History of the Club

History

 

The Wimborne branch of the Royal British Legion was formed in 1921, just a few months after the formation of the Legion itself. The original branch was located in Park Lane, Wimborne, to the rear of Tappers Store in Leigh Road. The branch moved to its present location in Redcotts Lane in 1955. Regrettably, the earlier documents charting the beginning of the Wimborne Branch were lost in the move and therefore historical enquiry has to rely upon living memory and hearsay.

Two surplus Army huts from Bovington Camp were purchased to provide the material to build the first Wimborne Legion premises. The accommodation was limited to a small bar with a serving hatch and a room housing a snooker table. The Branch continued to meet there until 1955 when the tenancy expired and it was acquired by Tappers Furniture Stores for use as an outside warehouse. Tappers gave up the tenancy of the site in about 2004 and the hut was demolished. As the building came down, four brick pillars under the floor were revealed. These turned out to be the supports for the snooker table. The table could not be supported by the wooden floor and indicates the frailty of the original structure!

 

The land upon which the current Legion building stands was conveyed by Mrs Katherine Georgina Josephine Raikes to the HQ, Royal British Legion, London on 18th May 1953. Mrs Raikes was married to Vice Admiral Cecil Dacre Stavely Raikes, CBE and they lived in Westfield House. The brick pillars at the entrance to the Legion car park in West Borough are the remaining vestiges of the drive to Westfield House and are of the same design as the entrance pillars to the house in Redcotts Lane. Vice Admiral Raikes died in 1947 and he donated part of his estate to the British Legion in order that the car park could be established.

 

Present Day

 

We now have a thriving club with in excess of 650 members, the premises have undergone extensive refurbishment for the benefit of branch and club and our facilities are enjoyed by members and guests alike.

 

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