Members express sadness after Galashiels Legion fire

The Royal British Legion Club in Galashiels is closed for the foreseeable future following a devastating fire in the premises on Monday morning.

The Royal British Legion Club in Galashiels has been closed for the time being following Monday's fire.
The Royal British Legion Club in Galashiels has been closed for the time being following Monday's fire.

It’s believed the fire started in the office on the first floor and it went on to affect other parts of the building, but there were no reports of casualties.

Club chairman David Hartley told us: “We’re not really sure what the extent of the damage is, as we’re not allowed in.

"It’s being assessed this week.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 11.32am on Monday, March 21, to reports of a fire within a building in Park Street, Galashiels.

“Operations control immediately mobilised four fire engines and a height appliance to the location and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are extinguishing the fire."

Crews stayed until the fire was put out and the building made safe.

As well as providing a meeting place for veterans over the years, and plays a central role in the town’s Remembrance Day parade, the club has evolved into a treasured social club for its many members, some of whom don’t feel they can go elsewhere.

Members took to the club’s Facebook page to comment.

Beryl Beth wrote: “Glad nobody was hurt and hopefully the club will be able to open up soon as possible as we will all miss it very much ... it’s the only place our generation can enjoy a good night out in Gala.”

There were also messages of support from other Borders clubs. Billy Gillies from Jedburgh said: “Sorry to hear of your misfortune.I hope it will reopen in the future ... our clubs are special and we must do all we can to preserve them for the members.”

Galashiels Ex-Service Pipe Band also use the building, and took to social media to express their relief that no-one was hurt.

They added: “Unfortunately we have had to source other premises for our practice base and are thankful to Gala Cricket Club for helping out by allowing us to practice there.

"Therefore practice will be held there every Wednesday from March 23 for the foreseeable.”

Practice is from 7-7.30pm for new learners. and from 7.30pm for the main band.