onside.
“We have just about got enough members to keep that going,” he added. “And 60 percent of RBL members are civilians who have never been in the Armed Forces.
“That does not matter because we are all here for the same purpose.”
The property has been home to the Legion for 71 years. An upstairs room boasts a full-sized snooker table, cue rack and dartboard. But a covenant restriction from its days as a Methodist Hall, does not allow the sale of alcohol.
“We used to have people playing every day but that’s not the case now. So, should we encourage those who don’t want to go to the pub but just want to enjoy some social time and play a game of snooker.
“We have got to get local people here to keep this club going. Membership is only £17 a year and I say this as a pensioner, it’s not really a lot of money.
“If we can move this covenant then I have a full-time licence which would enable us to at least sell cans of beer.”
The Royal British Legion is one of the UK’s largest membership organisations and welcomes men and women of all ages, whether they have served in the Armed Forces or not.
There are more than 2,000 branches including overseas branches offering participation in social and welfare activities.
For membership details visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/join.