PENARTH'S branch of one of the UK's biggest charities was on the verge of closing for good - until it was saved in a last-ditch meeting.

Attendance was so poor at the first meeting to discuss the future Penarth's branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) that it was decided to close.

However, attendance was far stronger in a second meeting, held on Tuesday, August 8, where it was decided the branch would become district-managed instead of community-managed.

Penarth’s RBL is part of a wider network of branches across the UK which support ex-service people.

Penarth's branch no longer has a physical location after its former site on Station Approach was sold years ago. Now, members meet at a local social club.

However, it was close to there being no meetings at all after the poor turnout of members willing to discuss the branch’s future.

Anthony Ernest, Conservative representative for the town’s Plymouth Ward, explained: “Because attendance was so poor at the first meeting - only three people attended - a decision was made to close down the branch.

“Then there was another meeting held and a number of people turned up and agreed to carry on the branch under a different set-up."

The branch’s administration will now be run by the RBL South-East Wales region rather than locally in the community.

A spokesperson for the RBL said they hoped this would be a temporary solution.

“Having faced challenges in encouraging new members in recent times, the Penarth branch will now be provided with additional support by the RBL in the South-East Wales region.

“This decision, which was taken after a vote held by the current members, will enable the branch to retain membership and to stay an active part of the local community.

“This temporary solution will hopefully spearhead change for the branch and encourage more individuals to join.”

Penarth Times: Cllr Ernest put out a last ditch call to save the branchCllr Ernest put out a last ditch call to save the branch (Image: Vale Council)

Penarth Times: The former Royal British Legion site in Penarth (brown door on left)The former Royal British Legion site in Penarth (brown door on left) (Image: Supplied)

It could have been so different for the branch had Cllr Ernest not put out a call to save it over Facebook.

He believes the branch is still important to the community.

“It's still relevant,” said Cllr Ernest. “On a personal level I am very pleased the branch has been able to continue serving the interests of ex-service people in the coming years.”

For anyone interested becoming a member of the Penarth branch and championing the local Armed Forces community, visit