Under the Liberty at Whitchurch plaque

Every Christmas Eve the Salvation Army meet in the Square to play carols under the plaque commemorating the great events of the 19th century.
Ever since those historic demonstrations that led to the right to demonstrate being won for the citizens of our country, the Salvation Army has taken an important place in the heritage of our town.

But today was very special day for one of the band’s members.

The presentation.

Brian Sharp, has been playing with the Salvation Army in Whitchurch since the age of 12, and for 55 of those years he has played in the town centre on Christmas Eve. As the band, met our Mayor and Mayoress Cllr Barry Jackman and his wife Sandra presented Brian with a special certificate in recognition of his dedication and commitment.

Brian, 72, is a lifelong member of the ‘Sally Army’. Born and bred in Whitchurch he was he was the bandmaster for 28 years until his son Christopher took on the role from him. Not one to sit back he then took on the position of Corps Sergeant Major which he did for 17 years until the Whitchurch Corps closed in 2001.

Carols in the Square

At one time the band toured around all the pubs and streets of the area but now mark Christmas by playing their traditional carol music in the Square as well as some other venues – recently they played in Festival Place in Basingstoke. Although he now has MS, Brian still enjoys his playing and currently takes his place in the horn section.

Family and friends gathered in the Square this morning as today’s occasion was officially marked.

Whitchurch has a wonderful array of characters, many of whom go unsung and unrecognised. Today was a small way of highlighting the contribution that one of these local people make to the social fabric that makes up the town.

Certificate presented to Brian Sharp

Click pictures to enlarge.
A video of the occasion is on YouTube HERE:

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