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History Of The Salvation Army

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the Army building stands on the site of a theatre built between 1850 and 1860 most of the land on the west side of Hartford Road belonged to John Dowson' the last performance held in Dowson's Theatre was 1879 a year later the building was sold to the Salvation Army.

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The 'old' Sally Army building main entrance was along an alley off Hartford Road - it didn't front onto the main road.  I recall the building had lots of nice features like dressed yellow brick highlights around the door and windows.  Adjacent was Dowson's Buildings - you could go through an archway on Hartford Rd and into an enclosed cobbled yard that all the houses backed onto.  There's a thread elsewhere on the Forum about this.

Edited by Symptoms

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About twenty years ago,an old friend of mine died.

His Son,Bob,also a very good friend,went with another close friend of his,to clear out his Dad's house and garage.

Bob came across a very old and a bit battered brass instrument,in the old garage.

He was in the process of carrying it outside to throw it into the skip,when Alan,his mate stopped him and said he knew who would give it a good home.

Next day Alan knocked on my door,holding a black bin liner,with something bulky,and heavy-looking in it.

"Bill",Alan said,"can ye find room in your studio for this aad thing...?"

I looked to see what it was,and saw it was what I thought was a Euphonium..very old,with most of the silver-plating worn off.

Upon closer examination,and advice from Dennis Todd,at Bedlington's only musical instrument shop,[lovely fella,so is his Wife,],we saw a

plate with the words "Salvation Army"...plus other text details.

Dennis said it was a "b-flat bass",and the valves were worn out.

He said it could be restored and re-plated Silver once more,for about two-hundred pounds,[then!],but it would be worth about 2,500 pounds.

It is still in it's original worn-out and blackened condition,in my studio....I hadn't the heart to interfere with it!...it's a memento of my good old friend

who passed away all those years ago.

Mind,if I knew of a Salvation Army Museum,I would willingly donate it,if only to preserve it after i'm gone!

It's definitely pre-war,and looks like it has been blackened purposefully,as if to avoid it reflecting light during total blackout situations.

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I used to go to the Sunday School up there,at the top-end,and got a little blue star stamped on my attendance card each week.

I can remember playing games and the guys running it were very good with all the kids,I was only aboot eight,and my older Brother took me each week for a while,then we just stopped going...canna mind why!

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