Sudden resignation of St Albans Royal British Legion chairman and committee members
PUBLISHED: 17:18 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:24 14 June 2017
The sudden resignations of top positions in the St Albans Royal British Legion (RBL) have come after the organisation’s historic city HQ was put up for sale.
Chairman Don Dell, secretary Norman Davies, assistant treasurer Gerald Maguire, and treasurer Peter Noden all stepped down from their posts at a meeting to discuss the future of their headquarters on Verulam Road.
At the site there are two buildings - an corrugated iron structure called Nissen Hut, and Mitchell Hall which dates to the 1840s. The St Albans RBL has been operating from the site since 1921.
In 2013 the Herts Advertiser reported how the RBL’s head office had decided to sell the branch because it was an administrative and financial burden.
We revealed how Don Dell was “furious” when the head office sent in a surveyor to examine the building while volunteers were busy selling poppies for Remembrance Day, and upset they were pushing forward with the sale.
At the time Don was considering ways to generate income, including refurbishing Mitchell Hall for event hire and building three two-bedroom homes on the site for sale and rent.
None of the former committee members responded to requests from the Herts Advertiser to comment on the resignations before we went to press.
But a spokesperson from RBL said: “The property at Mitchell Hall failed a health and safety inspection, therefore the property has closed to protect members of the public and our members as it was not safe for use.
“The current branch committee was made aware of this and decided to step down prior to proposals being discussed for the continuation of the building.”
She said Hertfordshire County RBL will write to branch members and try to form a new committee.
“The county committee is fully committed to ensuring that the RBL remains in St Albans and that our purpose and objectives continue.
“Welfare services in the area will not be affected by the closure of the branch, and the Poppy Appeal collections will continue with the help of Poppy Appeal volunteers.”
The RBL was formed by veterans of WWI in 1921 to support today’s service people and their families, while also championing remembrance of those who gave their lives in combat.
To find out more about the charity, visit www.britishlegion.org.uk