|Blaydon Corps Hall|
However, some Corps did close in the early 1880s and Blaydon appears to have been one of them. In 1893 though, Blaydon reopened although now as Corps 1435. It was soon making an impression on the Army world. In the “Provincial Race” of War Cry selling in the United Kingdom, it was the top Corps in May 1893 (having reopened three months earlier under Captain Blake and Lieutenant Carter). The following month Major Hodder, the officer commanding the Newcastle Division, visited Blaydon and the Wesleyan Chapel was virtually filled for a “glorious meeting”. (One noteworthy point is that William Booth’s name was still on the local Wesleyan preachers plan).
In July 1893 War Cry sales were still high and a large number of recruits were sworn in during one week’s campaign. The campaign ended with three days of Salvation activities including a Saturday tea for over 200 and a march headed by Newcastle V band. The Sunday morning meeting commenced with an open-air and knee-drill on Summerhouse Hill with over seventy people. More open-airs and testimonies from recruits were followed by afternoon and evening meetings at the Mechanics Institute. In conclusion on Monday afternoon there was a Holiness meeting and in the evening, with Hexham band on the march and in the Chapel, forty soldiers were sworn in. The income was £14. “After expenses are paid, the balance will go towards furnishing the officers’ quarters. God Bless the Blaydon Bricks”.
|The interior of the hall|
Blaydon Salvation Army Corps continued it service until September 2012 when despite the best efforts of the few remaining soldiers, the Corps was closed. Winlaton had closed some years earlier. Blaydon Corps has been run for well over twenty years by Envoy June Tones.
The Blaydon Corps building today was originally built in 1850 as Winlaton Primitive Methodist Chapel. It was built on the ash-pits of the blacksmith shops and furnaces which, along with houses and cottages, were packed into the area. The Chapel was extended in 1895 and known as Winlaton Front Street Primitive Methodist Chapel (later Chapel was exchanged for Church).