Salvation Army celebrate 130 years in Reading
By Alan Bunce
Hundreds celebrated with the Salvation Army as the service marked its 130th anniversary of being in Reading.
Last Saturday’s events, the culmination of a month of celebrations, began with a performance by the Salvation Army Band in Butter Market before they moved to Broad Street for another performance. They then went back to the Reading Central Corps in Anstey Road for tea and a concert.
So many people wanted tea – old faces as well as current members – that they had to be served in shifts.
Percy Clarke, 87, and the longest serving Salvationist in Reading, cut the anniversary cake.
Mr Clarke, who grew up in West Reading and now lives in Southcote, has been a Salvation Army member since he was a little boy. Later, after becoming an architect, he designed the army’s current town centre building.
A reunion concert rounded off a hectic day.
Mission secretary Stuart Scott estimated there were well over 200 people for the tea and said the concert – which ended with a ‘Glory March’ – was a fitting finale.
“It was a fully entertaining day,” he said.
“The food was superb and everyone was meeting up again. Then it ended with a festival. It was very successful.”
The Salvation Army moved into Reading on March 30, 1881.