Salvation Army corps celebrates 140 years in Hucknall

Captain Gaynor Ward, commanding officer of Hucknall Salvation Army, with her husband, Colin, and Coun John Wilmott.
Captain Gaynor Ward, commanding officer of Hucknall Salvation Army, with her husband, Colin, and Coun John Wilmott.

A councillor has paid tribute to the Hucknall Salvation Army Corps, which celebrates its 140th anniversary later this year.

Coun John Wilmott made a special visit to the organisation’s headquarters on High Street to meet the commanding officer, Captain Gaynor Ward.

He praised the corps for the “vibrant role it was continuing to play in the local community”.

The movement was founded in Hucknall in 1879 when a group of Salvationists from Bulwell visited the town to spread the word.

Originally, the corps met in a small chapel on the former Gilbert Street, which was off Watnall Road, before the present hall on High Street was opened in 1911. At about this time, General William Booth, the Nottingham-born head of the Salvation Army nationwide, made several visits to Hucknall.

Gaynor and her envoy, husband Colin, have been in their posts for about a year.

She said: “I would like to thank the people of Hucknall for giving us a warm welcome. Everyone we have met here has been very friendly.”

Since the couple’s arrival, an over-60s’ club has been formed at the corps as part of a weekly programme that also includes a parents’ and toddlers’ group, a kids’ club and a craft club.

Coffee mornings are also held on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as a family service every Sunday morning.

Gaynor said a number of renovations were planned for the iconic hall, including a new ceiling, new central-heating pipes and the upgrading of the front of the building.

The Salvation Army is a Christian church and international charity that helps the homeless and provides humanitarian aid to developing countries.