Deal’s RBL Downs Social Club 30th Anniversary

On 18th November, the Royal British Legion Downs Social Club celebrated their 30th anniversary with a brilliant buffet lunch and live music from local singer Tony Johnson.


CommunityAd Exclusive - Deal’s RBL Downs Social Club 30th AnniversaryHaving undergone some huge renovation works, long-time club member and Treasurer Christine Court talked to us about their fun friendly community club including their memorable moments over the past three decades and the urgent need for volunteers…


Can you explain your own background and involvement with the RBL?

I got involved in the club through my parents really. My dad was a staunch British Legion Member. He was Chairman of the Stepford branch in Norfolk when I was growing up as a child and so we have always been legion orientated. As soon as I grew up, I became a member; when my children got to 18, they beaome members, so it’s like a tradition. Joining the RBL is such a family thing to do, my mum and dad would take us for a drink, I would take my children and now, I take the grandchildren to the club for a drink! The club is somewhere for the whole family to go and be together.


Can you tell us more about your recent 30th anniversary celebrations?

We celebrated our 30th anniversary on 18th November on a Saturday afternoon. We put out a call for all past members as well that have lost their partners, sending out letters to invite people to come and meet old friends. It was just really a way to get them together again and say look ‘this club is succeeding and we just want to keep it in the community’

We held a buffet lunch for the past members and then we had live music from 3:00pm just to keep the party going.


What would you say have been the club’s highlights over the past 30 years?

Oh gosh! There are so many! It’s the wonderful people that you meet over the 30 years that you have seen grow up or grow older and all the events we hold that I would say are the most special moments. The Christmas parties, the Christmas raffle; we do an enormous one. Anything we have done to help raise money for the club as well as really enjoy ourselves.

In October, we held a massive Halloween party. I can’t tell you how amazing it was with the amount of people that turned up in costumes, I’ve never seen anything like it! It was amazing and so much fun, we had two 92 year olds on the dance floor during the disco dancing with my grandchild who’s five! Moments like that are really memorable. The social activity we have and ensuring our members keep in touch with one another is second to none.

The club is somewhere for the whole family to go and be together.

How proud are you of the committee and the recent work you have had done at the club?

We have a new committee, they have only really been going for 2 years after lockdown. Unfortunately, the person running it previously died so we had to start again and I am so proud of this committee.

The hard work that they have put in has been amazing, we have totally turned the club around, raising the money ourselves to re-decorate, put new lights in as well as a new dance floor etc. I am so proud of them.


Are you currently looking for members/volunteers and if so, how can interested readers get in touch to find out more?

We are a big family social club and our members go from in the 90s down to the 18 year olds! It’s wonderful but we desperately want to introduce newer members. Whenever we talk to people, even those in their 30s, they always think the club has members just from the Second World War and further back. They forget that our ex-service military are a lot younger and we need to get those people involved.

October 1st is when our yearly membership runs from. At the moment on a Saturday lunchtime we have either myself or another member of the committee at the social club. We are there to act as a members point so you can come in and enquire more about membership. If you have trouble with the internet, we can join the legion for you on our laptops so that you won’t have to struggle with it.

We also desperately need new volunteers to help run the bar and help with things like making toasties and sandwiches in the kitchen. Help like that is always warmly received. The busier you get, the more help you need!

Our opening hours at the moment are very short because we are all volunteers so it’s better to contact us via email at the moment [email protected]


Do you have any future plans scheduled for the club?

At the moment, we’ve just had a big spend out doing the inside of the club up, so now it’s time to reclaim some of our expenses. We have got quite a bit arranged until the end of January. Before Christmas, we have the Armed Forces Day and then in January we start again. What we want to do is run a social ideally once a month on a Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to capture people of all ages.


Royal British Legion Downs Social Club

20 Market Street, Deal

01304 380405

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