Peebles British Legion to close its doors for last time

Peebles PoppyScotland fundraisers Mike and Sheila Stark.
Peebles PoppyScotland fundraisers Mike and Sheila Stark.

The Peebles branch of the Royal British Legion is set to close, after veterans lost their fight to keep it open.

A dwindling membership and a lack of people willing to stand for office bearer posts mean the branch, thought to have been formed in 1926, will close at the end of October.

The branch’s members play a key role in commemorating the town’s fallen each Remembrance Sunday, and many helped raise funds for Poppy Scotland in the weeks previous to the event.

Mike and Sheila Stark, who both worked hard to keep the branch open, were recently lauded by Poppy Scotland for raising more than £100,000 by selling poppies.

A spokesperson for Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland said: “We have been working with the Peebles branch for many months but sadly, despite a concerted effort by Legion Scotland and many committed people in the area, it is with great regret that the branch will close.

“This was not a decision that was taken lightly and while it is now unavoidable, we are very sorry to see it close.

“In terms of the Scottish Poppy Appeal in Peebles, this is has been run for many years by the remarkable Mike and Sheila Stark, who have raised more than £110,000 over the past 18 years.

“Despite the closure of the local branch and thanks to Mike and Sheila’s unwavering commitment, the Scottish Poppy Appeal in Peebles will be unaffected, and this will ensure that the Armed Forces community continues to receive Poppyscotland’s year-round support.”