Cash crisis threatens future of Royal British Legion Botley and District Club

Battle to save historic social club facing closure

Battle to save historic social club facing closure

First published in News

A historic Hampshire social club faces having to close if it can’t find the cash to continue.

The Royal British Legion Botley and District Club has been in the village for 90 years but now its members fear that last orders could soon be called.

Originally a tin hut when it was established in 1924, the building was re-built by members in 1982.

Since then it has played a key role in the village as Botley’s only social club.

Daily Echo:

Now, despite a packed calendar of regular bingo nights, cards clubs and darts groups, as well as annual children’s events, fewer members are using the Winchester Road venue.

This has meant the members-owned club, which relies on cash from the bar and people hiring the building for parties, has struggled to pay the bills.

Now the committee is urging the 300 members to come to its events to keep the club going and for new members to sign up.

Daily Echo:

They have organised an open day to show the community what the club has to offer.

Joy Haythorne has been treasurer of the club for 20 years alongside her husband Bill, 73, who has been chairman for 40 years.

The 65-year-old grandmother-of-two from Botley, said: “The people who actually use the club are fighting hard to keep the club alive.

“We just need members to use the club and get people in there. We want people to come up and see what we’re about and come and have a look at what we have to offer.

“We’re a friendly, family club with a beer garden, pool and snooker tables and a view to die for across the countryside.

“If we can’t save it, it will have to close.”

The club’s regular events include whist cards club on Tuesdays, bingo on Wednesdays, ladies’ darts on Thursdays and men’s darts on Fridays.

The venue is also available to hire for parties and family events, including christenings, birthdays and wakes.

Members will be welcoming the whole community to the open day from 6pm on August 16, which will feature live music and a barbecue.

For more information, or to join, call 01489 783772.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:23pm Sat 21 Jun 14

saintsfan76 says...

So many social and "working mens" clubs are struggling to survive throughout the south. A core membership of mainly elderly members trying to make the clubs appeal to the younger members and potential members while not upsetting the older members who hate "change" even when survival of their club is in doubt if these changes dont take place. Private parties are now what is keeping a lot of theses clubs afloat
So many social and "working mens" clubs are struggling to survive throughout the south. A core membership of mainly elderly members trying to make the clubs appeal to the younger members and potential members while not upsetting the older members who hate "change" even when survival of their club is in doubt if these changes dont take place. Private parties are now what is keeping a lot of theses clubs afloat saintsfan76
  • Score: 2

2:25pm Sat 21 Jun 14

saintsfan76 says...

Meant to add i wish Botley all the best for its survival but pressed send too soon!
Meant to add i wish Botley all the best for its survival but pressed send too soon! saintsfan76
  • Score: 2

6:22pm Sat 21 Jun 14

threetoonefav says...

The issue with the place and so many other pubs and clubs is......

The people who think its a disgrace that it's closing and want to save the place haven't been down there for a drink in the past 6 months.

Support you local........PLEASE!
The issue with the place and so many other pubs and clubs is...... The people who think its a disgrace that it's closing and want to save the place haven't been down there for a drink in the past 6 months. Support you local........PLEASE! threetoonefav
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree