|Article researched and presented by Margaret Craddock|
Northampton Mercury Sat 11 June 1887 "Burton Latimer - Salvation Army Three services were held on Sunday last in Mr. W. Northern’s barn by a contingent of the Salvation Army from Kettering. At each of the services there was a crowded audience." This is the first mention we can find of the Salvation Army's activities in Burton Latimer and from 1888 Salvationists met in a cottage in Ambler's Yard until the Citadel was built in the town in 1896. It was believed to have been built about 10 years prior to the erection of The Britannia Club which was situated next to it in the High Street. Ambler's Cottage was on the other side of the Citadel. The Salvation Army rented the land from Thomas Ambler until at least 1920, when it was mentioned in his Will, and it was later purchased by the corps.
By this time the Britannia Club officers had acquired the land for an extension but the Salvation Army put conditions on its use. A condition of the sale of the land was that no intoxicating liquor should be sold or consumed on the purchased land. As a result, the land was used to construct a new front entrance and staircase, with the entrance at the extended frontage being bricked up.
THE WAR CRY
The town's Salvation Army was quite strong between the wars when, at one, time, it had a sixteen-piece band, some of whom can be seen here playing for a Remembrance Day parade. The band is passing the Dukes Arms outside which the musicians regularly played on a Friday or Saturday night whilst some of the officers were inside selliing "The War Cry".
Memories of Ray Chester:
My grandfather, John Chester, became a lifelong member of the Salvation Army in the town. This came about when he was in The Dukes Arms public house, much the worse for drink, and when he heard the band passing by he left the public house. He lost his balance and fell through the big drum and injured himself. The members of the Salvation Army ministered to his needs and from then on he became a Salvationist for the rest of his life. My aunt, Evelyn Villette (nee Chester) was another member of the Salvation Army.
Memories of Phil Mason
As a youngster I remember visiting the Salvation Army Citadel on Saturday mornings with my friend, Geoff Barclay, to watch a film show run by an officer who came by bus from Irthlingborough. The films were mostly cartoons and there were others with Christian content. Meetings were sometimes held at the War Memorial and as a young lad I attended and was given a penny by my parents to contribute to the funds.
Occasionally joint services were held at the Salvation Army with the Methodists, Baptists and Anglicans. At one time, in the 1950s, an officer came from
Two regular Salvation Army members were Mrs Howard and Beattie who lived in
When the Citadel closed most of the followers went to the Methodist Chapel and Beattie went to the Mission Room.