Alf’s still in tune after 65 years

Alf Wileman, who is retring from the Salvation Army band

Alf Wileman, who is retring from the Salvation Army band

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A SALVATION Army musician is retiring after more than 65 years of service as a bandsman in South Yorkshire.

Alf Wileman, aged 83, started playing at the Salvation Army’s Sheffield Citadel in 1943.

He started off on solo horn before moving on to solo cornet, then soprano cornet.

He has played the euphonium in the band ever since 1943.

Alf, from Dronfield Woodhouse, has been playing alongside his son Paul and grandson Ryan in the band, so sadly this will mean that there will no longer be three generations of the same family in the band together.

He said: “I’ve always considered my instrument to be an effective tool for communicating the gospel to everyone – that has been an important part of my ministry.

“But after 66 years I feel the time is right now to retire and leave my son and grandson to keep the Wileman name alive in the band.”

His service has not been confined to the ranks of the Senior Band in Sheffield, and he has worked with countless young people as a music teacher and band leader.

He became Young People’s band leader in 1967 and influenced many youngsters in the 23 years he held the role.

Alf was also the first bandmaster of the South Yorkshire Divisional Youth Band, which he set up in 1980 with Captain Jack Flounders.

A special service was held to mark Alf’s service at Sheffield Citadel on Psalter Lane.