Birthday parties and charity gigs among those affected by closure of Royal British Legion social club in Aylsham Road, Norwich

Dozens of people's best-laid plans have been thrown into disarray following the closure of the Royal British Legion's social club in Norwich.

As reported, the club in Aylsham Road shut after the legion withdrew the licence to use its name.

The legion said the club was 'technically insolvent', but members claimed that it was now making a profit.

The club, which was set up more than 30 years ago and traded as Norwich Centre RBL Club Ltd, has about 800 members across the county and is used by up to 50 groups and organisations and is nearly booked-up for next year.

One of those affected by the closure is Tina Babstock, from Glenmore Gardens, in Mile Cross, who booked a 21st birthday party for her son, Guy on Sunday.


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She said that up to 70 people were coming to the event from across the country.

She said: 'I'm so annoyed that we weren't given more notice. We have paid �50 to hire the room and �247 to the caterers, so we don't know if we'll get that money back. Where will we get a venue now?'

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Her son Guy, who works for Base Line in Felthorpe, added: 'It was going to be a reunion party as I had not seen a lot of my friends since school, and I was really excited about it.'

Meanwhile, Vicky Cook, a singer and trumpet player with the Norwich band Stylotones, said they had booked the venue for Saturday, December 17 for a music charity event.

She said: 'All the tickets have been sold to raise money for EACH, East Anglia's Children's Hospices, so we really don't want to cancel or postpone the event. But now we are stuck, and have to find a new venue.'

However, several venues in Norwich have already put their names forward as alternate sites. These include Clarkes snooker club and music venue in Barker Street, off Heigham Street, which can accommodate up to 200 people, and the Bakers Dozen function room in Millers Lane, north Norwich.

Meanwhile, Pat James, who was the last entertainer to perform at the club before its closure, said: 'The hall was full and we all had a great night. Where do these folks now go?'

Have you booked the social club for an event before Christmas? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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