"he said he might look in at the British Legion on the way home."
The Royal British Legion
(sometimes called the British Legion or just the Legion) is Britain's biggest charity that supports current armed forces or ex-service personnel. Among many other services, it has an extensive network of social clubs throughout the UK, providing social drinking centres for (traditionally) the working man. In Ashington in the late 1950s the Legion was just one of around 20 working men's social clubs in the town. The clubs, offering cheap beer to members and visitors, far outweighed the number of pubs in the town (around 3 at the time of the story).