The Reepham, Cawston & District Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) has been re-established after being downgraded to a sub-branch of Aylsham for some years.
Reepham once had separate men’s and women’s sections, but these were forced to close owing to falling numbers. Renewed interest in the RBL has made it possible to restart the branch.
The inaugural meeting of the Reepham, Cawston & District Branch took place on Wednesday 2 March and the principal officers were elected.
Details of the meeting had been distributed to all those RBL members whose membership was officially associated with the Reepham sub-branch, although it is likely that other members live in the branch’s catchment area without having been associated with the specific branch in the national RBL database.
Former members of the armed forces attended alongside others with no military background: RBL membership is open to anyone keen to support veterans and their families, not just former service personnel.
The branch officers elected were Bob Boothroyd as president, Trevor Bevan as chairman, Moira Dye as vice-chairman, Michele Savage as secretary and David Luton-Brown as treasurer.
The new committee hopes that news of the regeneration will spread and that anyone interested in the work of the RBL will join them at future meetings, which are to be held on the first Tuesday of the month in the Bircham Centre, Market Place, Reepham, at 7 pm.
Mr Bevan said the branch is hoping to become involved in a number of events in Reepham, including the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
“The Royal British Legion has a range of roles,” he said. “It’s not just about the Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day, although that is important, of course.
“We also provide support and friendship to former servicemen and women from the local area and their families.”
The Reepham, Cawston & District branch committee is also hoping to track down former members and supporters from the local area who have allowed their membership to lapse in the period since the full branch was closed.
“We’d like to stress that we’re sorry that we haven’t been able to contact them yet,” said branch secretary Michele Savage.
“We don’t have contact details of anyone who is no longer on the national database as a member of the Reepham sub-branch.
“Our message to them is please come along to a meeting: we will be delighted to reconnect with you.”
The next meeting is on Tuesday 5 April, 7 pm at the Bircham Centre, Market Place, Reepham.
For further details please contact branch secretary Michele Savage by email.