Welcome to the Macclesfield Branch of The Royal British Legion
The Macclesfield Branch was first established in 1921. It operated as the British Legion Comrades Club Ltd. Occupying premises at 53 Chestergate. From all accounts the Club appears to have been very successful and the reason for its demise are not clear.
In 1975 the then Mayor, at the request of the then County Chairman, arranged a public meeting in the Town Hall to gauge the extent of support for re-establishing a Macclesfield Branch. The Council Chamber was packed and there was unanimous support for the idea. By the end of the evening a President, Chairman and other officers and a Branch Committee had been nominated. One of the main objectives set at the meeting was the provision of Club premises.
Over the next 13 years many fund-raising activities were organised but always the prospective costs of a project outstripped our resources. Even when we had arranged a satisfactory financial package the Council withdrew an offer of some land in Earlsway in favour of offering it to a Housing Association. After this, the idea of a club was abandoned in 1988.
The Branch has met in a number of venues over the years since then - The Spread Eagle, the Town Hall, the Nags Head, the Queens Hotel, the Bulls Head, the Park Tavern and the Liberal Club - but none of them was readily identifiable with The Royal British Legion.
The Poppy store was in a room in Victoria Park flats and when it was established that the flats were to be demolished and the site redeveloped we had to look for an alternative store.
A proposal emerged in 1999 to obtain a property, which was clearly identifiabale with the work of The Royal British Legion.
These premises would serve as a focal point for giving advice and assistance with welfare, preparations for the annual Poppy Appeal and for holding Branch meetings.
A number of properties were looked at and eventually a shop on Chestergate was chosen because it would satisfy our three-fold requirements, Welfare, Remembrance and Comradeship.
The premises were in a resonable decorative state and structurally sound, on a bus route and close to the town centre, an ideal location for any ex-servicemen or women to "Pop In" with their problems.
We opened our door on 26 April 2000 at 76 Chestergate, a stones throw from the original premises, a quarter of a century later.