A SMALL group of dedicated residents are hoping to revive the Royal British Legion branch in Moreton.

The once flourishing club, on Station Approach, boasted up to 400 members before it was closed down five years ago.

The Royal British Legion body regained possession of its premises from the branch following a hearing at Worcester Crown Court in January 2008, which found it had not complied with the rules by allowing non-members to use the premises.

Now a new committee has been formed to regenerate the club and it plans to take on the trusteeship of the branch and building, subject to the RBL headquarters releasing it to them.

Club chairman Dave Baker, who has been a member since 1968, said they desperately wanted to get their building back but the Legion still held the deeds.

“It’s just going to rack and ruin,” he said. “Before the court case the club applied to build a skittle alley. They refused the plan and kept the deeds.

“Last November a crowd of us got together and said ‘let’s get it back up and running again’. It’s very important for the old boys, for the comradeship and the welfare of the ex-servicemen.”

The Royal British Legion branch was given to Moreton in 1933 as a “club for the old comrades”, the fighting men of the town and the district.

Bob Hamilton, who joined the Legion as a serving member in 1959, said: “They’ve just told us flat we won’t get the club back. I’ve asked about four or five times to get the deeds back but they’ve refused every time.

We won’t get many members unless we have got a place we can go to.” RBL spokeswoman Susan Cottam said: “Since the club closed it has been held on a care and maintenance basis and work continues to seek to obtain best value from the asset for the benefit of the Legion’s beneficiaries in the Armed Forces community.

“No decision has yet been reached as to the long-term future of the property.”

􀁥 The committee is looking for old and new members to join them for the Remembrance Sunday parade this Sunday. The club, which meets every third Wednesday at the White Hart Royal Hotel, is holding its annual general meeting for the election of officers on Wednesday, November 28, at 7.30pm.