Northern England and Midlands 1950



Many invitations were received for the Band to visit corps in the North of England, but distance always proved an obstacle. It was overcome on Friday 16th June 1950 when 44 bandsmen, plus wives and sweethearts departed Boscombe for an 8 day tour of the Midlands and the North - an event then considered unique in post war Salvation Army banding. Travelling over 800 miles, the band gave festivals at Nottingham Memorial Halls, Sheffield Citadel, Hull, South Shields, Leeds (where they also played for their lunch at the Montague Burton factory), Manchester and Birmingham Citadel. Capacity crowds warmly received the Band throughout the tour, the highlight of which, for the Bandmaster at least, must have been the weekend at Sheffield Citadel. During the Salvation meeting he had the pleasure of presenting retirement certificates to three bandsmen who had served under his leadership - one of them his own brother James.

At South Shields, the bandmaster took good wishes to Bandmaster George Marshall, whose weak condition made it impossible for him to receive all the Boscombe men who desired to visit him. He sent instead a stirring message to the bandsmen.

With only limited free time - to visit the Founder's birthplace at Nottingham, examine, the crooked spire at Chesterfield, and visit a steel works in Sheffield - the tour was rather strenuous for the bandsmen. They no doubt were encouraged by the support of the ladies for whom accommodation was reserved in hotels and hostels, at a total cost of £4 1s 6d. The success and smooth running of the tour owed much to the meticulous planning of Band Secretary Percy Cutler.