Green Street Hall garden facelift

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THE GARDEN at the Arbroath branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland’s Green Street Hall has always been an eyesore. It was unkept when the hall was purchased after having been left to deteriorate over the years.

The branch received a grant from the Angus Council Community Grant Scheme which enabled them to transform the area to a neat purposeful activity garden for the users of the hall. Jim Vannett, Kennel, worked tirelessly to restore the area to pristine condition which is now pleasing to the eye.

The Community Grant Scheme can be viewed as a lifeline to many voluntary organisations which wish to improve their facilities and the Legion was most grateful to the council for the grant as they now have an excellent functional activity area.

The branch continues to be busy, hosting bus parties, wedding receptions and other functions. In particular, it was host to the 45 Commando Falklands veterans over the weekend of the 30th anniversary of the Falkland War.

Bar manager Scott Berrie and his staff worked hard to ensure the thirsty customers were satisfied. All in all the weekend was a great success for the veterans and the branch was pleased to have helped in some way to make their reunion a success.

Annie Ogilvy and her redoubtable team in the women’s section had an exceptionally busy period having catered for over 18 functions during the past four weeks.

On top of that, at the annual National Women’s Section conference, Arbroath ladies won the Haig Trophy for the over-40s membership and the Lady Astar Trophy for the most new members. Unfortunately, Lindsey Watson was just pipped at the post and came second in the Standard Bearing competition, which is an excellent result considering it was her first competition.

The club committee is always looking at providing something new for members. Saturday night dances will continue but owing to the fall in numbers supporting the dances, more self-funding events will be available and the committee will introduce the more popular bands.

On Saturday, July 21, there will be a charity coffee morning from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and the stalls will include, cake and candy, tombola, raffle, vegetable and flowers and many others. Anyone who wishes to give prizes for the tombola or raffle can hand them in to the bar. On August 24, there will also be a prize bingo night, so there is lots to look forward to over the summer!

The Legion’s success is largely due to the hard word and selfless commitment shown by the voluntary work carried out by the various committees. This is reflected in the increase in membership, which is now approaching the 1,000 mark, but the club is always looking for new members. The Women’s Section is also keen to attract youth to their ranks to assist in the increasingly busy programme

The Pipe Band recorded two tremendous results at successive piping competitions. On June 3 at Markinch they came second in Grade 4 and on June 10 at the Strathmore Highland Games they came second in Grade 4 and third in Grade 3. These were excellent results for a young and enthusiastic band.

Finally, some of the stories in the historical albums kept in the Lounge Bar are worth a read. In August, 1943, Captain Thornton, whose parents lived in Dalhousie Place, was one of over 100 Merchant Navy men who were repatriated by the Germans. Captain Thornton’s ship had been captured by a German disguised merchant vessel or Q Ship, early in the war.

After over three months as prisoners on the raider cruising the Pacific and Indian Oceans for targets, the prisoners had to be landed in Bordeaux because their numbers were increasing

Captain Thornton tells of his experiences in the various prison camps. He noted, however, that the attitude of the German guards changed from being arrogant at the beginning of the war when they were captured to being very friendly when they were repatriated. The full story is fascinating and is one of many.

Paddy Quinlan,


Arbroath Branch RBLS