The first official meeting of the Branch was held at the Angel Hotel at 7.30pm on the 25th October 1945. There had been an earlier meeting which inaugurated the Branch but this was declared void by Royal Air Force Association Headquarters – it seems the founders were so eager to get going they forgot some of the protocol, like asking RAFA first.
All was sorted out on the 25th, RAFA Headquarters sent along a representative, Mr Adams, to ensure the Branch started out along the right lines. Some dozen or so stalwarts were the origins of the Branch and they soon voted themselves into the various necessary officers and officials. The observant ones will have noticed that on the formation certificate for the Branch it is dated 2nd October 1945 (the date of the first void meeting) and the formation number is 199 (the 199th Branch to be formed worldwide).
The landlady of the Angel, Mrs Clapham, kindly let the Branch use a room at the Hotel free of charge.
They quickly organised dances etc to raise funds and, over the years, moved from pub to pub, the George, Bell and Olde Bell being just a few until in 1972 they decided to buy their own premises with a loan from RAFA.
This purchase was on the Old Market next to the site of the Octagon Church and became the home of the Branch until its move to its current smaller premises on the Lynn Road in 2007.
From the very beginning the Branch has been very active in providing support, both social and welfare, to all ex RAF members living in the area and continues to do so to this day.
Obviously, with the passing of time and the shrinking of our Armed Forces, membership is becoming a major problem. Thus far the Branch and Club are doing well but more members are always welcome.