1905 Blantyre Salvation Army Band

Warwick Brunton who lives in New Zealand messaged me recently, saying, “My grandparents (Walter Brunton (1873-1958) and Jane Galloway Neilson (1879-1939) whilst living in Blantyre joined up to the Salvation Army.”

Here’s a great picture which hopefully is a first time seeing this! It’s a little damaged but its remarkable journey will explain. Pictured is Blantyre Salvation Army Band likely around 1905. I’m told its at Glasgow Road near the top of Forrest Street. Now, the buildings fit if the lane on the right is the one leading down to Bairds Rows, Grants Building on the right. Forrest Street would be out the picture to the left. I’ll need to try to match shop names to the era to confirm.

Warwick told me, “There are no names with this photo, but judging from the type of instrument he played, I think my grandfather, Walter Brunton (1873-1958) is kneeling in  the front row, on the right of the small boy.”

Many Blantyre families all within a year of each other, between 1919-1920 left and emigrated to NewZealand.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Moyra Lindsay My grandpa and some of his brothers were in this band probably around that time. Their name was Lindsay.. A different Lindsay to me!
When he was dying at age 89 this was what he was ‘seeing’!

Andy Callaghan Haha. Always loved the sally allie bands. Great folk. Do great work.
Moira Macfarlane Brilliant
Catherine Newell My granny had a sister Agnes Brodie who was a Captain I remember her funeral when I was little with the flag and her hat on the coffin
John Devine The hall stood on the right side going down Forrest street ,just down from blind w atties oils shop and opposite blantyre Vicks football park,I am an old b airdie from the raws ,we loved it,,tea and cake on a Sunday ,films on a Saturday.


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  1. My grandfather Andrew Sorbie Mains and his parents Robert and Helen Mains and his siblings were in the Blantyre Salvation Army. They were all musical and played various instruments. Andrew went on to win the silver medal at the RSAMD, studying piano part-time in Glasgow while working as a miner. He played piano in the local cinema in the 1920s and taught piano while living in Hardie Street.

    1. Adam Stein came to NZ in 1912 he was a bandmaster I think, he is my husbands grandfather. Lauril Stein.

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