Legion ladies mark 70th anniversary

Liz Hewison, the late Marjorie McManoman, Hilda Marle (now Collis), May Squires and Irene Parkinson at the Longridge Over 60s Club Poppy Appeal coffee morning in 2004
Liz Hewison, the late Marjorie McManoman, Hilda Marle (now Collis), May Squires and Irene Parkinson at the Longridge Over 60s Club Poppy Appeal coffee morning in 2004

It was during the war years in 1943 that the Women’s Section of Longridge Royal British Legion was formed, 22 years after the national group was founded.

After that, the Longridge group went from strength-to-strength – with a big dip in the 1970s when all its records were destroyed – until now when membership has tumbled from 160 in 2005 to about 50 at the moment.

The current members, led by chairman Irene Parkinson, are getting ready to celebrate the section’s 70th anniversary this Saturday.

“We were determined not to let such an important date go by without marking it, despite being lower in numbers than we’ve ever been,” said Irene.

“We’re having entertainment and a buffet tea in the Legion club, starting at 1.30pm, and I do hope as many members possible will come along and help us celebrate the anniversary.”

Ten years ago, the 60th birthday was also marked with the addition of a parade. “But we’re all getting on a bit now so that’s not part of this year’s celebration,” added Irene.

She herself is standing down as chairman at October’s AGM after more than 40 years service in both county and branch posts. But her hope is that more helpers will come forward to support both the women’s and men’s sections and help them continue the valuable work which has helped servicemen and women and their families for so many years.

Men’s section and branch chairman Harry Blissett appealed last month through this paper for more men to join Longridge RBL, and he is still hoping that some people will be interested enough to respond.