UPDATE: Legion club to be sold

Air of sadness as part of Honiton is consigned to the history books.

The former Royal British Legion Club in Honiton, which closed after financial failure, is to be sold for development.

Members of the Honiton branch of the Royal British Legion on Monday night voted in favour of an option to sell the Dowell Street site at the highest market value - possibly just over �1million.

Planning permission is likely to be sought for the redevelopment of the site.

Two other options were discounted at the extra ordinary meeting.

It was revealed that the club, run separately from the branch, owes a total of �100,000.

Bailiffs, acting on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs, have stripped the club bare and the only seating available at the meeting was fixed chairs in the club’s lounge.

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Mick Robson chaired the meeting, with the Legion’s county secretary, John Prior, on hand to answer questions.

Branch secretary Geoff Dibsdall said: “The site will be sold for the maximum price. The money that is raised will be held in a trust fund at head office and we can call on the interest for events in the future.

“There should be a pot of money.”

Mr Dibsdall said there was an air of sadness at the meeting, as well as concern over future housing of the branch’s artefacts.

It is hoped that storage can be found for the items and that some of them, if of interest, could go to Allhallows Museum.

The branch is now keen to ensure people in Honiton know it is still going.

A committee meeting will be held at the club from 7pm on October 10 and will offer members a chance to pay their subscriptions and pick up membership cards. All welcome.

The branch’s annual meeting will also take place at the club, at 7.30pm on November 14.

To mark the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion, a mini festival of remembrance will be staged in St Paul’s Church. Led by the branch’s chaplain, Reverend Alastair McCollum, the event will include a service, music from Honiton Band and an Act of Remembrance at the end.

Of the club’s 600 members, 48 attended the meeting on Monday.

Mr Dibsdall said: “We were pleased with the turnout. We only normally get about 20 people at our meetings.”