The Old Legionnaire


This is the Royal British Legion Club in Boxted village, where urban Colchester slithers into the countryside. Essex is beautiful in its flat, damp way. This is the Essex of Jonathan Meades, rather than of TOWIE. More Land Rover than Range Rover.  As we stood in the muddy lane the crackcrack of a shotgun could be heard in the fields behind us.

These two Nissen huts – they are laid end to end – were brought from Wrabness POW camp after World War Two, transported here by the village mechanic. Colonel Waller provided the land on a peppercorn lease. The corrugated iron roof  is now a landscape of moss – green as fresh broccoli. When it opened in 1948, a brown ale from Ind Coope And Allsopp was 1 shilling and eightpence. The Club still has more than a hundred members, though may have to move from its charming little hut as the long-dead Colonel’s lease expires this year.



About teninchwheels

Designer, photographer and Vespa-fixated pub bore. Born in Yorkshire, living in that London these past 20 years. Get in touch at, especially if you'd like to send me some free beer.
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