Belfast Telegraph

Last orders denied to RBL

by Natalie Irvine

An ex-serviceman feels “insulted and disgusted” after being denied last orders at his local Royal British Legion.

A member of the Sydenham branch, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Community Telegraph: “Last week was the fifth time now that the bar in the British Legion has been locked up by the time I and a few others headed down at 9.30pm.

“It should stay open until 11pm — that is what we pay our membership for.

“A lot of us cannot afford to go out earlier in the evening, and for many of us we live on our own.

“We always know there will be friendly faces there and a drink between our friends acts as a sleeping tonic for many of us.

“It is humiliating, spending time getting changed and washed to head up to the club, only to find the gates locked.

“It is quite a distance to walk for some, and demeaning by the time you get there to find it closed.

“I am disgusted that this keeps happening.”

The member added: “The barman tells us all the time that he wants to head home early — he doesn’t seem bothered to wait. I know he gets paid until 11pm, he should work until then.”

The Royal British Legion in Sydenham did not want to release an official comment about the claims.

However, a committee member said: “It has closed early a couple of times I admit, but I wish those who use it would come a bit earlier — it’s difficult to keep it open when there is absolutely no-one here.”

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