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Accrington District Latest News

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W.Bro Harry Hargreaves 90th Birthday


W.Bro Harry Hargreaves at  the celebrations of his 90th Birthday held at Mill House on Sunday 25th Sept.
Harry is pictured ( front left) about to cut his cake and looking on are brethern of his lodge ( De lacy) and companions of his Chapters
( Sincerity and Whalley Arches with Gratitude). Harry enjoyed a buffet luncheon and a pleasant afternoon among friends and family.
" Happy Birthday Harry"



Accrington District Charity Stewards

Volunteers from the Accrington District Charity Stewards assisted East Lancashire Hospice with Early morning Marshalling on the Jane Tomlinson Walk for All Event in the Yorkshire Dales. Starting at 7.30 am on Sunday the 19th August 2011, Freemasons from our District gave up their time to assist the Hospice in Settle and the surrounding area.. In return for supplying volunteers, East Lancashire Hospice was given places on the Walking event in aid of their own Charity. 
Sharon Crymble, the Hospice Fundraising manager, thanked all of the volunteers for once again, giving up their time and effort on the day. 


Fellowships Sailing

On Wednesday the 3rd of June 40 members of the Accrington Fellowship sailed on the Llangollen canal they were joined on this occasion by members of the Clitheroe Fellowship, everyone had an enjoyable day.



On the 3rd September 2011 when the RWPGM Jack Price and Mrs Dorothy Price took time out of their very busy schedule to attend at Clayton-le-Moors Freemasons Hall to carry out the opening of the newly built extension and lodge room. Also present was WBro Derek Thornhill APGM and his wife Joan and WBro Martin Roach APGM and his wife Janet along with 80 guests.

The RWPGM declared the building opened and entered the Lodge Room accompanied by Mrs Price and guests after which W Bro Derek Thornhill gave a prayer of dedication,  RWBro Price then addressed all present and congratulated all those who had participated in such a fine building and for the future of Mill House

After the celebratory dinner W Bro David Anderson the hall Chairman gave a brief history of the building from its former use as Dr Lovelace’s Soap Factory explaining how had grown from an idea that a few brethren of Albert Edward Lodge had in the late 1960,s who purchased the building to what it is today Clayton-le-Moors Freemasons Hall Co Ltd.

He then stated that last year a new state of the art Central Heating System plus a total re wire of the building had to be done, in preparation for the new extension which was to include a new  Lodge Room, Tyler and locker room, plus ground floor ladies and gents toilets along with redecoration of the bar and festive board room.

He then moved to this year when the building of the new extension and Lodge room commenced and acknowledged this could not have been done without the aid of the financial donation from Haslingden Masonic Hall Co Ltd. and personal and lodge donations. He also stated that without the expertise, dedication and commitment of his Deputy Chairman Alan Clinton Johnson over the last two years the vision the directors had, would not have come in to fruition. He also singled out the work that WBro’s Ken Dawber, Les Saddington and Robert Allan had done, and then went on to thank his fellow directors and more especially their wives. After which he finished by toasting the health of the RWPGM and Mrs Dorothy Price.

The RWPGM responded by congratulated the directors on their foresight and vision and stated that we must now strive not just in Clayton-le-Moors but throughout the Province to have a view to becoming a stronger organisation. That we should look forward not back and appreciate what we have, that we must work together, and should always be looking to strengthen our Province and this wonderful organisation by always having a hand extended to those lodges and halls that are finding times difficult in surviving, and that in the future unfortunately some Masonic Halls will close, but he felt the outlook for Masonry in Clayton –le –Moors had a good future.

The RWPGM then drew the first raffle ticket and won the first prize!

WBro Tom Pearson's 70th Birthday Donations

WBro Tom Pearson of Albert Edward Lodge No1519, came up with a truly Masonic and selfless way to share his 70th Birthday milestone. Instead of receiving the gifts from friends and family himself, he gave his donations to East Lancashire Hospice and Mill House Masonic Hall at Clayton Le Moors. 
Tom was inspired to give his £200 Hospice donation after volunteering at this years Starlight Walk event and seeing the efforts people made to support this worthy local cause. The Starlight Walk is a late night walk in Blackburn, which Accrington District Freemasons organise and volunteer their services in Marshalling the route and keeping the walkers safe. 
Tom's donation to Mill House Masonic Hall will assist them in their current extension and refurbishment works, due to be opened on the 3rd of September by our Provincial Grand Master. 

WBro Tom Pearson of Albert Edward Lodge No1519 presents a cheque for £200 to Sharon Crymble, East Lancashire Hospice Fundraising Manager


Accrington District Charity Stewards Summer BBQ Grand Draw

The Accrington District Charity Stewards held their Summer BBQ Grand Draw on Saturday June 25th, held at Mill House, Clayton Le Moors.
97 Brethren and their families supported the annual fund raising event on what turned out to be an inclement day for an outside cooking event. Not to be deterred, the caterer arranged the food to be cooked and served indoors, once again providing plenty to eat for all of the guests. 
WBro Allan Low  provided a quiz for all of the guests, won by the ladies and Brethren from Rhyddings Lodge No.5205.
The Grand Draw was announced and conducted by our former Chairman WBro Raymond Tattersall. 
After a few words to all involved, our District Chairman, WBro Roger Flitcroft drew the first ticket and prize of £150, which was won by Bro Tony Hindle, Charity Steward of Rhyddings Lodge No.5205 and his wife Anne. The second prize of £75.00 was won by WBro Peter Walker of Keep Lodge No.6538.
There was a total of 47 prizes won and distributed on a night, hopefully enjoyed by all present.
A good sum was raised for Charity by the sales of Raffle tickets by the Charity Stewards and the attendees on the night.
Particular thanks go to Bro Nick Bellas and Bro Brian Derbyshire for their hard work in bringing this event together, WBro Stephen Watson and Bro Andy Taylor for their assistance at the event, WBro Gordon Fletcher and WBro Ken Dawber for helping set up the room, WBro Chris Riding for once again providing the music and MC services, Charity Stewards who worked hard selling the tickets and promoting the event but most of all, to all who bought raffle tickets and/or attended the Draw. 

Dave McGurty

The Derek Exton Memorial trophy

On Wednesday the 22nd of June "The Derek Exton Memorial trophy" Golf competition took place at Rishton Golf Club. This competition replaced the Accrington & District Masonic Golf Competition,  and was renamed in memory of W Bro Derek Exton who had organized the event for many years with his wife Mrs Mary Exton. The Chairman of The Accrington District W Bro Roger Flitcroft greeted all the competitors on the first Tee. The winner was W Bro Roy Corbridge and the Trophy was presented by Mrs Mary Exton.  W Bro Tom Gallaher organized the event and meal following the competition.  It is hoped to hold a Turkey Shoot later in the year dependant on interest shown.

Photo shows W Bro Roy Corbridge receiving the trophy from Mrs Exton



East Lancashire Hospice Starlight Walk

34 willing Brethren from the Accrington District  volunteered to Marshall the 2011 Ladies Starlight Walk in aid of East Lancashire Hospice on Saturday June 18th. 

The Ladies only 8 mile walk follows a route around Blackburn from 10pm till about 1.30am in the morning. Freemasons managed to at 80% of the forty marshalling points, keeping the Ladies safe and encouraged as they made their way around the town.

The day started with a small number of  our volunteers moving all of the tables, marquees, merchandise and equipment up to the start point at the DW Sports fitness centre at Shadsworth. 

The marshalls started the evening with a curry at the Spice Rooms at Rishton, then our Brethren made their way back to the Car Park, helping the walk participants park and keeping the area safe for pedestrians. 

The Ladies duly set off a 10pm and were guided admirably by all involved, Masonic and none masonic volunteers, followed by a number of back markers across the route, again provided by our Brethren. A good number of our Marshalls returned to the DW Sports Centre to receive their wages without scruple or diffidence, well knowing they were justly entitled to them (a sausage butty and a brew!), and continued to assist on the car park and help tidy away. 

The last lady walked home, complete with walking stick at 1.30am and received her medal, supplied by the ELMC through a community fund £1000 grant for the event. Each medal lanyard bore the words 'Accrington District Freemasons' and '

The Hospice were absolutley delighted with our support again, without which the event could not have taken place. The estimated total made on the night could now reach £90,000. Congratulations to all involved.

Cheque Presented to Rossendale & Pendle Mountain Rescue Team

"WBro Peter Hargreaves PAGDC, took great pleasure in presenting a cheque for £250 to the Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team, on behalf of the Accrington District Charity Stewards, following a successful application for support of this essential local voluntary team. 
 Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team is a registered charity, made up entirely of volunteers. An integral part of the national search and rescue service, they are called out through the 999 system, and cover an area of approx 350 square miles across East Lancashire, Pendle, the Rossendale Valley and parts of Greater Manchester.

Their work isn’t just about moors and mountains. Through links with both Lancashire and Greater Manchester Police, and the Lancashire and Greater Manchester Ambulance Services, many of the call outs involve missing person searches, or assisting the ambulance service during severe weather conditions and where access to a casualty is difficult.

In 2010, they launched the New Base Appeal, the aim to raise £500,000 for a purpose built headquarters in Haslingden, with sufficient storage and parking, and room for training and operational purposes, as well as the facility to offer demonstrations and talks on their own premises.

Group Picture: L to R:- Graham Dalley, current Chairman of the RPMRT,
John Parish incoming Chairman of the RMPT receives a Cheque for £250 from WBro Peter Hargreaves PAGDC,
along with Bro Nick Bellas, Secretary of the Accrington District Charity Stewards. 


On Thursday the 2nd of June an Initiates evening was hosted by Bank Terrace Lodge No 462 at Accrington Masonic Hall when 22 Initiates and 84 Brethren attended.
WBro Derek Nelson Thornhill J P, APGM, accompanied by Officers of United Grand Lodge, WBro R W Fitcroft PProvJW, the Chairman of the Accrington District, along with the District team of Officers attended the meeting.
The APGM took the chair and introduced all the Grand Lodge Officers to the brethren.  
WBro A D Costello PAGDC, Provincial Mentor, gave a lecture on the Initiation Ceremony for which purpose Bro D Smith of Bank Terrace Lodge assisted as the candidate.  
The lecture was very informative and received with enthusiasm by all Brethren present.  
Each Initiate was presented to the APGM and received a certificate commemorating the evening

Bro Michael Andrews      St Aidan Lodge  
Bro Marcus Avci                Keep Lodge
Bro John Carney              Rhyddings Lodge
Bro Daniel Duxbury         Confidence Lodge                                     
Bro Ewan Dyda                 Confidence Lodge  
Bro Michael Forshaw       Albert Edward Lodge  
Bro Adrian Grant               St Aidan Lodge
Bro John Hargreaves       Amity Lodge
Bro Philip Heslin               Keep Lodge 
Bro Kevin Horrocks          Huncoat Lodge
Bro Donald Johnson        Huncoat Lodge
Bro Richard Jones            Confidence Lodge
Bro Frank Leach               Bank Terrace Lodge
Bro Ken Learoyd               Huncoat Lodge
Bro Lee Lynch                   St Aidan Lodge
Bro Gordon Marchant      King Oswald Lodge  
Bro James Mellor              St Aidan Lodge
Bro Paul Pratt                    Bank Terrace Lodge
Bro Nicholas Rowbotham Albert Edward Lodge
Bro Alan Shields               Huncoat Lodge
Bro Christopher Williams Albert Edward Lodge
Bro Warren Wolstencroft King Oswald Lodge.

The APGM then asked the WM Bro Brian Derbyshire to resume his place in the Lodge.  The APGM accompanied by Grand Lodge Officers, the District Chairman and District Officers retired from the Lodge.
Prior to the Festive board.  The APGM addressed the Brethren and introduced the District Chairman and the District Officers, each Officer giving a brief presentation regarding their respective roles. The Festive board  followed and took the form of a Old England Night.
The Toast to the visitors was given by Bro Frank Leach and the response by Bro Lee Lynch of St Aidan Lodge.
It was a evening of true Masonic friendship and thoroughly enjoyed by all.


ELMC helps the Hospice

Following a successful Grant application to the ELMC community Fund from the Accrington District Charity Stewards, WBro Roger Flitcroft PProvJGW, Accrington District Chairman, took great pleasure in presenting a cheque for £1000. The grant application was made to sponsor the participants medals and Lanyards for the annual East Lancs Hospice Starlight Walk, to be held this year on Saturday June 18th. It is a late night ladies only walk, in aid of the Hospice, with up to 1000 lady walkers on the night. The Brethren of the District actively organise and participate as the stewards for the event, keeping the ladies safe on the entire route. 

Each of the lanyards has  "Accrington District Freemasons" and "" printed, showing our support to this local Charity and demonstrating our active participation in the event. 

More volunteers for the event are needed, if you can assist please contact Dave McGurty: for more information. 

Photo Caption:- From Left to right:- Denise Gee, Hospice Events Fundraiser with the medals, WBro Roger Flitcroft with the cheque, Jamie Lyons, community fundraiser with a medal. 

East Lancashire Hospice - Drinks Trolley Donation

It was Accrington District Charity Stewards turn to gladly hand over a cheque for £350 for the Patients Drinks Trolley at East Lancashire Hospice. 

The donation, which is supplied on a half yearly basis, is carried out between both Accrington and Blackburn districts.

The patients truly appreciate and enjoy their afternoon drink, and both Districts are proud to continue with this tradition and bring a little pleasure to the Patients of the Hospice.

Photo Caption:- WBro Roger Flitcroft PProvJGW, Chairman of the Accrington District, hands over the cheque for £350 to the Hospice Volunteers and Patients.


Accrington District - Walk the Province - Saturday 14th May

On Saturday May 14th, WBro Derek Thornhill, PSGD, APGM for Northern area No.1, started the Accrington District section for the joint weekend Walk the Province walk in for the EL2015 Festival in aid of the RMBI,  between Accrington and Blackburn Districts.
Starting at Clitheroe Masonic Rooms, WBro Thornhill formally handed the baton to WBro Roger Flitcroft PProvJGW, Chairman of the Accrington District, to begin the days fund raising efforts.
The Walk, in which approximately 40 (mostly) willing walkers participated, was a point to point walk across each Masonic Hall in the District, firstly stopping at Whalley, then Clayton Le Moors, Accrington and finally finishing the Accrington District leg at Oswaldtwistle in the mid afternoon.
Each Masonic Hall welcomed the walkers  with refreshments and fantastic support as the Brethren, wives, partners, friends and pets, made their way across the District.
WBro Chris Riding, Worshipful Master of Albert Edward Lodge No.1519, did the full journey on his mobility scooter, charging the batteries and making pit stops along the way!
The Baton was passed to WBro Paul Aspinall PAGDC, Chairman of Blackburn District on Sunday morning in Oswaldtwistle by WBro Roger Flitcroft, to start the Oswaldtwistle to Blackburn, then Darwen leg of the event.




WBro Keith Lomax 50th Celebration

The APGM along with W Bro K Lomax & The WM Chris Riding

On the 24th of  March 2011 at the Masonic Hall Clayton Le Moors Accrington,  Albert Edward Lodge No 1519  celebrated W Bro Keith Lomax PProvGSwdB 50 years membership of Freemasonry and the Lodge .

WBro Derek Nelson Thornhill PSGD APGM accompanied by W Bro Harry Hesmondhalgh PAPGM and colleagues of United Grand Lodge along with WBro R W Flitcroft PProvJGW   Chairman of the Accrington District and District Officers attended the meeting.

The APGM was welcomed into the Lodge by the Worshipful Master Bro Chris Riding PProvAGDC, who offered him the gavel which he accepted, WBro Thornhill then  introduced the delegation to the Brethren.

WBro David Bristol ProvDGDC  placed W Bro Lomax in the centre of the Lodge. WBro Thornhill congratulated him on achieving 50 years in Freemasonry and  proceeded to outline many of the events which occurred in 1961 the year of Keith’s initiation, he also mentioned many of the Hit records of that  year which  brought back many happy memories to the Brethren, not least to WBro Thornhill, as it reminded him of his own career in pop music.

Brethren of Albert Edward Lodge

WBro Norman Burdrkin PProvDepGSuptWKs then paid a glowing tribute to WBro Lomax his Brother-In-Law. This covered his 50 years in Freemasonry including the fact that in 1972 he was the first Master to be installed in Albert Edward Lodge in their new home at  Mill House Masonic Hall.

He also stressed the great importance that WBro Lomax attached to his family life and to the Church of England, also stating that it was a matter of great pride to WBro Lomax that he has sung the Masters song at all Installations of the Lodge (with the exception of his own!)  WBro Burdekin then presented WBro Lomax with a framed picture of a Lake District scene as a gift from the Lodge. 

The Lodge also conferred Honorary Membership to Keith in recognition of his achievement.

WBro Thornhill then addressed WBro Lomax and made a presentation of an Illuminated Certificate and a letter of congratulation from the R.W. Provincial Grand Master Jack Price which was received with great pride.

WBro Lomax was then escorted round the Lodge by the ProvDGDC  WBro David Bristol to the applause of the Brethren.

The lodge was then closed in due form and the brethren retired to enjoy the Festive Board.

An excellent toast was proposed by WBro David Anderson PProvSGW to WBro Lomax, his very good friend after which he  presented a bottle of whiskey to Keith  specifically for his own consumption in some recompense for the many times he had given glasses of whiskey to WBro Burdekin and Anderson and their wives on their many holidays together.

WBro Lomax replied by thanking everyone for attending and making it such a memorable occasion for him.

There were 66 Brethren present in the Lodge and festive board to celebrate this momentous occasion.    


St Michael In Castro Lodge No 8838
Last Installation Meeting

Over 60 Brethren attended St Michael In Castro Lodge No 8838, last ever Installation Meeting held on Tuesday the 3rd of May at the Masonic Rooms, Clitheroe. The Lodge was to hand in the Warrant after the meeting

WBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, APGM, PSGD, accompanied by WBro R W Flitcroft, PProvJGW, Chairman of the Accrington District, and other District Officers were in attendance to witness the Ceremony and closure.  A cheque for £2000 for ELMC was presented to the APGM by the WM, Bro Simon P Wood, prior to the Installation.

The Installation was a family affair with the Installing Master Bro Simon P Wood Installing his great uncle, WBro Peter Walker, PProvSGW, as the last Master of St Michael in Castro Lodge in an excellent fashion.  On a poignant note after the closing of the Lodge the Warrant of the Lodge was presented to the APGM  who informed the Brethren that he would keep the Warrant in a safe place until such time as it would be taken to United Grand Lodge in London with all other items appertaining to St Michael in Castro Lodge.

The Festive Board took place at the Swan & Royal Hotel where the sadness of the occasion was lifted by the Worshipful Master, Peter Walker, who stated that it was not a time for sadness but a celebration of the wonderful years the brethren had spent as members of the Lodge and that it was a time for looking forwards towards new beginnings. W Bro Harry Hesmondhalgh, PSGD, PAPGM, Honorary member of the Lodge, then gave an oratory of all the founding members of the Lodge which was received with great enthusiasm by all the brethren present to which WBro Bryan Bristol, PAGSuptWKs, suitably replied.

The Festive board closed in peace and harmony after the final tylers toast.

The APGM, WBro Derek N Thornhill with WBro Peter Walker and Bro Simon P Wood






St Michael In Castro Lodge No 8838 Hosts the
First Annual Joint Meeting of the Clitheroe Lodges
February 1st 2011


On Tuesday the 1st of February 2011, St Michael In Castro Lodge No8838 hosted the First Annual Joint meeting of the Clitheroe Lodges at the Masonic Rooms, Clitheroe Conservative Club.

The APGM W Bro Derek Nelson Thornhill J P PSGD accompanied by W Bro R W Flitcroft PProvJGW.  The Chairman of The Accrington District and District Officers attended the meeting.
A talk was given by W Bro Brian J Carter ProvGAlm entitled “How I see my role as the Provincial Almoner”
This was well received by all the Brethren present; W Bro Brian J Carter ProvGAlm was congratulated by the WM and the APGM on its content and delivery.

The Festive Board took place at The Swan & Royal Hotel and during the evening a cheque for £357 for the ELMC was presented by W Bro Peter Walker PProvJGW to W Bro Brian J Carter.  Over 70 Brethren attended the event which proved a resounding success

Leftto right:- WM Castle Lodge, Stephen Thornber; WM Keep Lodge, Wayne Edmondson; APGM, WBro Derek Nelson Thornhill JP PSGD; IPM St Michael In Castro Lodge, WBro D Haworth; WM Limestone Rock Lodge, Ian Johnson



The Accrington District Charity Stewards Annual Grand Winter Draw.

The Accrington District Charity Stewards raised a wonderful £1251 for charitable causes on Saturday 15th January, at their Annual Grand Winter Draw.
The event took place at Accrington Masonic Hall and was supported by Brethren, their families and friends from Lodges and Chapters from across the Accrington District.

An evening consisting of a two course supper, excellent musical Artist Sue Kirby and the draw itself, rounded off weeks of good work by the local Charity Stewards, who sold tickets for the draw and booked places at the evening. 

WBro Raymond Tattersall PProvDepGReg, who recently stood down as the District Charity Steward after four years, conducted the Draw. His wife Valerie and Raymond himself were presented with gifts to mark the Charity Stewards and Districts thanks for his work and continued support. WBro Tattersall has been involved with the Charity Stewards for over 17 years, with four in the District Charity Steward role.

Thanks go to all who donated prizes for the Draw.

Left to Right: WBro Raymond Tattersall invites WBro Roger Flitcroft, PProvJGW, District Chairman to Draw the 1st ticket from Bro Nick Bellas, Secretary to The Accrington District Charity Stewards.


WBro Raymond Tattersall, PProvDepGReg,  presents Mrs Learoyd with the 1st Prize of £150.00


Mrs Valerie Tattersall and WBro Raymond Tattersall, PProvDepGReg, with their gifts.


East Lancashire Hospice Presentation

Brethren from the Accrington District and the Blackburn and Darwen District presented a cheque for £2850 to the East Lancashire Hospice this week. £2500 of which has come from the Freemasons Grand Charity. The total amount given to Hospices through the Freemasons Grand Charity Hospice Programme over the past 24years is now over £8 million. WBro Roger Flitcroft PProvJGW, Accrington District Chairman and WBro Paul Aspinall PProvJGW, Blackburn and Darwen District Chairman, took great pleasure in presenting the cheque to the day care patients of the Hospice.
The donation was further bolstered by £350 from the Blackburn and Darwen District, as it was their turn to present the half yearly donation towards the patients drinks trolley, following Accrington Districts  presentation of £350 in May of this year.

From left to right:- WBro Roger Flitcroft (Accrington District Chairman), WBro Paul Aspinall (Blackburn District Chairman), WBro David Lightbown (Blackburn Deputy District Chairman), WBro Paul Smillie (Blackburn District Comms Officer), John Rimmer (Blackburn District Charity Steward) along with the Day Care patients of East Lancashire Hospice receive the cheque for £2850

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For further Information please contact :-

The District Communications Officer - W Bro David J Allan
Email address - - Tel: (01254) 385584

Archives Navigation: Latest News | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 & earlier