Spalding couple with a message in their music

The Joystrings recording for Dutch TV in 1966.

The Joystrings recording for Dutch TV in 1966.

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They were members of the ’60s pop band The Joystrings with songs that made it into the UK charts.

Peter and Sylvia Dalziel appeared with the group on Cliff Michelmore’s BBC Tonight television programme, on the Tom Jones Christmas Show and recorded with EMI Records – as well as performing with big ’60s names like The Tremeloes, The Hollies and Cliff Richard.

Liet-Colonel Sylvia and Liet-Colonel Peter Dalziel as they are today  pictured with Father Jonathan Sibley at St Mary's Church, Long Sutton. Photo: SG250415-146TW

Liet-Colonel Sylvia and Liet-Colonel Peter Dalziel as they are today pictured with Father Jonathan Sibley at St Mary's Church, Long Sutton. Photo: SG250415-146TW

They were a Christian music group, their members drawn mostly from the cadets at the Salvation Army training college, and put together to “communicate the Gospel message”.

Over 50 years on and Lieut-Colonel Sylvia Dalziel and Lieut-Colonel Peter Dalziel are the visible face of the Salvation Army in South Holland, along with Kevin Pallister.

They will be present on Saturday when Spalding & District Civic Society puts up a blue plaque outside Boots Opticians to William Booth, who founded the Salvation Army 150 years ago.

William Booth’s great grandson, Colonel Bramwell Booth, will unveil the plaque and members of the Salvation Army band at Boston will perform.

Sylvia and Peter on stage together.

Sylvia and Peter on stage together.

The Salvation Army had a presence in Spalding until 18 years ago when the church on Pinchbeck Road closed, its members amalgamated with the Boston congregation.

However, William Booth’s connection to the town was with the Methodist Church held in the old Assembly Rooms in Broad Street, where he began his ministry.

It was after he moved to London that William finally responded to the calling to take the gospel out to the poorest in society, forming the Salvation Army in 1865.

Sylvia says there were a lot of wars going on at that time, and men returning from war still wore their military uniforms. So it was natural to adopt a military style uniform to denote they were “a Christian army, fighting against sin and the devil”, says Sylvia.

She adds: “We have always been identified by our fighting spirit and the Salvation Army has worked in the most difficult and challenging places.”

For instance, it was women in the Salvation Army who went out to serve tea – and invented doughnuts – for First World War troops.

The Joystrings folded five years after they were formed, and since then Sylvia and Peter have faced their own challenges as Salvation Army officers all over the world – some no doubt difficult, but many exciting.

They have been in charge of parishes, taught at the training college, performed youth work in the UK and in South Africa, and been in PR in South Africa, London and Australia. Their final posting was as second in command to the Netherlands and former Czech Republic.