Gordon Lewis gave a most informative talk entitled “Listen To The Band” at the July meeting in the Village Hall.
“The band” being the first Salvation Army brass band, formed in the 1800s by William Charles Fry (1837-1882) a bricklayer by trade, and talented musician from Alderbury, near Salisbury in Wiltshire. Known by his middle name Charles, he played the violin, cello, piano, cornet and harmonium and led a group of musicians at the Wesleyan chapel in Alderbury.
In 1878 Salvationists in Salisbury were facing opposition when Charles Fry and his family decided to take along their brass instruments to support The Army’s open-air meetings. After initial concerns about the music being suitable for church meetings William Booth recognised that it was an effective tool that had the power to draw large audiences of potential converts and thus the tradition of the Salvation Army Band began. The Fry family accompanied William Booth on campaigns around the country and formed a band based at The Salvation Army’s headquarters in London.
The Lily of the Valley (I’ve found a friend in Jesus) was written by Charles Fry in 1881 and has become a very popular gospel hymn.
Charles Fry died in 1882 in Glasgow and was given a Salvation Army state funeral. With the Salvation Army flag draped over his coffin William Booth led the many VIPs at the funeral. A blue plaque was installed in October 2004 on the Salvation Army building in Salt Lane Salisbury and there is also a commemorative plaque in Salisbury Cathedral.
Mr Lewis was thanked for his excellent presentation which was enjoyed by all those present.
The next meeting is a summer social with a cream tea in the Scout Hut at 2:30 on the 10th of August. Partners, friends, and family are all welcome to join. Contact Linda Aucock for more for details.