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Province Of East Lancashire

The Masonic Province of East Lancashire was previously referred to as the Eastern Division of Lancashire. On 24th April 1826 the RW Bro John Crossley of Scaitcliffe, Todmorden was installed as the first Provincial Grand Master of the then newly created Eastern Division of Lancashire. He presided until his death in December 1830.

This date was hugely significant because it marked the first mention of our Province in such a formal capacity. However, it was not until 1960 that the Province of East Lancashire was formally established.

On 3 rd November 1899, Lord Stanley MP (later to become the 17th Earl of Derby) was installed as Provincial Grand Master in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Lord Derby presided over the Province for a magnificent 49 years - until 1948, during which time the number of Lodges increased from 113 to 303 and the number of members from 4,829 to 19,000.

On 18 th November 1971 at Belle Vue, Manchester the Right Honourable the Lord Hewlett, Kt, CBE became Provincial Grand Master of this Province. As President of the ELMBI he established the New Walshaw Appeal which led to our own Hewlett Court at Holcombe Brook, near Ramsbottom which provides sheltered accommodation for freemasons and their near relatives. He left office in 1979 and Frederick William Towns became Provincial Grand Master until 1990.

James D Hemsley then took over until 1999 and then Peter Walthall led the province until 2005. Paul J E Rink OBE, took over in 2005 until Jack Price was installed on 18th June 2008. Jack sadly died after a brave period of illness on 23rd October 2011. WBro Harold Woodward, PGSwdB, became the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge until 17th November 2011 when he appointed WBro Derek Thornhill, JP, PSGD, as his successor. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge is currently WBro Derek Thornhill, PSGD. He in turn is assisted by six Assistant Provincial Grand Masters:

WBro Philip G Mountford, PSGD
WBro Martin Stuart Caller, PSGD
WBro Stephen Martin Blank, PDepGDC
WBro Alexander Sillars McLaren PJGD
WBro Martin Paul Roche PJGD
WBro Chad Antony Northcott

The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies is WBro Norman Cope, PAGDC, and the Provincial Grand Secretary is WBro John Farrington, PAGDC

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