Local musicians launch book in Andover church

published on 19 Jun 2023

A Salvation Army church in Andover, Hampshire was the location for the launch of a book written by members of the 1960s bands The Troggs and Ten Feet Five, Peter Staples and John Walker.

John Walker (left) and Peter Staples (right) at the book launch in May.

Around 250 people congregated for the book signing on Saturday 27 May on Winchester street, where fans of the musicians had a chance to meet them and get a signed copy of the book that documents significant contributors of music in Andover since the 1800s. The first chapter of ‘Andover – A Musical History’ is dedicated to brass bands and includes The Salvation Army, where Peter talks about his experience as a young boy marching behind The Salvation Army band:

“John and I thought it was great fun as we march behind them swinging our arms and when we got to the hall, they invited us in for drinks and sandwiches, which we eagerly accepted but had not realised we had to sit through a small service first” (Source: Andover – A Musical History, 2023).


The Troggs were also inspired by The Salvation Army 1960’s group, ‘The Joystrings’ with their song, ‘Love That’s All Around’, with the late Reg Presley hearing the song one Sunday afternoon and writing the hit, ‘Love Is All Around’, almost instantly. The track was later covered by R.E.M and Wet Wet Wet in the early 1990’s and  stayed in the number one position in the singles chart for 15 weeks. It was withdrawn from sales to give other bands a chance.

Staples warmly refers to the Christian church and charity as his favourite charity. Captain Victoria Rowney, Minister at the church said:

“It was a huge surprise – and a real honour – to be asked to host the launch.  It came about simply because I had a conversation with Pete when he was taking photographs of the hall for inclusion in the book; we had no idea where that little chat would lead!  It has been great to hear the stories of the town’s varied musical heritage, and to remind people that The Salvation Army still has a role in Andover.”

Andover Salvation Army church opened on 20 June 1885, planted initially in 1884 as an outpost of Whitchurch Salvation Army.

The Musicians with Salvation Army Officers, Simon and Victoria Rowney.

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