Welcome to the Pawlett Branch of The Royal British Legion
We will add pieces of interesting history of Pawlett Branch and Club on these pages as they become available. If you have any information you think would be of interest to members, and especially any photographs, please send them to the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it with the Steward at the Club. Original photographs will of course be returned.
The Pawlett Branch was first established in February 1947 when a bank account was opened with the Westminster Bank.
Early meetings were held in members homes, before in October a wooden hut was purchased for £5 from ROF to use as a meeting point.
The plot of land that the Branch and Club still stand on was purchased from Mrs Mills for £150. The hut was erected and in May the HQ was officially opened, and the Pawlett Royal British Legion Club created. Initially the rent for the Club was fixed at 5 shillings per year plus 50% of the profits.
Founder member Arnold Pope remembers serving behind the bar of "the hut" with Les Long, Len Webb and others. It had a table tennis table, dartboard and active card schools who played often late into the night.
Mrs Morgan presents the Branch with a Standard.
The Committee decides "most emphatically" that the Annual Dinner should remain a men-only event, and sets the price at 4 shillings per ticket. Joy Cavill remembers spending many long hours preparing vegetables, making trifles and cooking Christmas Puddings with others, for up to 80 members. Turkeys were cooked at home and served at the Legion.
Plans for a new building are drawn up.
The inaugural meeting of the Pawlett Women's Section takes place. The Women's Section is still very active, with monthly meetings with speakers, coffee mornings and fundraising events.
In August, the new building for the Branch and Club is opened. Tommy Green, ex-Club Secretary and builder, remembers that the building was thanks in main to the efforts of Sam Hamilton, Tony Bradford and others. The project cost £9000, and a loan from Courage Brewery and some members acting as guarantors made it possible,
Nigel Coombes remembers that the old Legion hut remained open during the construction of the new building around it, and members had to walk across scaffolding planks to get to the bar!
The new building boasts a larger bar, lounge, kitchen and skittle alley. It was at this time that the Bradford Cup for 4-a-side skittles was started in memory of Tony Bradford, and the Cup is still contested every year and remains well supported even now, forty-odd years later.
In November the Club agrees to a rent increase from 5 shillings per year to £50 per year. Annual membership is 50p per year.
The price of the Annual Dinner increases to £1 per ticket. The Poppy Appeal in Pawlett raises £157
In June the flagpole is erected.
Pawlett Branch merges with Puriton Branch
Membership has risen to £4 per year, and the Poppy Appeal raises £834.
Membership is now £9 per year, and the Poppy Appeal raises £1779.
In October, Pawlett Branch merged with East Huntspill Branch.
To celebrate the Diamond 60th anniversary of the founding of Pawlett Branch, a summer fete is held on 18th June. This features the Burtle Silver Band and various stalls, a pig roast, evening entertainment, and a very popular magician and bouncy castle for the children. It is a great success and raises over £900 for the Poppy Appeal.
Flag pole is replaced with a new one, and a new Branch flag is purchased.
Membership is now £15 per year, and the Poppy Appeal raises £8955! The amount raised has increased every year since 2005.
A complete refurbishment of the Club interior is carried out towards the end of the year, with new carpets and upholstery and redecoration throughout.
The skittles 4-a-side Bradford Cup has been held every year since 1969 to honour Tony Bradford, who worked very hard to get the new Club building in place. This year, the competition was renamed the Kenny Walker Cup, to honour another long-serving supporter of the Branch and Club, who sadly passed away recently.
Following the success of the event in 2007, the 70th anniversary of the founding of Pawlett Branch was again celebrated by holding a summer fete. We were blessed with very good weather, and a large number of people turned out to be enteretained by the Burtle Silver Band, buy at the stalls, and eat at the BBQ. A very successful day, and in the evening we were lucky enough to have the excellent Tim Pitman to finish off the day in style.