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The Fifth Mossley Band Concert

"The Fifth Mossley Band Concert took place at Westholme on Saturday 25th April. Attended by over 70 including a party of 15 from Hewlett Court (a big thank you to WBro Mike Williams there!), we were entertained to an evening of excellent Brass Band music from Mossley Band, conducted by our very own WBro Duncan Byers. 

Several notable solo cornet, euphonium and trombone solos were played and the concert concluded with rousing renditions of Pomp & Circumstance (a.k.a. Land of Hope & Glory) and Jerusalem. 

The evening raised a total of £436 for the Festival and in addition 10 Provincial Festival Draw tickets were sold. 

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening of good music, good food and good company!



Hosted Meeting of Milton Lodge No 1144 on the 13th November 2014 in the presence of
the RW Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Sir David Trippier RD, JP, DL.

RWBro Sir David Trippier RD, JP, DL together with the members of Milton Lodge and their many visitors.

RW Brother Sir David Trippier, our Provincial Grand Master, makes a point of visiting a representative selection of Lodges throughout the Province each year. These hosted visits are intended to encourage brethren from every Lodge in a District to take the opportunity to meet with our PGM, and discover his thinking on some of the crucial issues at that time. So, on Thursday 13th November, 2014, Sir David attended a regular meeting of Milton Lodge No 1144 which meets at Albert House in Ashton along with some seventy brethren from Southern Area. As befits someone of his rank, Sir David is usually accompanied by a full Provincial Deputation, and so it was on this occasion. Two of the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters attended, our own WBro John Pearson PSGD, and also WBro Martin Roche PSGD, (who, besides being the APGM for our Northern Area, is also a member of Milton Lodge) and our own District Chairman, WBro Ken Hampson PAGDC. The Deputation also included the Provincial Senior and Junior Wardens, the Sword Bearer and both Standard Bearers (as well as the Acting Assistant Standard Bearer, Roy Tindall, who is also a member of Milton Lodge)(Thinks … if it was actually possible to miss WBro Tindall!) as well as  the Provincial DC.

The Members of Milton Lodge with their Principal Guest

The Lodge meeting itself was a supreme success. The Lodge Mentor, WBro Peter Cole, had encouraged three of the junior Brethren of the Lodge, Bros Paolo Bissolati, Donald Geary and Wayne Drysdale, to come forward and each make a personal presentation explaining, “Why I joined Freemasonry”. This proved to be a brilliant concept which everyone agreed was a splendid piece of work and more than worth the effort needed to attend another meeting. All three of the presentations were interesting, extremely well presented and cogently thought through. A tour de force if ever there was one.

The Provincial Grand Master and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master together with the Demonstrators;
From Left: Bro Drysdale, Bro Geary, RWBro Trippier PGM, WBro Walvin WM, WBro Pearson APGM, Bro Bissolati and WBro Cole

In many ways the real high point of the evening came at the Social Board, when Sir David took the opportunity of his visit to address the brethren of Ashton and Mossley District. Sir David began by reflecting on the evening, “I was overwhelmed by the ceremony. The four presentations were outstanding, as I’m sure you all agree. They were sincere, impromptu and unrehearsed – very impressive. I wish all of them a very successful future in Masonry.”

Sir David then went on to address himself to the 2015 RMBI Festival which is now entering its final year. “I’d like to thank you for the cheque. (Insert amount of cheque here with a suitable sentence.) It is important that your particular Lodge is actually the greatest contributor to the Festival in this District. We only have until next October to make sure that we raise a significant amount. We must make sure that we reach a significant total for this Festival. We are one of the largest Provinces with the United Grand Lodge of England. When I took the job of being Provincial Grand Master just three years ago I realised that it was in the teeth of the biggest financial downturn in history. However, I have always been up for a challenge.”

RWBro Sir David Trippier RD, JP, DL thanks the Worshipful Master of Milton Lodge,
WBro Ian Walvin PProvAGDC for the excellence of the meeting.

Remember that we will have seven years when we are out of a Festival and during that time we can give to all the other charitable causes that we hold so dear. Just remember that for the next ten months we are on show to all the other Provinces, simply because we are such a big Province ourselves. There are 13 RMBI Homes, and there are 46 Provinces. We have an RMBI home right on our doorstep at Ecclesholme. Most of the other 45 Provincial Grand Masters support the RMBI but the majority of them do not have a local home to support. All that I am saying to you is, let us just have one final push and see what we can do.”

“Tonight has been, for me, a very important and a very memorable evening.”

If you wish to see all of the photographs taken on the night, and download any that you might want to keep, just go to



Waverley Lodge No 1322 Installation Meeting

Our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro John Pearson PSGD, attended the Installation of Bro Stephen Marshall as the Worshipful Master of Waverley Lodge No 1322 at the end of October. On this occasion WBro Pearson was accompanied by four of the District Officers of Ashton & Mossley District, as well as WBro Mark Reader who officiated as Director of Ceremonies and two Acting Officers of the Year from Audenshaw District, WBros David Grimshaw and Michael Porter.

The Worshipful Master of Waverley Lodge, together with the
Assistant Provincial Grand Master and the rest of the visiting District Team

All those who attended the meeting enjoyed a fine ceremony, beautifully managed by the Lodge DC and the various brethren who took an active part in the proceedings. This was a Proclamation Ceremony because, as in so many Lodges today, it was not possible to install a new Master into the Chair, but despite that the ceremony went with a real swing.

Afterwards, at the Social Board, John Pearson took the opportunity of speaking to the brethren who had just enjoyed a very pleasing meal. John began by thanking all present for a very special evening, and especially for the hospitality that he had received from the Lodge. He commented on the fact that the Lodge would be celebrating its 150th Anniversary in six years’ time, and congratulated them on the number of Junior brethren who were members of the Lodge.

The Worshipful Master of Waverley Lodge, together with the
Assistant Provincial Grand Master and the members of Waverley Lodge

John took the opportunity to comment on the Southern Area’s visit to the Quarterly Communications of Grand Lodge in July, when we had the opportunity to talk with three of the High Rulers, and had also had the unusual opportunity of visiting the Lodge Room that is used by the Royal Alpha Lodge, the private Lodge of the Royal Family. One of our Ashton & Mossley brethren even went so far as to sit in the Master’s Chair and is rumoured to have picked up a copy of the Summons.

John went on to talk about the upcoming meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge and mentioned some of those who would be receiving promotions and honours. He stressed the importance of having every Lodge represented, preferably by its Master, at that meeting and made a point that the Province would recognise those Worshipful Masters and Wardens who were in attendance at Blackburn. He then spoke about the 2015 Festival, stressing the importance of using the Festival to support the work of the RMBI. He pointed out that our Province, receives more money from the Grand Charities than we give back, so we are not sending our money south, more money actually comes the other way.

The Worshipful Master of Waverley Lodge, together with the
Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro A John Pearson PSGD

John concluded by talking about the importance of recruitment and retention, which is our Provincial Grand Masters key objective for the next few years. John said, “We must not be afraid of shouting about an organisation from which we get so much on a personal level. It is very important in terms in terms of self-development. As Derek Thornhill says, “We take good men and make them better.” Don’t be afraid to let everyone know that message.”

Prince Alfred Lodge No. 1218

The Members of the Lodge and the District Delegation, together
with the APGM WBro John Pearson and the new Worshipful Master

Our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro A John Pearson, together with the Ashton and Mossley District Team, came together to celebrate the Installation of Bro David J Wolfenden as the Worshipful Master of Prince Alfred Lodge at Mossley Masonic Hall. This meeting, which occurred at the end of October, marked an event that has become quite unusual in recent years, for it was an occasion when Father installed Son into the Chair of their Lodge. As our numbers have shrunk in the last few years, so the occasions when this sort of family connection can be seen have also been reduced. On this occasion the circumstance added something special to the event.

Four of the Principal Officers of Prince Alfred Lodge, but just two families;
From Left To Right: WBro David Pritchard, Bro David Wolfenden (WM),
WBro John Pritchard,  WBro Colin Wolfenden, (IPM)

We all enjoyed an excellent Installation Ceremony, performed with great aplomb by the Installing Master and various other Past Masters of the Lodge, but it would be inappropriate to go further in disclosing the details of the ceremony itself. It is nice to keep the details of our ceremonies private, not because they are secrets, but because it would spoil the special nature of the ceremony for those who have not yet had the opportunity to participate. It is worth waiting for, I assure you. If everyone was able to look forward to so deftly handled a ceremony as this one, they would be more than content.

The Members of Prince Alfred Lodge, together with the WBro Pearson and the District Chairman, WBro Ken Hampson

After the ceremony was completed we retired to the bar to toast the new Worshipful Master’s health, and then we went in to the Dining Room to enjoy the Installation Banquet. Following this most satisfying meal we enjoyed the usual toasts to Her majesty and the rulers of the Craft, and then it was time to enjoy our APGM’s response. WBro John Pearson is an excellent speaker and it is always a pleasure to listen to him.

John began by thanking all those who had attended the meeting as visitors, noting that some had even come from foreign parts, even from as far away as West Yorkshire. He welcomed all of the visitors to what he described as a “very warm and family affair.” He commented on the fact that not only was the Worshipful Master Installed into the Chair by his father, but also that the ceremony was, in part, conducted by the Pritchard family, with the brothers John and David being ably assisted by their nephew Stephen. He commented that though this sort of familial link is less common among Masons than it once was, it is still the cement that binds us together as a fraternity.

The ties that bind: WBro John Pritchard, Bro Stephen Pritchard (nephew of the other two) and WBro David Pritchard

John then went on to talk about the annual trip that some of the Southern Area’s brethren make to United Grand Lodge in early June. He regaled us with the series of events which had taken part this current year. Following our visit to the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge itself, we always go next door to the Grand Connaught Rooms where we always enjoy a little bit of the Capital’s fine dining. However, on this occasion, it was the nature of our visitors that caused John to comment. After dining we were visited first by the Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier, then by the Deputy Grand Master, RWBro Jonathan Spence, who had attended one of our Southern Area Lodges just the previous January, and finally by the Pro Grand Master, MWBro Peter Geoffrey Lowndes himself. John told us how the Pro Grand Master spent more than an hour in the company of the visitors from Southern Area, working his way around the room and spending a significant amount of time with each group. “It all goes to show,” said John, “that they are Masons just like us and they are interested in what we do and are doing."

John went on to talk about the 2015 Festival, saying,“We often hear that the money that we give goes to London. There can be nothing further from the truth. While we have raised just short of £2 Million pounds, we have received more than £2.5 Million in our Province from the Grand Charities.” He continued by saying that, “there are something like 40% of the Masons in our Province who have yet to give anything to the Festival. We now have less than a year left to make sure that the final total is something that we can be proud of. Let us all spread the word.”

The Worshipful Master and the Installing Master: Father & Son

John concluded by thanking the new Worshipful Master for his kindness and his greetings. He finished by saying, “It must have been wonderful to have been installed by your Father. I wish you all the best for the forthcoming year.”

If you wish to see all of the photographs taken on the night, and download any that you might want to keep, just go to




Eric Aldred, an 87 year old resident of the Broadoak area of Ashton, regularly drives to Scotland, France and the South Coast of England to visit Friends and relatives. Recently he found that members of his family were advising him that, at his age, this was no longer the safest way to travel such long distances. However, Eric has a mind of his own and, rather than simply giving in to these suggestions, he decided to look for some advice. It was at this same time that Eric came across a leaflet from the Institute of Advanced Motorists inviting him, and people like him, to “Assess Your Skills” under a scheme called “Drive Check 55”.

Eric, who is a Freemason and a member of Waverley Lodge which meets at Ashton Masonic Hall, took up the challenge and signed up for the course. He did so well that his instructor asked him if he would like to follow this up by signing up to take an Advanced Driver’s Class. Eric agreed and thus joined the “West Pennine Advanced Motoring Group which meets weekly in Oldham". Eric said, “I really enjoyed doing the classes. It meant that I had to go to Oldham every Sunday morning for six weeks, in my own car. When I got there I would spend two or three hours in the company of an Advanced Driving Instructor, learning how to improve my driving".

At the end of the six week course Eric was put forward to do his final test, and found himself being tested by the Chief Examiner for the Police Motorway Group. At the end of the test, Eric was astounded to be told that not only had he passed the test, but he had been rated as Excellent in every one of the 27 Competencies that are tested in the Institute of Advanced Motorists test. His examiner commented that it had been an, “excellent drive which was smooth, progressive and of a great standard”. Eric was later told that the he was the first person in the Oldham Group to pass the test at such a high level. What an achievement.

I am sure that we would all like to congratulate Eric on his performance, and hope that we will be doing as well as him when we reach his age!

This article appeared in the "Advertiser" Tameside edition.



Happy Ever After

Written by Sue Carr of the Manchester Evening News

A couple whose dream day was almost derailed when their wedding reception venue fell through have finally got their happy ever after. Emma Jeffreys and Dave Mullaney were left devastated after finding out on Facebook that the venue in Stalybridge  – where they had booked to hold their reception – was closing.

The newly-weds, who had been engaged for 12 years and forced to cancel their wedding plans twice before, were just weeks away from the big day and feared they may have to postpone for a third time. But, after Ashton Masonic Hall stepped in, the couple got hitched without a hitch and say they couldn’t be happier.

Emma, who lives in Stalybridge with Dave and their two children Joshua and Jessica, said: “The wedding was perfect. It was a hot and sunny day and everything went to plan, it was beautiful. We ended up better off in a way because the Masonic Hall was so much nicer.”

Emma, 34, who works as a cleaner at Hyde Town Hall, wore a simple gold and champagne dress to wed her long-term partner Dave, 46, who works at Manchester Airport. The Masonic Hall, on Jowetts’ Walk, was more expensive to hire but waived the extra charges so the bride and groom wouldn’t be left out of pocket. Manager Anne-Marie Wilde said: “We didn’t charge them any more than they were going to pay because they were on a budget and they didn’t have any spare funds. We’re lucky because we have two rooms and there was another function on so the building was open and there were staff in anyway. I just felt sorry for them. You don’t like to see people let down at the last minute and they were a lovely couple so we were happy to help.”

(This item has previously appeared in the Tameside Advertiser and appears by permission of Manchester Evening News Ltd. The item is copyright Sue Carr and MEN Ltd. The photograph is copyright Rachel Burbidge Photography. All Rights Reserved.)






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If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact

WBro Kevin Hall, District Communications Officer for Ashton/Mossley District

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