Blue plaque to honour social reformer

William Booth ANL-150922-100549001
William Booth ANL-150922-100549001
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A pioneering social-reformer and evangelist will be honoured when the latest heritage blue plaque is unveiled in Spalding next month.

The plaque – which recognises a person of historical significance – is the fifth in the series and will honour William Booth, the co-founder of The Salvation Army, which is celebrating its 150th year.

It will mark the site on Bridge Street where Booth lodged – the dwelling is now a Boots Opticians – during his early ministry as a Methodist circuit preacher.

He later moved to London’s East End, where he abandoned the conventional concept of church and took the Christian message to the Victorian slums.

Booth’s great-grandson, Colonel Bramwell Booth (86), will conduct the official unveiling ceremony.

Colonel Booth said: “It is wonderful, and particularly poignant, that in the year The Salvation Army celebrates its 150th anniversary, my great-grandfather’s legacy is being recognised in Spalding.”

Spalding and District Civic Society planning officer John Charlesworth said: “The blue plaques are just one aspect of the Society’s efforts to protect and preserve all that is best in our local heritage.

“While William Booth was born in Nottingham and began his pioneering work in London’s East End, it is fitting that we mark his time in Spalding.”

Two donors, one of whom is Kevin Pallister (managing partner, Calthrops Solicitors), paid for the plaque to be purchased and installed.

The unveiling will take place outside Boots Opticians on Saturday, October 17, at 12.30 pm. A brass ensemble from Boston Salvation Army church will provide music.