Chatham Citadel Band – May 2019
It is generally acknowledged that the first Salvation Army band was established in Salisbury in 1878.
Salvation Army evangelists were having trouble with local hooligans so Charles Fry, a builder and leader of a Methodist orchestra, and his three sons offered to act as bodyguards while the Salvationists sang in the marketplace. As an afterthought they took along their brass instruments to accompany the singing. It was in this rather unwitting fashion that the first Salvation Army band was born. Their immediate success led Fry to sell his business and the whole family became full-time musicians in The Salvation Army.
Within the next few years, Salvation Army bands sprung up all over the country. The Salvation Army arrived in Chatham in 1873 although a band was not formed until 1881.
These beginnings were humble – just eight players using old instruments fixed up by a local plumber! Members of Salvation Army corps bands are not remunerated financially for being part of the band. Quite the opposite, in fact, as members, as well as providing their own uniforms, contribute to the expense of running the band by paying a monthly subscription. Further support comes from kind donations from the public and the band’s own fund-raising activities. Chatham Band members are engaged in a rich variety of professions from accountants to military musicians, from policemen to financial advisers and quality control managers.
Over many years the band has undertaken, as it’s main priority, support to services at Chatham Corps, and on many occasions has also taken it’s message of God’s love to many other places.
The names of many towns and cities visited by the band come to mind such as Coventry, Sheffield, Peterborough, Maidenhead, Middlesborough as well as a tour of a number of places in Scotland and a visit to Dublin. All these visits had as their central reason, to praise God, encourage fellow followers and reach people who have yet to come to know Jesus as their Saviour and friend.
Musical programmes have also been provided more locally at places like Hythe, East Peckham, West Wickham and Sheerness (pictured under retired Bandmaster Ray Maycock)
In concert at the Oasis Academy, Sheerness
The band is very busy with weekly activities including visits to the local Hospice and playing in Chatham High Street. Particularly busy times are in the lead-up to Christmas when the band is often asked to provide reminders of that season. Events in recent years have included participating in the Rochester Dickens Festival, St Mary’s Island Christmas Fair and the John Lewis Store in Bluewater
Since the beginning of 2018 the Band has been led by a Band Board, managed by Band Manager (Retired Songster Leader) Adrian Horwood working alongside Bandmaster Nigel Lockwood, Deputy Bandmaster Carl Woodman,Band Sergeant Greg Davis, Assistant Band Sergeant Chris Boughton, Band Secretary Martin Davis and Band Librarian Barry Robinson.
L to R: Greg, Chris, Martin, Adrian, Barry
The band takes part in both Sunday services and can also be heard at various other events throughout the year in Chatham and beyond. These are detailed in the Corps calendar elsewhere on this website and we would be delighted to see you at any of these.
If you would like to know more please CONTACT US or, better still, come and hear the band at the various meetings and services in which it participates.
Click here to listen to the Band playing “Greater Things”