Special service to celebrate St Albans’ Salvation Army origins

The Band Tune Book of The Salvation Army

The Band Tune Book of The Salvation Army - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ Salvation Army is celebrating 130th active years in the city this Sunday (May 21).

Musician Major Richard Gaudion will take a special service to commemorate the charity’s history - he will speak about the uncertain beginnings of the charity in St Albans.

When it arrived in the late 1800s, it was greeted with hostility because it preached temperance in a city full of pubs.

Army bandsman were attacked for marching in open air meetings - a local by-law prohibiting the playing of music outside on Sundays had given protesters an excuse to direct their anger.

Instruments were damaged, a Salvation Army member was thrown into the cattle trough by the Town Hall, and several musicians were given fines or imprisonment for breaking the law.

The service will take place at the Salvation Army church on Victoria Street from 10.30am.