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What's On in the East Ribble District in January 2015 - updated 20th December
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Follow And Enjoy Freemasonry With Your APGM Here

Latest Newsletter August 2014       Charity Stewards & Festival Reps December Report      District Officer Information     Archived News

Masonic Hall and Lodge Details for the Northern Area    Accrington MH    Blackburn MH     Clitheroe Masonic Rooms     Mill House

Latest Festival Flyer No. 23    R A Demonstration Team    Adelaide Suite What's On

The Travelling Gavel is now held by Verity Lodge 3949 in Blackburn. See Below

A letter from WBro Martin Paul Roche, APGM for the northern area. See Below

The Adventures of the travelling Gavel

District Carol Servive

The annual East Ribble District carol service was held on Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm on 7th December at Holy Trinity Church, Oswaldtwistle. There were approximately 75 people in attendance. The Choir was organised by Mrs Barbara Gee and the organist was WBro Steve Watson From Huncoat Lodge.

The Lessons were read by Masters from various East Ribble Lodges with EComp Paul Aspinall delivering the final lesson. Bro Rev Don Johnson conducted the prayers.


Thanks were given to all concerned including Mrs Powdrill and the ladies of Holy Trinity Church who decorated the Church & provided tea & cake afterwards.

Rhyddings Lodge Christmas Lunch

On Sunday 7th December, Rhyddings Lodge, no. 5205 held their Christmas Lunch at the Adelaide Suite, Accrington. Prior to the lunch a Tombola was held with three tables full of choice items! Then the brethren, Ladies and guests were invited, a table at a time, to help themselves to a marvellous buffet provided by Barbara and her excellent staff.

Following the buffet, music and dance were the order of the day and a raffle was held with another whole raft of wonderful prizes. The photos below give a flavour of the joyful occasion. As the WM was away on holiday, the IPM, WBro Gordon Cornthwaite (heavily featured below in his blue pullover) and his lovely wife, Jean, acted as hosts and they and all the guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The event raised a sum of £345 and we all know where that will be going!!

Grand Charity donates £2440 to East Lancashire Hospice

WBro David Lightbown PProvJGW, Chairman of the East Ribble District, took great pleasure in presenting a cheque for £2440.00 to East Lancashire Hospice on behalf of the Freemasons Grand Charity. This was presented to Hospice Nursing Staff and Events Fundraiser Denise Gee.

Two hundred and forty two Hospices across England and Wales are currently receiving grants from the Freemasons Grand Charity totalling £600,000. Since 1984, the Charity has now donated more than £11m in support of Hospices.

Whilst we were there, Denise took us round the Creative and Support Therapy (CAST) Arts and Crafts Exhibition, where some of the current patients own work was on display. It was a wonderful display of imaginative, skilled work and a credit to all who contributed to the Exhibition.

Top: WBro Lightbown presents the cheque to the Hospice Nursing Staff and Events Manager Denise Gee. Below, a few pictures of the excellent CAST Arts & Crafts Exhibition.


Organised Visit to Ecclesholme

Our District Chairman WBro David Lightbown accompanied by his wife Susan, along with several Brethren and their wives visited our RMBI care home, Ecclesholme on Tuesday the 25th November.
The visit started with a chat with Bev Nyland, Home Manager and Emma her deputy. A tour of the facility followed, taking us past the sweet shop, visiting the seaside room which included a Punch and Judy, on to the bar and the second shop and the gymnasium on the second floor.

All were then invited to see Ecclesholme resident Beryl's photographs of when she had attended a ladies evening with her husband along with pictures of other of her family members.

Meeting the residents and seeing the great work that Bev, Emma and their team do gave us all an even greater understanding of how our support for our Festival in aid of the RMBI is essential in assisting to provide such an inspirational living environment.

Staff, Brethren and wives at Ecclesholme.


District Chairman helps Age UK raise nearly £2458

​WBro David Lightbown, PProvJGW and District Chairman, who recently ​took part in a 'Jail & Bail' sponsored event for Age UK in Blackburn, assisted the Charity in raising nearly two and half thousand pounds on the day.
WBro Lightbown would like to extend his grateful thanks to all those who contributed towards his part of this total.

​Left: Letter of thanks from Age UK, Top right: WBro Lightbown, and with some of his fellow inmates​ bottom right

Cheque presented to the Friends of Clitheroe Hospital

A cheque was presented to Mrs Brenda Dixon chairperson of the Friends Of Clitheroe Hospital for the sum of £150 by Worshipful Brother Derek Harwood and Worshipful Brother Ian Johnson both Clitheroe Masons & Members of The East Ribble District Charity Stewards. This is to help the volunteers in their work supporting patients during their stay.

Volunteer Support for the Hospice at Christmas

Volunteers from across the District took great pleasure in helping out at the East Lancashire Hospice Christmas Fayre on Sunday the 16th November.
Managing the car parking and helping tidy away was the order of the day again this year, on what was a very busy day working with the wonderful Hospice volunteers, staff and Fund Raising team.
Denise Gee, Event Fundraiser said "Well done to the team who managed the car parking at what was the busiest Christmas Fayre at East Lancashire Hospice ever. Also thank you for helping clear up. You are all the best".

​To right, managing the car park entrance. Bottom: Volunteers try to keep Hospice Events Fundraiser Denise Gee under control!​


East Ribble District Royal Arch Dinner

The Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, EComp Paul Aspinall PGStB & DORA EComp Gordon McMillan PProvGSoj, hosted the second annual East Ribble District Royal Arch Dinner on Friday 7th of November in the Adelaide Suite at Accrington Masonic Hall.
90 guests were welcomed by EComp ASpinall, who introduced our very special guest, Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp William John Porter, PGSwdB and his wife, Norah.

The evening was hosted by Sincerity Chapter 3120 and EComp Paul Aspinall thanked the chapter, and especially EComp Bill Fishwick, for all his hard work. EComp Aspinall went on to explain that this dinner is to promote the Royal Arch to Craft Masons so that they may be encouraged to join.

Grace was given by EComp Alun Lewis Davies, PProvGStdB and first principal of Sincerity Chapter. All guests then enjoyed a wonderful five course dinner by Barbara Peters, rounded off with her famous cheese table. EComp Davies returned thanks and EComp Porter addressed the guests.

EComp Aspinall thanked all involved in the evening for their efforts, and all the guests for their support. He presented a bouquet of flowers to Norah Porter and EComp McMillan presented Mrs Beryl Aspinall with a bouquet. Our DORA, EComp Gordon McMillan PProvGSoj,then invited all Ladies, Brethren and Companions to a short presentation on Royal Arch Masonry in the Chapter room, prepared by the Companions of Sincerity Chapter.

The evening then continued with vocal entertainment provided by WBro John Hirst as D J Scott, former lead guitarist with Edison Lighthouse, a Prize Raffle Draw and further singing and a disco late into the night.

The proceeds from the Dinner and Raffle helped to raise the fantastic sum of £750.00 for our EL2015 Festival in aid of the RMBI which will no doubt be truly appreciated by the beneficiaries of our Charity.

East Ribble District Supports Rough Lee Home, Accrington

Following a request for support from WBro Derek Smith of Amity & Rossendale Forest Lodge No.283, the District Charity Stewards fund awarded £150.00 to a local Care home in Accrington.

Rough Lee Residential care home is a registered charity for adults with physical disabilities set in its own beautiful grounds in Accrington. There is an abundance of wildlife and plenty of areas for people to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
The home itself is all on one level and built purposely to accommodate people in wheelchairs or with a physical disability. It has been open for 30 years this year and to celebrate they have set themselves a target of raising £30,000 to provide an extension to the main building to add more bedrooms and refurbish the Bathroom Facilities.
Rough Lee Home Manager Andrea Buckley, said that the money donated would be used to support this fund and its aims, thanking Derek and the East Ribble District Charity Stewards for their very kind donation.

Rough Lee Home Manager, Andrea Buckley gratefully receiving a donation of £150.00 from WBro Derek Smith of Amity & Rossendale Forest Lodge No.283

Blackburn Youth Zone

The East Ribble District are delighted to continue their support of Blackburn Youth Zone through a donation of £4,995 from the ELMC Community Fund.
This money will be used to fund a new sensory room for the young people and adults up to the age of 25. The new facility will house a range of equipment to stimulate the senses of the young people with a range of learning difficulties, and will include specialist lighting, sound systems as well as a range of touch and interactive devices. The room, when completed, will provide the users and their families with a safe and practical hands on space and compliment the extensive range of existing facilities.

We look forward to returning to Blackburn Youth Zone to see the facility upon its completion.

Blackburn Youth Zone, located in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter in Blackburn, is a superb 365 day a year facility. Up to 100 young people attend the centre every day and they have access to a wide range of activities including… sporting, artistic, musical or academic. The rooftop 5 a side pitch is to be seen to be believed!
The donation presented today, Thursday, 23rd October, 2014, will add a brand new and exciting new specialist facility.

Left to right
Laura Walker (Diversity Club Manager)
WBro James Abbott (Manager of Blackburn Masonic Hall)
WBro David Lightbown (East Ribble District Chairman)
Peter Little (Chief Exec.)
WBro Ian Johnson (Secretary to the Charity Stewards)

Rhyddings Lodge No.5205 presents Cheque to East Lancashire Hospice

Denise Gee from the Fund raising Department at East Lancashire Hospice, gratefully received a £300 donation on behalf of the Brethren of Rhyddings Lodge in Accrington.
The Immediate Past Master of the Lodge, WBro Gordon Cornthwaite and (more importantly) Mrs Jean Cornthwaite, nominated both East Lancashire and Pendleside Hospices to receive equal donations following WBro Cornthwaites successful year in the Chair. They were assisted at the Presentation by the Lodge Almoner WBro Ken Wright and Mrs Eunice Wright.

The Lodge has also made exceptionally generous donations of £5000 to our EL2015 Festival and £2000 to the ELMC.

From L-R, Denise Gee, WBro Ken Wright, Mrs Eunice Wright, WBro Gordon Cornthwaite & Mrs Jean Cornthwaite

RW PGM visit to a very old Lodge with a very big future

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Sir David Trippier, was hosted at Amity & Rossendale Forest Lodge No.283 on Tuesday the 7th October, on what turned out to be an evening focused on the future of Freemasonry in the company of approximately 80 Brethren.

Having been received into the Lodge, the Provincial Grand Master took the chair and proceeded to address the Lodge, referring to his own connections to the Lodge, including his friend WBro Peter Evans, a member of the Host Lodge who had recently been taken quite seriously ill and whom he was having regular contact with at present. Sir David also referred to his own connection with Rossendale Forest, represented by the Stag on his own standard.

The main business was a wonderful, truncated version of the initiation ceremony, at which recent  members of the Lodge gave at regular intervals, their own thoughts and memories of their  initiation. This was an excellently produced and highly innovative presentation, with all five of the newer Brethren expressing their honest feelings as to what the ceremony and their first forays into Freemasonry had meant to them. The Brethren were Bro's Ray Godwin, John Hutchison, Will Atkinson, Paul Spann and Mark Latham.
WBro Dennis Heskett performed an excellent narration to the ceremony and was ably assisted by the Deacons WBro's Stuart Rayton and Derek Smith.

The RW Provincial Grand Master was effusive in his praise for their work, noting that the Lodge had demonstrated the importance of looking after the future of Freemasonry, amply illustrated by the presentation we had all just witnessed.

After the meeting, an extremely full and happy Festive Board was enjoyed by all.

The PGM with the WM and the APGM with the five recent Initiates

RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire with Bro Barry Thompson, WM and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD. On the right - with the two Lodge Wardens - Bro Fenton Cains and WBro Chris Harris


Breaking news - East Ribble District Chairman Jailed

East Ribble Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW finished up in Blackburn Police cells on Friday 3rd October , but the brethren from the District came to the rescue to raise the bail money, although a number of brethren did offer to pay more to keep the chairman in jail

All was for a good cause in support of Age UK, who hoped to raise in the region of £2500 on the day with bail monies from the eight jail birds

This article appeared in the Lancashire Telegraph on Saturday 4th October 2014. Our man is orisioner 283

Hewlett Court Summer House

The Districts of East Ribble and Burnley & Pendle from the Northern area along with the Salford District each made a donation of £500 towards a new Summer House for Hewlett Court , this being to replace the former seating area which had become unsafe. The work began with the demolition of the former unit to make way for the brand new timber summer house.

The the photos, below, highlight the work carried out on Sunday 28th September. Pictured are the District Chairmen from the northern Area WBro David Lightbown and WBro Paul Thortnton along with Deputy Chairman Jeff Ward and Assistant Charity steward Mike Stubbs. As can be seen from the photos it seemed that the building of the summer house was something of a puzzle with the Brethren scratching their heads at the instructions, until they cracked the code and soon made hasty progress. The staff at Hewlett Court keeping the volunteers fed and watered with soup and hot roast beef barm cakes at lunch time.

Albert Edward Lodge No.1519 receive Festival Certificate

Following donations to our EL2015 Festival from all members of Albert Edward Lodge No.1519, on Thursday 25th September, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Martin Roche PSGD, presented the Lodge with the framed Festival Certificate as a thank you for their generosity.
WBro Roche explained the significance of what the Lodge has achieved, remarking that their kindness not only changes the lives of people they may never meet, but that it enables our beneficiaries who are supported through the RMBI, to live with care and dignity.

At the meeting, the Junior Warden WBro Pye, delivered a superb explanation of the First degree tracing board to the Junior Brethren. The Festive Board that followed was a very happy and enjoyable occasion for the Lodge, but most especially for the Visiting Brethren at Mill House.

The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche PSGD, presents the greatly deserved certificate to the Worshipful Master Bro Graham Chadwick and the Lodge Festival Rep & Charity Steward, WBro Thomas Pearson ProvJGD

2014 Charity Stewards Walk

20 participants enjoyed a near eight mile walk from Edisford Bridge in Clitheroe, along the River Ribble to Grindleton and back on Sunday the 21st of September. The annual Charity Stewards walk benefitted from a dry and sunny day as the party stretched their legs down the riverbank and through autumn woodland along the way.
A slight detour towards the end, courtesy of WBro Dennis Heskett, added an unexpected extra mile to the walk, which to be fair, wasn't actually that bad in comparison to some previous years.
Many thanks to all who came and supported the walk, sponsored a participant and especially those who organised the event.

WBro Ken Lord, PProvSGW – 50 years a Mason

On Thursday 11th September 2014, in a Lodge Room in Clitheroe, Ken Lord celebrated his 50 years in Freemasonry. Limestone Rock members and guests completely filled the Lodge Room.

After the opening business was completed, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB and Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro John Pearson, PSGD, together with many Grand Lodge Officers and a District deputation were admitted.

The WM, WBro Bruce James Pollard, PProvAGDC, welcomed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and offered him the gavel, which, on this occasion he accepted and occupied the Masters Chair. He then proceeded to introduce the members of the delegation.

The DPGM asked the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Simon Archer, to seat WBro Lord in the centre of the Lodge. He then called upon the Lodge Secretary, WBro Dev Ramsingh, to read the appropriate section from the lodge minutes of 10th September 1964, when Ken was first admitted into Limestone Rock.

The DPGM asked the Junior Warden, WBro Stephen J Lord, PProvJGD, Ken’s son, to pay tribute to his father. Steve's words are summarised as follows:

"I look back on Ken's 50 years in Freemasonry from a family prospective. To mid 1975 when we moved to Cheshire and Ken still traveled to Clitheroe to practices and meetings. Then 1977 with red white and blue flags flying and cakes and sandwiches on the street party tables when we moved back to Clitheroe. With dad becoming WM in Limestone Rock 369 that year. Memories of a family holiday in France 1982; Heather and I sat on the back seat of the car listening to music on the tape player. With Dad reciting words as he was to be WM at Priory Mark Lodge.

1991 I joined Limestone Rock Lodge at the age of 23 years in September, the same age and month Ken joined Masonry. Dad was the DC but he took the chair to induct me into the secrets and mystries of Freemasonry. Then in my Second Degree Ken put on a trip to 145, Edinburgh lodge, to see Tom's installation. We just survived the whisky excess. The Scottish lodge returned the visit to do a demonstration 3rd Degree. Dad later became honorary member of 145 and member of Edinburgh no 1 Chapter. In 2002 I became WM of Limestone Rock with Dad as WM of St Michael in Castro no 8838.

I was supported as WM to do a Festival bike ride from Windermere to the Velodrome in Manchester. This was a journey of 100miles, like the Tour de France speeds and support. With David Anderson driving and Dad supplying me the tea and biscuits to get through the ride and I even beat the Festival team to the Velodrome as they got slightly lost in Manchester.

In 2004, Ken became Sovereign in Accrington Chapter Rose Croix, no 364. At a joint convocation I was the candidate and moved to my 18°.
Then May that year, on a hot sunny day, I travelled from Manchester to London by train with East Lancs Mark masons, enjoying Gin & Tonics and fellowship and friendships all the way. At Great Queens Street Grand Lodge, Ken received acting Grand Rank in the Mark Degree. That year he visited over 70 Mark Lodges and RAM Lodges in East Lancashire and beyond.

Limestone Rock Lodge is not just Freemasonry, but Family and Friends. When you look at our summons you will see seven past WMs and 3 members from 1946 to today and all the same family.
Tonight we come to mark Ken Lords Golden Jubilee. Both Friends and Family in body and in spirit.

This concludes my reflections of 50 year Dad. Almost a quarter the age of our Limestone Rock Lodge, Warranted in 1822.
But I know you look to the future. In 8 years it will be our bicentenary.
More important when our next family member to join us a few years after that."

After the tribute, the Worshipful Master presented Ken, on behalf of all the members of the Lodge, with a beautiful glass bowl.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, PGSwdB, then entertained the Lodge members and guests with many anecdotes , facts and figures from 1964. Sir Alec Douglas-Home was Prime Minister until his narrow defeat in the general election by Harold Wilson. The average wage at the time was just £16/week. Prince Edward was born and BBC2 was launched – a day late! The landmark Post Office Tower (now BT Tower) was opened with its revolving restaurant. The Sun replaced the Daily Herald and in the film world there was Zulu, Goldfinger, Mary Poppins, 633 Squadron and My Fair Lady. Top of the Pos was launched and the Likely Lads hit our screens (whatever happenned to them?) The Beatles held the top 5 spots in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Ken attained the rank of PProvSGD in 1988 and PProvJGW in 1995. He received the ultimate Provincial Honour of PProvSGW in 2011. Ken has also received many honours in other degrees and is a member of Limestone Rock Chapter.

The Deputy then joined Ken in the centre of the Lodge where he presented and then read the illuminated Certificate marking Ken’s 50th, together with the letter from the Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL.

The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Simon Archer, then escorted Ken around the lodge room, to much applause.

The WM, WBro Bruce James Pollard, PProvAGDC, then presented the Deputy with a cheque for £500 from the members of Limestone Rock on behalf of the Festival. He then resumed his rightful place in the Lodge and the Provincial Deputation then retired.

The 50th Celebration Banquet to commemorate the anniversary of WBro Lord’s fifty years in Freemasonry was held across the road at the Swan and Royal Hotel. The banquet room was filled to capacity and everyone enjoyed a marvelous meal. Following the formal toasts, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB, proposed a most entertaining but thoughtful toast to Ken, whose response brought much applause and brought everyone to their feet to complete a superb Masonic Evening and one that Ken will never forget.

Ken with members of Limestone Rock and the Delegation

Ken with members of the Lodge and the DPGM and the APGM

Ken with the DPGM and the WM of Limestone Rock

At the Social Board. Rear l/r - Edward Smillie, Paul Aspinall, Steve Lord, David Lightbown: front l/r Derek Thornhill, Ken Lord, Bruce Pollard

District and Chapter Support Young Scout

East Ribble District Charity Stewards and Hutchinson Chapter No.381 in Darwen both gave £50 each towards a young Scouts dream of attending the World Jamboree in Japan in 2015 and meeting Scouts from across the world.
Connor White is raising over £3000 for this once in a lifetime opportunity for the young Scout.

WBro Howard Alderson Perkins, IPM of the Lancashire Scouting Lodge of Allegiance and Second Principal of Hutchinson Chapter took great pleasure in presenting the cheques.
There will also be a race night held at Darwen Masonic Hall on the 13th of September to further aid Connors efforts.

A letter from WBro Martin Paul Roche, APGM for the northern area

Dear Brethren

As the new Masonic season is upon us, I have a simple message which I would like us all to consider and then carry forward in all that we do – let’s make it a good one.
Every season is not just another season. It is an opportunity first and foremost to enjoy ourselves and enjoy our Freemasonry, because when we do just that so much good happens as a consequence.

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a positive attitude and a drive to make every meeting and every member count, so ensuring ‘retention’ is more than just a word

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a commitment not to miss that next meeting or the practice for it and us all contributing to making it the best ceremony that it can be

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a need to become more involved, to take on that bit of work in a ceremony, to want to be an active part of the team

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a confidence to speak openly about our membership with non-Masons and make ‘recruitment’ also more than just a word

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a desire to visit our neighbouring Lodges and halls, to support our events and make sure that a Brother you have never met becomes a Brother you want to meet again

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a better understanding of the charities that we support – especially at this time the RMBI and the ELMC. Nobody is an expert in either and there is a new aspect to discover every day about their amazing work and another reason to keep supporting them.

    Brethren, fun and enjoyment are just as infectious as boredom and apathy. A lot of the time it is all about choice. Let’s make our membership of Freemasonry mean even more this season by us all simply making the most of it. It doesn’t cost you any more money but the benefits are priceless.

    I look forward to seeing you all in the coming months and together, making this season the best yet. Let’s make it a good one.

    Yours fraternally,

    WBro Martin P. Roche, PSGD

    Assistant Provincial Grand Master – Northern Area

Lime Stone Rock 369 summer BBQ

On Saturday 16th August, Lime Stone Rock, no.369 held their annual summer BBQ at Hall Foot, Worston, Clitheroe.It was attended by 130 guests. It was a cold day but everybody enjoyed the day .There were member's from Keep lodge, 401 Wadington and Ryddings lodge. The event raised the magnificant sum of £1200 for the 2015 festival.

Open Day at the Clitheroe Masonic Rooms

An Open Day was held on Saturday 9th August at the Clitheroe Masonic Rooms within the Conservative Club on Castle Street. This coincided with the Citheroe Food Festival. The ladies organised a cake stall and served tea and biscuits to those attending. The Mayors of the Ribble Valley and Clitheroe town council attended.

Blackburn Masonic Hall, with District Support, donate snooker table to Blackburn Youth Zone

The fantastic Blackburn Youth Zone have benefited from a Snooker table, kindly donated by the members of Blackburn Masonic Hall, with the surface re-covering and parts financed from the East Ribble District Charity Stewards fund. Blackburn Youth Zone is, a state of the art youth club facility located at the heart of Blackburn. It is a 21st century youth hub for young people aged 8 to 18 years old, aiming to irrevocably change the prospects offered to young people in the area. Uniquely, this is happening in partnership with young people rather than on their behalf. As such, the Zone is led with the principle of ‘starting where young people are, going where young people take us’. They are open 365 days a year, 7 days a week and offer over up to 20 activities each evening. The entrance fee is just 50p.

The snooker table was placed in the Ground floor recreation area of the Youth Zone. The table was originally donated to Blackburn Masonic Hall by Vic Wardman and the Brethren of Verity Lodge No.3949, but being no longer used, a new home was sought and found, and it will hopefully provide enjoyment for those who access the Youth Zone for many years to come. The table itself has 3 pieces of slate for the bed weighing approx. 3 cwt each, with the whole table being about 3/4 of a ton (just ask Jim Fallow and Brian Hartnell!). The frame is solid oak and was made by Rileys in 1941. At that time, the craftsmen who built it would have taken about 1 month!

Laura Jones, events manager, gave the presentation party a guided tour of the Youth Zone and all were amazed at the architecturally stunning facilities, which include a sports Hall, a fully equipped gym, climbing walls, table tennis, pool, and now snooker tables, dance studio which also can be used as a Boxing area, arts and craft open areas, Cafe and refreshments, Graphic design/ multimedia area, meeting rooms, a rooftop all weather sports pitch and much much more.

East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown along with WBro's Jim Abbott, Jim Fallow and Brian Hartnell took great pleasure in presenting the refurbished table to Laura Jones, Bob McKnight and Peter Little from the Youth Zone, along with young persons enjoying the new addition.


A tour of some of the fantastic facilities.

Update - 29/8/2014

The following letter has been received from one of the senior club members regarding the snooker table.

The Clitheroe Advertiser

This article, penned by Northern Area APGM, WBro Martin Roche, appeared in the Clitheroe Advertiser prior to the recent open day at Clitheroe

New batch of TLC Teddies delivered to Royal Blackburn Hospital​

East Ribble District Freemasons recently delivered more boxes full of TLC Teddies to Royal Blackburn Hospital Paediatric A&E Department, which are used to comfort distressed children and infants in times of stress or upset.
We have supplied thousands of these Teddies to the Royal Blackburn and​ ​the former Queens Park hospital over the last few years, all part of the national TLC Appeal drive and support to Children's A&E Units in England and Wales.
The Teddies are currently being funded by our​ very own​ Provincial Charity, The ELMC (East Lancashire Masonic Charity ​)​​ via the Community Fund, which looks to help worthy local causes right across East Lancashire​.
To find out how the Teddies Loving Care scheme started and how a simple idea turned into a national Masonic initiative, please visit​

The Teddies were delivered to Amy, a Paediatric nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

ELMC Community Fund supports Belthorn Community Village

Following an application from Village resident Andy Bain, also the current WM of The Lodge of Remembrance No.3787 in Accrington, the ELMC Community Fund Committee approved a grant of £454.80 to purchase a specialist petrol mower for the use of Belthorn Village volunteers.

Only certain parts of the village come under the Council remit to maintain, leaving some pathways, verges, the Wildlife Pond area and even the graveyard overgrown. This mower will now allow the group to stay on top of these areas once the volunteers have strimmed the areas back down to a more manageable level, keeping areas of necessity and interest clear, safe and accessible for residents of all ages.

East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW along with Assistant District Charity Steward WBro Mike Stubbs and Charity Stewards Secretary WBro Ian Johnson, made the presentation to Village residents and Community volunteers at a Lancashire Telegraph photo opportunity.

ELMC & East Ribble District Support Local Disability Support Charity

Following an application to the ELMC Community Fund, The Alltogether Social Trust was awarded £500 to fund a talent show a Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn.

The AllTogether Social Trust is a charity for children and young adults with disabilities, their families and carers. They run many projects throughout the Blackburn with Darwen area but are accessible to all families in Lancashire. The AllTogether Social Trust apply a whole family approach so, all activities are tailored for the children and young adults with disabilities and their siblings.
Activities available for the children and young adults range from arts and crafts, to a variety of sports, including archery and many others.

The children and youths of the Charity expressed a wish for an end of year talent show on a real stage in a real theatre.

The talent show was a great success for the Charity, with all round excellent performances for all the parents, staff and families to enjoy. Volunteers from the District also helped out by collecting donations, mainly by Ben and Emma Stubbs, children of our Assistant District Charity Steward WBro Mike Stubbs, selling Raffle tickets and even talented young singer James Holt, Grandson of our District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW acting as a judge for the performances!

At the end of the performance, WBro Lightbown along with Ian Johnson & Russell Harwood, made an official presentation on stage. The District Chairman also explained how and why Freemasonry looks to support worthy local causes in our area.

​Patients Drinks Trolley donation for Hospice

​East Ribble District Charity Stewards presented once again East Lancashire Hospice with a £350 cheque for the patients drinks trolley. We make this donation every six months to ensure that the trolley is always well stocked and available for the Hospice patients.
​This tradition was started many years ago on the request of the Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh PSGD.

East Ribble District Chairman David Lightbown and Charity Stewards Secretary Ian Johnson presented the cheque to Kimberley Hall from the fundraising department, along with some of the Day patients and staff.​

East Ribble District Summer Grand Draw & Family Barbecue raises £1066

Nearly 100 were in attendance at the annual East Ribble Summer Draw and Family Barbecue on what turned out to be a sunny afternoon at Mill House Masonic Hall.

This included fifteen residents and staff from Hewlett Court, invited as guests of the District to enjoy the day with us.

Great food and company made for a very enjoyable afternoon, with plenty to do for the children with a bouncy castle and a secret cinema, complete with a free drink, popcorn and ice cream to keep them entertained!

Following the excellent meal, the Prize raffle draw was held, announced by the a District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW, with WBro Harold Edgar PProvAGSwdB winning the 1st prize of £150.00. 34 more prizes were handed out to the guests and many Brethren from the Lodges across the District, who very kindly worked hard to sell raffle tickets prior to the day and provide prizes. The day made the fantastic sum of £1066.

As the draw was being made, WBro's Allan Low and David Baldwin of Bank Terrace Lodge No.462 arrived after spending the day traversing the Leeds Liverpool canal by cycle, making Mill House the halfway point on the 127 mile journey. They are raising funds via sponsorship for our EL2015 Festival in aid of the RMBI.

Grateful thanks to all the District Charity Stewards for their continued hard work, those who bought tickets for their kindness, all who worked to make the day happen for their organisational efforts and all who came to support the day.

Nearly 100 guests attended, including residents and staff from Hewlett Court

Top left: District Chairman WBro David Lightbown presents the 1st Prize to WBro Harold Edgar. Centre Right: start 'em young! Centre Left and Bottom left, WBro's Allan Low and David Baldwin arrive at Mill House. Bottom right: How Rhyddings Lodge sort their problems out, WM Bro Gordon Cornthwaite (left) finally snaps with Charity Steward WBro Mike Stubbs (right).

Record number of volunteers for the Hospice Starlight Walk

56 volunteers provided by the East Ribble District, along with 14 public volunteers, supported the annual East Lancashire Hospice Starlight Walk on Saturday the 28th June.
The District organised all of the Marshalls for the late night ladies only walk, keeping up to 500 ladies safe as they made their way around the streets of Blackburn to raise funds for the Hospice.
Starting in late 2013, representatives from the Hospice, Lancashire Police and the District plan and prepare the Walk over several months, ensuring the safety and viability of the event.
This years walk had the option of a shortened five mile or the traditional eight mile route meaning far more Marshalls would be required.

The day started with ten District volunteers along with Denise Gee from the Hospice Fundraising Team, loading vans, clearing car parks and setting up the registration/food/marshalling areas at the DW Soccerdome in Blackburn, the Start and finish point of the Walk.

As is our usual tradition, a good number of volunteers headed for a pre event Curry, this year held at the Reena in Oswaldtwistle which was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Volunteers then headed back to the Soccerdome to manage the parking and enjoy the Musical fun before heading out to their Marshalling positions on the route, ready to cheer on and if necessary assist the participants as they pass. Bathroom and water stations were also manned by our volunteers.

The local Police once again gave a fantastic example of Community Safety and interaction by ensuring that everyone who participated felt secure, and by employing traffic calming measures and blocks where necessary. The St John Ambulance Service also supported the whole walk and were on hand to attend to any injuries or health concerns on the night.

The last walkers returned to the finish point at 12.50am along with our back markers, who enjoyed the complimentary sausage sandwiches and hot drinks, supplied free of charge to the Hospice by local suppliers, businesses and generous individuals.

The remaining volunteers assisted in tidying the site and reloading vans before heading home just before 2am.

Recent Initiates Meeting - Tuesday 17th June, 2014

The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD (5th from right) with the recent initiates

Sunnyhurst Lodge, no. 4631, in Darwen, was proud to host this meeting of recent East Ribble District Initiates. The Worshipful Master, Alfred Steven Birkbeck opened the meeting and dealt with the early business and the Lodge then received the The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD, accompanied by a District Delegation.

The WM offerred the Gavel to the APGM who was pleased to accept it and occupied the Masters Chair. The APGM thanked the WM and welcomed everyone to the meeting and then proceeded to introduce the members of the delegation. He then introduced the Provincial Grand Mentor, WBro Alan Kirwilliam, PProvJGW who gave a most excellent talk on the whole theme of mentoring, in particular with the emphasis on Retention. He gave a number of facts and figures that showed the importance of getting the mentoring process exactly right in each and every Lodge.

The APGM then presented, individually, a welcome certificate to each new Initiate and spend a good few minutes with each new Brother. The new Brethren were then warmly applauded. The APGM thanked them all once again and also thanked WBro Steven WAtson, PProvSGD, for his excellent work on the organ. The WM resumed his seat and the APGM and DElegation retired.

The Festive Board was enjoyed by everyone and a raffle raised the sum of £312 for Masonic Charities. All in all, a superb evening.

The Lodge of Perseverance, no. 345, Summer BBQ

On Sunday afternoon, 8th June, 2014, The Lodge of Perseverance, held their annual Barbecue at the home of David and Sheila Bedford at Ravenswing Farm, Mellor. Once again excellent food was provided by the head chefs, David Bedford and Brian Hartwell, whilst equally excellent beer (other drinks were available) by head Barman, Jim Fallow. Plenty of games were organised for both kids and adults plus raffles and guess the number of corks and sweets. Over 50 guests had a wonderful afternoon and betweem them raised the magnificant sum of £just over £950 for the Festival. The photos below sum up a perfect afternoon.

Bank Terrace Lodge No.462 celebrates it's 175th anniversary

WBro Martin Roche PSGD and Assistant Provincial Grand Master was the guest of honour at the Lodge 175th celebrations, held on the 5th June. Although not a recognised formal occasion, the Lodge felt that 175 years of continuous service was enough of an excuse for a shindig and organised a celebration to mark the landmark year. Accompanied by a select deputation, including the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies WBro Wes Marchant PAGDC, WBro Roche was admitted and welcomed into the Lodge.

The aim of the evening was to celebrate the past but look to the future. The minutes of the first ever meeting were read, followed by The Roll of Founders, called by the Junior Brethren, Bro's Scott Miller, Tim Harrison and Daniel Wareing. Bro Thomas Buck very ably, then read selected highlights from our History. The Lodge Chaplain, WBro Clive Carroll PProvDepGReg followed this with a thanksgiving prayer for the Lodge.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master gave an address to the Lodge, speaking amongst many things, about our consecration year of 1839 (a slim year for news!) and congratulating the Lodge for achieving this important milestone, which was appreciated by all the members and guests.

WBro Roche then explained Grand Lodge certificates to Bro's Miller and Harrison in his own unique and memorable way before handing back to our WM WBro Alan Uttley to formally present the Certificates. East Ribble DORA EComp Gordon McMillan stood and proceeded to present them with a letter from the RW PGM/MEGS Sir David Trippier RD JP DL, explaining about the importance of Royal Arch Freemasonry as a completion of their Masonic Journey.

Following the response form our Assistant Provincial Grand Master at the second rising, the Worshipful Master presented a cheque for £2015 for our EL2015 Festival which was sincerely appreciated.

The festive board was a celebratory five course banquet, excellently prepared and served by Barbara Peters and her team, and was a very memorable occasion.

The Lodge members with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master and his Deputation and the Lodge members (present) 2014

A very happy and memorable festive board

WBro Jack Riley PProvGSwdB with his grandson Bro Tim Harrison. WBro Riley, at the Grand Old age of 96, raised Bro Harrison to the 3rd Degree at the May Meeting.

East Ribble Volunteers at Child Action North West Pound Day

A dozen volunteers helped make the Child Action North West Pound Day, held at Oswaldtwistle Mills a roaring success again this year. There was also a Masonic Display area, open to the Public.

From helping to set up the gazebos, tables and stock on Saturday, through to bucket collecting, bin emptying and tidying away on the Sunday, all our volunteers did their bit to help CANW continue their essential Child Support services.

WBro Martin Roche PSGD and Assistant Provincial Grand Master, a newly appointed Trustee of the Charity was also on hand to support the day from both perspectives, supported by WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW & District Chairman who came along too see the work being done by the volunteers.

Open Day at MILL HOUSE 7th June 2014

As part of the Open Day proceedings at Mill House to promote Freemasonry in the area, the members of the Lodge of Amity & Rossendale Forest No.283 formed in procession into the Lodge Room in front of family, friends, members of the Masonic Hall and non-masons. The Mayor of Hyndburn was also invited to attend.
WBro Chad Antony Northcott, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Salford District, delivered a very interesting presentation on Freemasonry that described its development from those early beginnings with links to operative masonry through to the Freemasonry we know today. He explained about our very important Charitable work and talked about the social side of Freemasonry. He also answered questions from the audience during the Q & A session following the talk.

WBro Chad Northcott, PSGD, APGM; The Mayor of Hyndburn, Councillor Munsif Dad; WBro David Lightbown, ProvJGW, East Ribble District Chairman.


WBro Dennis Heskett PProvSGD, the Lodge Secretary, expanded on WBro Northcott's presentation by referring to the longevity of the Lodge of Amity, being formed in 1791 in Rochdale. He referred to the symbols and tools used by the early operative masons and their significance in modern day Freemasonry. He gave a general explanation of the various Offices in the Lodge and also referred to the £6.6 million donated to various Charities in 2013 by the Freemasons' Grand Charity.
The Mayor, Councillor Munsif Dad, thanked WBro Northcott and WBro Heskett for the invitation to attend and for the insight into our fraternity and our Charitable work.
The visitors were then invited to look round the Masonic Hall at leisure and to feel free to ask questions of the Freemasons stewarding the event.

Information on display covered the various Masonic Charities, Masonic Care Homes and the Masonic initiative 'TLC Teddies' for young children going into hospital. There was also displays and information on the history of Mill House and what Mill House and Freemasonry had to offer prospective candidates.

There was also a very impressive and wide ranging display of Craft and Royal Arch Masonic Regalia, which was provided by WBro Ivan Eastwood, curator of the East Lancashire Museum of Freemasonry.

The Travelling Gavel now held by Perseverance Lodge 345

The Travelling Gavel now resides with the Lodge of Perseverance after having been, very reluctantly, handed to their WM, Malcolm Roe on Tuesday 21st May. Ten members of 345 travelled to Rhyddings Lodge where their members tried every trick they could to retain it, even resorting to texting the Deputy Chairman to check the rules! Rhyddings have said they will try and reclaim it in six months time.

Bro Gordon Cornthwaite, WM of Rhyddings Lodge, passing over the Travelling Gavel to Bro Malcolm Roe, WM of Perseverance Lodge

Darwen Masonic Hall Festival Ball

The night was attended by 40 guests, with guests of honour the DPGM WBro Derek Thornhill and his wife Joan along with APGM Martin Roche accompanied by Mrs Dorothy price.

The guests enjoyed a wonderful home cooked meal followed by games and laughter before the they sat to listen to the musical talents of 17 year old Amy Leigh Waddicor who wowed everyone with her superb singing ranging from 60s to modern day music.

The night was a great success, raising a fantastic £334 for the RMBI 2015 Festival. Jenny, who hosted the event would like to thank all those who attended and made the night special, and to those who made their generous donations.

East Ribble District Walk the Province 2014

Following the cancellation of the Morecambe Bay Walk due to unsafe conditions, 24 came along to honour the sponsorship pledges and donations by completing an alternative 6.8 mile walk. The Assistant Provincial Grand a Master WBro Martin Roche PSGD, Mrs Jan Roche and our District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW once again supported and participated in the event.

Starting at Mill House Masonic Hall, the circular route walk around the canal paths to Rishton and through Great Harwood was completed on a rainy Sunday afternoon in around two and a half hours, ending back at the Hall.

Mill House Steward Mick O'Donnell, with the kind permission of the management, opened the Hall for the benefit of all and even came along on the Walk, even raising funds by selling tea/coffee and cakes which was appreciated by the participants.

A massive thank you to all who took part, organised or sponsored a walker, the funds will directly assist our beneficiaries who are under the the excellent care of the RMBI.


East Ribble District Charity Stewards donation to local care home

WBro Frank Salt of Peaceful Valley Lodge No.4111 in Darwen, brought an application to the District Charity Stewards committee to support an entertainment programme in a local care home in Darwen.
The home, which WBro Salt visits as part of his almoner duties, required funds to start an entertainment programme for the residents, which can now go ahead with this financial assistance.
The District Charity Stewards fund supports causes outside of the ELMC Community fund criteria, so that our Festival and ELMC Commitments can always be put first by our Lodges and Chapters.

East Ribble Masons receive Maunday Money

Two East Ribble District Freemasons received Maundy Money from HM The Queen at Blackburn Cathedral on Thursday 17 April, in recognition of their work in the Diocese.

WBro (Brian) Williams, PProvDepGSuptWks, St Aidan 6339 (ex United Brethren, 346) and WBro Jim Warner PPJGW, Almoner at Old Blackburnians, 7933, were among the 176 people chosen to receive Maundy Money from a Monarch, in a ceremony dating back 800 years. The Maundy Money, one for each year of the Queen’s age, small silver coins, come in two purses, one white containing the specially minted coins and one red containing ordinary money.

The royal party arrived at Blackburn railway station at 10.45am, after which they were driven slowly down the Boulevard and Church Street to the cathedral. The Queen and Prince Philip then walked through the imposing doors of the Cathedral to a fanfare of trumpets. The Royal Standard flew proudly from the top of the west tower and the Yeomen of the Guard, in their scarlet and white ruff-necked Beefeater attire created a marvelous atmosphere.

During the private ticketed event, the Queen honoured 88 men and 88 women from the Diocese of Blackburn. The recipients and their companions were then treated to a civic lunch at King George’s Hall.

The Royal Maundy can be traced back to the fourth century. It became the custom in the 13th century for members of the royal family to take part in Maundy ceremonies by distributing money and gifts.


Rhyddings Lodge - Old England NIght

Wednesday 16th April 2014. What a night. Rhyddings Lodge, 5205, put on a fabulous Old England Night at the Masonic Hall, Accrington. It really was a night to remember. The Beagle introduced the procession of the Black Pudding into the Festive Board Room. And what a sight each of these fullsome puddings did make, as can be seen below.


The WM, Bro Gordon Cornthwaiten enjoyed the evening with WBro Fred Smith, PProvJGW, who celebrated 60 years in Freemasonry just a month ago.

Then came the Tripe. But photos of such items should be severely curtailed so in the interests of preserving dignity and decorum no photos will be published. It took much Salt, Pepper and Vinegar; not forgetting pickled cabbage and beetroot, before the tripe could be safely consumed.

To help digest the tripe, the main course was soon set before us and this was a most delicious and very tasty Lancashire Hotpot. The lamb was cooked to perfection and the top layer of potato was delightful. All in all, a perfect dish.

But we are not yet finished. The dessert was a full on Apple Crumble. Once again cooked to perfection and beautifully set off with luscious custard. Beautiful.

Meanwhile, whilst this feast was being devoured and washed down with copious quantities of ale from the jug, the collection pots were being quietly (sometimes noisily) filled up, due entirely to the somewhat random fines being doled out by Bro Beagle. A fearsome chap who was not one to be easily crossed.

WBro Tom Pearson entertained the assembled brethren with some fine local dialect poetry. Some of these were from the pen of a local poet from Darwen. All greatly appreciated and well received.

As Tom was a visitor it fell to Rhyddings own accomplished poet to complete the evenings entertainment – WBro Keith Ramsden (Rammy) to put his own stamp on the evening.

All in all a perfect masonic evening and a bob or two was raised for the Festival. Can’t be bad!!



WBro Alan Hull, PProvGSwdB celebrates 50 years as a Mason


On Thursday 10th April 2014, Harmony and Industry Lodge, no. 381, was the setting for a special evening to celebrate 50 years in Freemasonry for WBro Alan Hull, PProvGSwdB. The Lodge Room at Darwen Masonic Hall was filled with Lodge members and guests and a full Provincial Deputation including most of the District Team and several Grand Lodge Officers.

The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD together with the Provincial Deputation, was received. The WM, WBro Gordon Thompson, PProvSGD, PProvJGW (West Lancs) welcomed the Assistant Provincial Grand Master and offered him the gavel, which, on this occasion he accepted and occupied the Masters Chair. He then proceeded to introduce the members of the delegation.

WBro Roche said how delighted he was to be at Darwen and complimented the work done by the hard-working team at Darwen to make it a Masonic Hall to be proud of.  He then asked the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Simon Archer, to place WBro Hull in the centre of the Lodge.

The APGM then set the scene by commenting on news items from 1964. Amongst many of the things mentioned was the start of “Top of the Pops” and the line up of that first show and who were the presenters! The Sun newspaper made its first appearance, replacing the Daily Herald and BBC2 became the second TV channel.

WBro Colin Talbot, PProvJGD, was then invited to deliver a brief summary of the life and times of WBro John Alan Hull, PProvGSwdB, starting with his birth in Darwen on 4th July 1934. Alan attended Hollins Grove Junior School and then Bolton School. He joined Duckworth Street Scout Troop as a cub and eventually became Troop Leader.

In 1953 he became a Gunner in the Royal Artillery for two years followed by four years studying Chemistry at Oxford. He started work in 1959 at Mullard Simonstone and was the Works Chemist for 30 years. During this time he married Adrienne in 1964 and had two children, John and Sally. Alan was then sadly widowed in 1974.

WBro Hull’s Masonic life began in 1964 when he joined Harmony & Industry Lodge. He soon became Secretary and held that post over a period encompassing 26 years, in the middle of which, he moved into the office of Tyler and progressed to Worshipful Master in 1977.

He resigned from the office of Secretary in 1994 because of illness in the previous year. He was promoted to PProvJGD in 1985 and then to PProvGSwdB in 1994. He also became a member of Blakewater Lodge of installed Masters, 9574, which he joined in 2008.

The APGM then read out and presented a letter from the PGM to WBro Hull. He then read out and presented an illuminated Certificate marking Alan’s 50th. A particular passage on the certificate reads “I congratulate you on attaining this anniversary and express my appreciation of your long and devoted service to the Order and to this Province ”. WBro Roche spoke at length about the importance of recognizing 50 years of service to the Craft and to the Lodge of Harmony and Industry in particular.

The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Simon Archer, then escorted Alan around the lodge room, to much applause. The Provincial Deputation then retired from the Lodge.

At the Social Board following the meeting, his very good friend, WBro Gordon Hebden, PProvDepGSuptWks, gave a warm and amusing toast to Alan, who suitably responded in a manner unique to WBro Hull.

An Installation with a difference

Verity Lodge 3949 in Blackburn held their Installation Meeting at The Masonic Hall on Richmond Terrace at 10:30am on Saturday morning 22nd March 2014.

Now, normally, an Installation Meeting would not feature on these District News pages. But this one was a little different. The reason being that the guest list featured FOUR Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, two Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, five Grand Lodge Officers, numerous Provincial Grand Lodge Officers and TWELVE current Worshipful Masters.

And the driving force behind this galaxy of stars – none other than our very own Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PGSwdB, who was accompanied by a very good friend of Verity Lodge, WBro Harold Cooper, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The photo below shows a very excited new Worshipful Master, WBro Sid Jenkinson, PProvSGW accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PGSwdB, principal guest WBro John Pearson, APGM, PAGReg on his left and WBro Edward Penny, IPM on his left. To the right of the WM is WBro Norman Cope, APGM, PSGD with WBro Harold Cooper, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies to his right. At the front, Left to right, is WBro Martin Caller, PAPGM, PSGD and WBro Chad Northcot, APGM, PJGD and at the right of the pedestal is WBro Chris Welton, APGM, PProvSGW and WBro Harry Hesmondhalgh, PAPGM, PSGD.

WBro Fred Smith, PProvJGW – 60 years a Mason

WBro Fred Smith, PProvJGW with The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro D N Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB and The WM, Bro Gordon Cornthwaite

What a wonderful evening was had at Adelaide Street, Accrington on Wednesday 19th March 2014, when members of Rhyddings Lodge and many visitors came to celebrate the 60th anniversary of WBro Fred Smith, PProvJGW becoming a Mason.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro D N Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB, together with a Provincial Deputation were received. The WM, Bro Gordon Cornthwaite welcomed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and offered him the gavel, which, on this occasion he accepted and occupied the Masters Chair. He then proceeded to introduce the members of the delegation.

VWBro Thornhill was recently made an Honorary Member of Rhyddings Lodge and thanked the members of Rhyddings for that and said how delighted he was to be there. He was especially grateful to the Lodge for moving the date of this celebratory meeting so that he could attend and officiate.

The star of the show, WBro Fred Smith, was then seated in the centre of the Lodge and WBro Keith Ramsden delivered a marvelous tribute to WBro Smith. It started with a poem:

He’s been around a long, long time
Since Nineteen Fifty Four
And, like a true and loyal Brother
He keeps coming back for more.
A legend in his lifetime
A Mason born and bred
So to honour a favourite Mason
I give you Brother Fred!!

Then followed a comprehensive tribute, covering Fred’s early years from 1954, mentioning an event in 1958 on Bonfire Night and Fred starting his own business in 1962. This necessitated Fred taking time out from Freemasonry but he later proceeded through all the offices, eventually being Installed as WM on 5th October 1977. He was ADC for six years and in 1986 became DC for the next nine years. He then became the Lodge’s representative on the District Committee and received appointment and promotions in Provincial Grand Lodge.

WBro Ramsden was fulsome in his praise for Fred’s many years of hard work and involvement in the well being of Rhyddings Lodge. In his closing remarks he made especial reference to one particular person – Fred’s wife Audrey, saying that she was the support and foundation that Fred, like every one of us needs, when we engage in Masonry. He said that they were a wonderful team and graced many events together through the years – indeed, he felt they were the “Posh & Becks” of Rhyddings Lodge!!

This wonderful tribute was perfectly rounded off with another short poem:

It’s sixty years Fred since you entered the fold
And though some of our Brethren are now looking old
Your shining example has been wonderful mate

So I now salute you – “Frederick the Great”.

The DPGM then reflected on the events of 1954. Buying a hot penny loaf and a one penny sarsaparilla. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the USA and Winston Churchill was our Prime Minister and had his 80th Birthday. Seemingly April 11th 1954 has been declared the most boring day in History!

Food rationing ended in 1954 and RCA released the first colour TV. The average house price was £1,920 and inflation was 1.9%. Roger Bannister ran his famous 4 minute mile and Fred Davies won the World Snooker Championship. Bill Haley and the Comets released Rock Around the Clock and Elvis Presley recorded his first hits in the Sun Studios. The films White Christmas, the Glen Miller Story and “On the Waterfront” were released and BBC TV broadcast George Orwell’s 1984.

The DPGM then read out and presented a letter from the PGM to Fred. He then read out and presented an illuminated Certificate marking Fred’s 60th.

WBro Harold Cooper, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, then escorted Fred around the lodge room too much applause.

The WM presented two cheques of £300 to the DPGM.. The first was from the Rhyddings Lodge Ladies Committee on behalf of the ELMC and the second was from the Lodge on behalf of the 2015 Festival. The DPGM was delighted to accept the cheques and was effusive in his thanks.

The Provincial Deputation then retired from the Lodge.

The members of Rhyddings Lodge and the Provincial Deputation

The members of Rhyddings Lodge

Friends of Darwen Cemetery ELMC Grant presentation and East Ribble Volunteering

The ELMC Community fund approved a £2650 application recently for The Friends of Darwen Cemetery ( to purchase a Muck Truck.
The powered wheelbarrow will assist the volunteers in making repairs to the old cemetery, restoring the toppled gravestones, clearing many overgrown areas and providing education and remembrance areas for the community.
East Ribble District volunteers presented the cheque and got their hands dirty by providing a work party and attacking rhododendron bushes with the volunteers in an area of the grounds.

Top: Bro Terry Woods presents the Cheque to Jill Marr and the volunteers. Bottom: Volunteers from the District, including the District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW get stuck into the mighty Rhododendron bushes!


Victory Lodge - A Night at the Races

On Friday 28th February, the members of Victory Lodge put on an excellent evenings entertainment at Blackburn Masonic Hall. A total of eight races were held and a generous sponsor supported each one. The members and guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves and entered into the spirit of the evening with great enthusiasm. At half time a Chicken and Chips supper was gratefully received.

£790 was raised during the evening on behalf of Blackburn Masonic Hall, which is in real need of further funding.


The Chairman of the Masonic Hall, WBro Phil Beaumont, cunningly disguised as "Just William" - or is it a jockey? was ably assisted by WBro Dave Nuttal - both members of Victory Lodge - in running the Tote!!

Official Presentation to Nightsafe

East Ribble District Chairman David Lightbown and long-time Nightsafe supporter Jim Abbot made the official presentation to Diane and Amanda from the Nightsafe Team today.

The East Lancashire Masonic Charity ( Community Fund Committee granted £3,050 for the purchase of equipment for those looking for support from Nightsafe, ( which provides shelter, assistance and advice for 16-24 year old homeless people in Blackburn and Darwen.

The funds provided:
40 x four season sleeping bags
Approx 50 x food parcel packs
Approx 50 toiletry packs, detergent and cleaning supplies for the accommodation that the Charity provides.

Jim Abbott and his late wife of 52 years, Joyce, held Nightsafe very close to their hearts and actively promoted their cause to the District Charity Stewards, which resulted in the grant application and realisation of funds.

The ELMC & East Ribble District Support Nightsafe

In November of 2013, the ELMC Community Fund Committee approved an East Ribble District application for £3050, which have gone towards supplies for Nightsafe, a charity that works in the Blackburn and Darwen area with 16-24 homeless people. They provide shelter, advice, emergency support and assistance for these young people, helping them turn their lives around.

The community fund finance provided 40 four season sleeping bags, 50 food packs, 50 toiletry packs and laundry and cleaning supplies for their midway accommodation houses and emergency shelter.

East Ribble District volunteers purchased, picked up and delivered the sleeping bags in December. Additionally, further volunteering took place recently at a local cash and carry, buying all the food, cleaning and toiletry supplies and taking them to Blackburn Masonic Hall for individual packing. 13 volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to make up the packages, which are essential for those needing emergency support.

All supplies were delivered to the grateful staff of Nightsafe, who are arranging a local press presentation.

The Travelling Gavel is claimed by Rhyddings Lodge 5205

Limestone Rock, no. 369, had a great night on Thursday, 13th February, when a visiting party of 12 from Ryddings Lodge in Accrington claimed the travelling gavel.

369 did a demonstration Second Degree Ceremony and the Master of Limestone Rock, Bruce Pollard, is photographed handing the travelling gavel over to the WM of Ryddings at the festive board.

The following photo shows the victorious members of Rhyddings Lodge with their Worshipful Master, Bro Thomas Gordon Cornthwaite, proudly displaying the Travelling Gavel.

Limestone Rock Lodge 369 raise funds for the Festival

On 11th January Bruce Pollard, the WM of Lime Stone Rock Lodge, no. 369, held an "Open House" at his home, Hall Foot at Worston.

Over 60 people attended from various lodges and they raised a fantastic sum of £564.00 pounds which will go towards the 2015 festival. This is the second time that Bruce has been in the chair of this fine old lodge.

As can be seen from the photos everyone had a great time enjoying this wonderful social evening.

ELMC Community Fund Cheque presention to Fit 2XL Boxing Club in Lower Darwen

WBro Frank Salt and Wro Mike Stubbs made the official £2900 cheque presentation to Fit 2XL Community Boxing Club, which financed a Youth/Training ring in which the photograph was taken. WBro Salt initially brought the cause to the attention of the District who made a successful application to the Community Fund Committee.
The club, run by husband and wife team Baz and Bev Higginson, which has been instrumental in providing the youth of the Community a direction and safe place off the streets, suffered a devastating fire caused by a blaze started in an adjoining unit. The community came together, along with local businesses, children, parents, East Ribble District Volunteers and the ELMC, to get the club back open again and continuing their work.

Main picture, WBro Frank Salt and WBro Mike Stubbs present the cheque in the ring that was purchased with funds from our ELMC Community Fund.

£350 Donation to the East Lancashire Hospice for the Drinks Trolley

East Lancashire Hospice received a £350 cheque from the East Ribble District Freemasons Chairman David Lightbown, to be used for the patients drinks trolley.
The District donates £350 every six months to keep the drinks trolley topped up, so the patients can enjoy a tipple whilst under their care.

Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519 presents cheque to Hospice

WBro Tom Pearson, ProvJGD, IPM of Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519, presents a cheque to Jennifer Quinn at East Lancs. Hospice. Other cheques received at their Installation Meeting were presented to EL 2015 Festival, ELMC, Mill House Masonic Hall and NW Air Ambulance. WBro Tom Pearson ( Charity Steward ) offered his grateful thanks to the Brethren for their support.

2014 Chadwick Weekend and Winter Draw

The 2014 Chadwick Weekend took place last weekend at the Chadwick Hotel in Lytham St Anne's and hosted the East Ribble District Winter Draw.
The weekend away was again expertly organised by WBro Joe and Mrs Doris Lamb, and offered full board (with more food than you can possibly eat!), accommodation and a full entertainment package, enjoyed by all who came along. Mrs Beryl Aspinall, looking very well following her illness last year, won the best dressed Ladies Prize for the Black and White themed event on the Saturday evening.

On the same evening, the Winter Draw took place with 52 prizes on offer, including a High Definition Samsung Television as the mystery star prize.
The Draw, announced by our Deputy Provincial Grand Master VWBro Derek Thornhill PGSwdB, raised £1804.01 and will be divided between our EL2015 Festival (£902.00), The ELMC (£451.01) and The District Charity Stewards Fund (451.00).
A huge thank you to all who bought tickets, sold tickets, donated prizes and helped organise the event.

Accrington District Fellowship - Mrs Barbara Gee

In December, after 28 years service as secretary of Accrington Masonic Fellowship, Mrs Barbara Gee decided to retire.

Barbara and her husband Reg had only been in the Fellowship for 6 months before being asked to take over the role of Secretary & Chairman in 1985. Reg passed away in 2002, leaving Barbara to continue the sterling work they both started. Barbara still intends to carry on supporting the Fellowship in every way possible.

Barbara would like to thank each and every one of the people who have contributed to the success of the Fellowship during this time and hopes that it will continue to thrive.


East Lancashire Hospice 10k Run, District volunteering and ELMC Support

On Sunday the 19th January, East Lancashire Hospice staged their inaugural 10k run event, put together by Nick Gaskell of Gaskell Auto Repairs in Great Harwood, a keen local runner.

The ELMC Community Fund awarded £350 towards sponsorship of the participants medals and printed lanyards, bearing the provincial website details and 'East Ribble Freemasons' , which nearly 300 runners took home with them. A presentation photograph of the ELMC Cheque handover was published in the Lancashire Telegraph a few weeks ago.

17 Volunteers from across the District gave up their time to support the event by stewarding the course along with other community volunteers.

East Ribble District volunteers, participants and Hospice organisers at the successful fundraising event

East Ribble District Community volunteers and the ELMC help Local boxing club get back on its feet

Volunteers from our District assisted with painting and cleaning at a truly worthwhile local cause on a brisk Saturday morning.

Following a fire at the adjoining unit, Fit2XL Community boxing Club in Lower Darwen suffered devastating damage to the premises, the day after they officially finished over two years of renovation.
The club, run by husband and wife team Bev and Barry Higginson have been instrumental in intervening in youth problems and social issues in the village, offering the local children and adults a place to learn discipline, teamwork, and fitness.
Indeed following the fire, the whole community has rallied behind them, volunteering to try and get the club back on its feet, such is the recognition of the importance of their work.

Barry, a former Royal marine, has won local community awards and has been nominated nationally for his work, using his knowledge in boxing training and his selfless attitude. Along with go getter Bev, they ensure that every youth who comes to their doors gets support from the club, no matter if they have the funds to pay or not.
Indeed they have trained and supported a 19 man called AJ Faizy, who has now just turned a professional boxer. AJ was a refugee from Afghanistan at 14, sent to Manchester as a 14 yr old boy following the murder of his father and personal harrowing treatment at the hands of the Taliban. Barry and Bev took AJ into their own home at 18 following the cessation of foster care support.

The club is due to reopen in the next two weeks, and on Monday they will take delivery of a Youth Training/Boxing Ring, donated by a £2900 grant from our ELMC Community fund.

Volunteers including our District chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW came to lend a hand and support the club in whatever little way we could. Further presentation details and photographs to follow over the next few weeks.

Volunteers offer their support with a paintbrush, not before Bev Higginson shows us the amazing eight week turnaround since the fire and refurbishment progress.

East Ribble Freemason donates bone marrow to American youngster


Bro Rob Dickinson, aged 30 years of age, who was recently raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, donated a litre of bone marrow to 8 year old Michael Peterson, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

Michael was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011, given only a 20 per cent chance of survival and at one time had zero antibodies, meaning the slightest infection would have killed him. After a successful transplant in May 2011, Michael is now cancer free.

Strict anonymity rules meant the indentities of donors and recipients were kept confidential for at least two years.


See the full article at This is Lancashire. With thanks to The Lancashire Telegraph.

ELMC Community Fund Grant awarded to East Lancashire Hospice

East Lancashire Hospice received a cheque for £350, awarded by the East Lancashire Masonic Charity Community Fund Committee towards sponsorship of the participants medals at the Sunday January 19th 2014, 10k run in Great Harwood.
East Ribble District Freemasons will also be marshalling at the 10k Run, continuing our community partnerships programme.

East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW presented the cheque to Kimberley Hall of the Hospice Fundraising team.

East Ribble District Chairman makes Grand Charity Hospice Cheque Presentation

East Lancashire Hospice received a cheque today from the Freemasons Grand Charity totalling £2443.00.
This was part of the annual £600,000 donated to Hospices across England and Wales.
Since 1984, the Grand Charity has donated over £10 million pounds to our Hospices.

East Ribble District Chairman WBro David Lightbown ProvJGW, gladly presented the cheque to the East Lancashire Hospice patients, staff and Chief Executive Lyn Stevenson


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

WBro Sid Jenkinson, District Communications Officer for East Ribble District.

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