Mervyn Poore

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Mervyn is one of our expert percussionists...

Albert Poore was a poacher. He was not a very good one - he was caught. Whilst being entertained at the pleasure of Queen Victoria in Winchester prison he was visited by the Salvation Army (was it the Fellowship Band Sergeant Major Derek Smith?) and converted. On his release, he made an application for the Salvation Army to be launched in Alton. Five generations later Mervyn arrived on the scene and followed the Cradle Roll, Sunday School, Singing Company route. There had never been a YP Band in Alton but, when Mervyn reached the age of 8 it was recognised there was musical potential among the young men of Alton and a YP band was formed. As far as Mervyn went they bought a drum, gave him a stick and told him to beat it. So there he was, a founder member of the first Alton YP band.

Progression to the Senior Band followed along with playing in the Rhythm Group. An evening at Petersfield resulted in a well meaning local matchmaking and introducing Mervyn to Karen. (Mervyn says they know who they are and have a lot to answer for). This year will see their 43rd wedding anniversary and they have three grown up sons, Michael, Colin and Richard.

Mervyn held the local officer positions of Corps Treasurer, Corps Cadet Guardian and Corps Sergeant Major until moving on to a local Independent Evangelical Church where he helped with the youth work before being appointed to the leadership. For 12 years drum sticks were rarely held or used!

During a particularly difficult personal time, on a cold, wet and miserable Monday evening a ring on the doorbell was reluctantly answered and a personal invitation to join the Fellowship Band received (probably not all that graciously if truth be told). Karen's suggestion, "It might do you good" was duly noted and the rest, as they say, is history. The period when Chris Kennet led the band must have felt like old times in Alton. Mervyn says Chris gave him a second chance to actually play the cymbal note at the end of Faith Reborn. The earlier attempt (at a weekend away with Alton Band at Ealing) had resulted in a swing and a miss. Watching the trombone section trying to play the last note with shoulders shaking in laughter will live long in his memory.

Work wise, Mervyn has been a Civil Servant for 43 years currently working (on a partially retired basis) for Acas as a Senior Adviser.

Mervyn says playing in the Fellowship Band has been a real uplift not least because of the fellowship, support and encouragement from fellow members of the band. Long may the band continue to present the Gospel through its music and personal contact with those with whom we come into contact.