The servicemen’s club which funds Baildon’s Remembrance Day parade fears it may not get Council cash in its hour of need because it numbers only men among its ranks.
The Soldiers and Sailors Association formed in 1918 has traditionally organised the annual memorial ceremony – including paying for a marching band to lead the procession from its moorside clubhouse to the town’s war memorial and churches.
And historically it would give the necessary donation to the band from its own cash reserves.
But in recent years, the association’s funds have dwindled and in 2011 it approached Baildon Parish Council for a grant to cover the £300 cost.
“We were told by the parish council we could have a one-off grant, but not to apply in future as we were a men-only club,” said SSA president Keith Turner.
“But we haven’t made a profit at the club for eight years and so we’re going to try again this year.
“All we would like is for the council to cover the donation to the Huddersfield Youth Band and for the soup and rolls we give to them and all the marchers on Remembrance Day,” said retired accountant Mr Turner, 70.
Ward councillor Val Townend said she supported the Soldiers and Sailors club’s position.
“I think it would be quite appalling if they were not helped to pay for the marching band.
“The money doesn’t even go to the club – it’s all about commemorating the men who died in combat for the sake of their country,” Coun Townend said.
“And it’s men, women, and children who go on the march and then back to the clubhouse for something to eat,”
Fellow district councillor and chairman of Baildon’s British Legion, Roger L’Amie agreed: “My contention when considering any grant is are the applicants fit people and who is actually benefitting?
“In this case it is just for those on the parade – and that’s people of all types.” Coun L’Amie said.
Baildon Town Council deputy chairman Joe Ashton said he recalled that in 2011 it was stated that the council did not make repeat grants.
“Some members had personal objections to paying to what is an exclusive club and so the cheque was sent straight from the council to the band.
“However, we judge all grant applications on merit and I’m sure the council would be prepared to find a way of funding the costs of the Remembrance Day parade.
“I suggest the Soldiers and Sailors Association contact the town council clerk who will be happy to help,” Mr Ashton said.