Rallying cry to revive club

The war memorial at Four Lane Ends, Thornton. / view
The war memorial at Four Lane Ends, Thornton. / view

A rallying call has been sent out to armed forces veterans across the Fylde coast as a historic charity hopes to build bridges.

Thornton’s branch of the Royal British Legion has just three active members – but regional bosses believe 250 are dormant and many more could benefit from a revitalised group.

Two meetings have already been held at the charity’s Cleveleys club, on Rough Lea Road, in a fresh attempt to breathe life into the branch.

However, while six veterans put themselves forward to volunteer to fill the roles of chairman and vice chairman, there was not enough interest to form a committee.

Michael Turner, county chairman of the Royal British Legion in Lancashire, is confident a third meeting on March 5 will finally see a board put in place.

He said: “The first meeting had a good attendance and we managed to get six people to volunteer and come forward to be branch officers, but we adjourned the meeting for two weeks to hopefully get more people involved.

“The turnout was exceptional and hopefully we will have some good news (at the next meeting) and form a committee.

“Membership seems to have gone down because of people getting old and people not getting involved.

“We want to revive it and get the legion’s presence back in Thornton and Cleveleys so we can help more people throughout the county.

“It’s very important we have a legion presence in these places because there’s a lot of ex-servicemen in the area who can get together and help each other.”

The legion’s main roles consist of giving veterans and their families practical care, advice and support when they leave the services.

And Mr Turner is confident the committee can be reformed to help those who need it.

He added: “We are in a situation now where we need people coming forward to get it back to where it used to be.

“We need to get back out there and help beneficiaries or sick people who need our help.

“Cleveleys is a big place and it’s essential we have a legion presence. We’ve helped quite a lot of people in that area over the last 12 months and we could help more if we had a committee which people could go to for help.”