Trevor retires after nearly 80 years of soul-saving music

published on 16 Jun 2022

A Salvation Army bandsman in Norwich has given his final performance – nearly 80 years after he first joined.

Trevor Middleton, 85, first started attending the Norwich Mile Cross church in 1943 when he was just six after his mother decided to take him to Sunday School.

His musical career began at the age of eight - although it nearly didn’t happen.

Trevor said: “When it was first announced I was going to Sunday School, I locked myself in the bathroom. It took some persuasion to get me to come out - and I’m glad I did because I may never have joined otherwise.”

Thankfully just two years later, he was a founder member of the church's Junior band playing the cornet.

The band quickly became an integral part of corps life, often playing at three meetings on a Sunday, and Trevor said he has a lot of happy memories. He was band librarian for 29 years and deputy band master for 11 years.

Trevor Middleton
Trevor gave his last performance earlier this month

He said: “At Christmas, we would have to walk from lamppost to lamppost to play carols and it was so cold the valves would freeze.”

After taking up the tenor horn when he was 17, Trevor gave his last recital for the Norwich Mile Cross band earlier this month, and although he said he was sad to be stopping playing, he’s sure it was the right decision.

He said: “I’ve been very lucky to keep playing like this for so long. It keeps you pretty fit as you have to breathe. Because of my Christian faith, I’ve been playing some soul-saving music. It’s a good time to retire while I am healthy.”

Members of the congregation at Norwich Mile Cross paid tribute to Trevor at a recent meeting and he was presented with a cheque and a retirement certificate. He will continue attending the church.

Major Susan Robinson, one of the church leaders, paid tribute to Trevor.

She said: “Trevor Middleton is a good, gentle, man with a great sense of humour. He has a keen interest in the history of the Corps and kept the Corps history book up to date for many years. We are blessed to have him in our corps”

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