Somewhat to my surprise, and to that of many others I suspect, Ian was born and bred in Macclesfield but, sadly his Father died when he was six and the family moved to Glasgow whence his Mother hailed. He completed his schooling and took up an apprenticeship at a Steelworks, which then enabled him to train as an Engineer with British Bakeries where his whole working life was spent, but in numerous locations, finally West Yorkshire in 1989.
His Masonic journey began when he was, on the 9th October 1969, Initiated into Lodge Tollcross No 1194, Glasgow. Advancement into the Mark lodge then followed on 4th June 1970 hence his fifty years is now complete. Work took him to Kirkcaldy where he was exalted into Royal Arch Masonry at Kirkcaldy Chapter No 97. He also joined Oswald of Dunnikier Lodge No. 468 where he became Master in 1987 and at the same time 1st Principal at Kirkcaldy Chapter and under this banner he was Installed as the W.M. of the Mark Lodge. In March 1991 he became a member of Horsford Lodge No. 5339 having established his move to West Yorkshire, subsequently taking early retirement in 2006, and became the W.M. in April 2000, later becoming the Lodge Secretary in 2002, a post he still holds. Very sadly his wife, Iris, died in 2013, but after a period of reflection he was prevailed upon by long-time friend Barry Massam to join Wharfedale Mark Lodge in April 2015 where he was subsequently Installed as WM in 2018. Shortly after that both Barry, and sadly missed friend Graham Cooper, proposed him into White Rose Lodge No. 77, Allied Masonic Degree.
In March 2017 his good friend John Clough supported by R.W.Bro. Jim Steggles “persuaded” him that he really wanted to join Claro Lodge of Royal Ark Mariner No. 525, he enjoyed it so much he became a founder member of the Rugby Football Lodge of RAM No. 1965 the following year. By now he had lost the ability to say no and the late David Cordell, District Grand Master for RSM, asked him if he would be his next District Recorder for West Yorkshire. When it was pointed out that he was not a member, the reply was “Oh that’s not a problem” and neither was it as by the following meeting in August of 2018 he was appointed and invested as District Grand Recorder. This was just before he was appointed and Invested in November 2018 as Provincial Assistant Grand Scribe E, an office he still holds. By January 2019 Cloughie, once again, convinced him to join Secret Monitor and introduced him into Claro True Friendship Secret Monitor No.4.
Ian is a very enthusiastic and committed Freemason, a jovial, friendly character welcomed wherever he goes, long may it continue, Congratulations on achieving this superb milestone.
Since 1964, the Masonic Hall on Skipton Road in Barnoldswick has been home to two Craft Lodges and one Mark Lodge. Faith Hope and Charity No. 4102, West Craven No. 7354, and Gilkirke Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 812. Built in 1845, by the Rev Richard Milner, it was occupied by the Rev Canon Patten, MA, JP, a PM of Craven Lodge No. 810 and who was also the first master of Faith Hope and Charity Lodge No. 4102 for a period until his untimely death in December 1922.
In January 2016 we began to plan for the redevelopment of the site after an open acknowledgement amongst the brethren of both West Craven Lodge and Faith Hope and Charity Lodge that the building was no longer really fit for purpose. We also acknowledged that the old building would be far too expensive to innovate as it had been left to deteriorate beyond repair.
As you can see from the photos of the old building, it really was in a sad state. What the pictures don’t show is the damp on the inside, especially in the walls of the Temple, in the cellar that floods occasionally, and in the dire state of the facilities area including the kitchen, on the ground floor.
Out with the old and in with the new
While we lacked the money to develop the site, what we did have an abundance was land to spare. We set about finding a builder who could build us a brand-new Lodge building, and who would also develop the land for housing. In this way we could not only financed the construction of our new Lodge building, but also provide the Masonic Hall company with a little nest egg.
Much discussion and negotiation ensued amongst the shareholders, and finally after almost two years we came up with a plan that everyone was happy with.
That agreement amongst the brethren of the two lodges owning a building proof to be the easy part.
The planning permit and building regulations stage. Around 18 months later we were ready to go, and then got stuck behind a requirement for a bat survey. We ended up needing two of these in the finish, as the first was apparently done to early in the year, and the bats wouldn’t have been nesting at that time of the first survey. Finally in December 2019, after all of the “I”s were dotted and the “T”s were crossed, we were ready to proceed with engaging the builder and a contract.
It took until the beginning of February 2020 for the contract to be signed by both parties following the usual solicitors delays. Together with the builder and his lads, a small team of brethren from Craft and Mark lodges assembled to carefully remove all fixtures and fittings, Lodge records and memorabilia so that they could be stored safely in a container trailer on a secure site while a new Lodge building was being built.
When the Health and Safety Executive officers spotted the scaffolding going up on the old building ready for demolition, they descended clipboard in hand and proceeded to carry out an asbestos survey. Spores were found in the cellar meaning that the old building was closed to any further demolition work until the regulations relating to asbestos removal were satisfied. In the meantime, the builder and this team commenced the site preparation works for the new building and for the houses on the adjoining land.
In total, some 6500 tonnes of soil were removed from the site during the excavation works, much of it being donated to the Barnoldswick Juniors football club in order to elevate the pitches to prevent future flooding.
The builder and his team have wasted no time in laying the foundations and erecting the new Lodge building. In the 2 months since early February we have seen the rapid rise out of the ground of our new much anticipated Masonic Hall. All regulations relating to the is removal of the asbestos in the old building having been complied with, the builders lost no time in carrying out the demolition. A suitable stone was found for the north-east corner of the new Lodge Temple and will be built into the wall during the interior fitting.
As of the middle of May, all of the exterior cladding is now complete and we are now awaiting the arrival of the framing and roof materials so that the builder can make the building watertight. He can then carry on and lay the underfloor heating and seal it in to the floor.
We held an on-site Masonic Hall Committee meeting with the builder to finalise the internal layout. The builder is completely confident that our new Lodge building will be ready for us to furnish with the Lodge fittings and fixtures around about the middle of August.
Assuming that restrictions on meetings are lifted sometime in September, West Craven Lodge will be the first to hold the meeting in the new Lodge room. Faith Hope and Charity Lodge are currently scheduled to hold their centenary meeting on 13 October, and desperately hope that circumstances allow for this to go ahead. With the current Covid-19 crisis in mind, none of these plans can be guaranteed, yet we are ever hopeful.
All three lodges in Barnoldswick looked very much forward to taking possession of a brand-new Lodge building and celebrating that opening with much fanfare and many many guests, friends, and family.
My first introduction to Freemasonry was being co-opted by my Dad to help clearing up Fitzwilliam Street Masonic Hall after Installations, Cinderella Dances, Ladies Nights & Childrens’ Christmas Parties gradually attending all those events as I grew up. This meant that I became familiar not just with the premises but the many men involved in the Craft with my Dad, Trevor Smith who had joined the Lodge of Truth No 521 in the 1960s whilst I was still in education.
I was educated at Mirfield Grammar School & proudly graduated from Leeds University in 1967 with a BSc Hons in Agriculture. Later that year I started work with an Agricultural Company in Lincolnshire, as a Technical Adviser. Weekdays in Lincolnshire & weekends in Huddersfield was the result.
It was 1969 when I expressed an interest in joining the Lodge so my Dad started the application process. When I reflect on why my interest was aroused I believe that I had seen nothing but good being demonstrated.
On Friday 1st May 1970 I was initiated into the Lodge of Truth, No 521. It was an exciting event, but I know I was anxious. However, I can still clearly remember things that happened that night. My Dad proposed me. Brother Richard Hollas was my seconder & I am delighted to say that we have remained friends throughout the years.
I am immensely proud that on that evening there were 3 generations of Smiths present, my Grandfather, my Dad & myself - a unique occasion in the history of the Lodge, as far as we can trace.
Over the years, I made steady progress through the various offices & on the 1st December 1978, having driven through freezing fog from Lincolnshire, I was honoured to be installed into the Masters’ Chair by the late Worshipful Brother Fred Broadbent. This was followed by many enjoyable years rolling by & eventually I was privileged to be appointed Acting Provincial Grand Standard Bearer. Subsequently I was awarded the rank of Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer.
I can honestly say that I have enjoyed all the time I have been in the Craft, having met countless numbers of people with whom I have enjoyed the best of Fellowship.
Over the years I have seen many changes both within the Craft but also in life in general. I believe that one important principle I always try to practice is that of tolerance & to accept the maxim that ‘Nothing is Forever’.
I am really proud to have reached the landmark of fifty years in Freemasonry & wish to record my sincere thanks to everyone who shared & helped me on my journey, especially Margaret, my wife of 43 years
David Wright, Almoner of Concord Lodge No 4126, which meets at Lindley, Huddersfield sought support from his Masonic friends as he embarked on an online virtual challenge to bike-ride from Lands End to John O' Groats in a sponsored challenge.
A former police officer and for over 20 years a match-day photographer with Huddersfield Town, David turned to pedal power to raise funds for Kirkwood Hospice in Huddersfield.
David, currently self isolating during the corona virus pandemic, has established an indoor cycling rig system in his garage, using a smart trainer connected via mobile phone apps allowing him to exercise safely.
So, having located the daunting cycling challenge on a website he was delighted to complete the 1,000+miles journey and raise approaching £800 for Kirkwood.
"I was looking for some incentive to undertake this and I know that Kirkwood and other hospices are not able to stage their own fund-raising events because of the virus. Kirkwood cared for my mother in law several years ago prior to her passing and also did late last year for a dear and close Masonic friend," he said.
David completed the 1084 miles online route in 13 days at an average of 84 miles per day. Humbled by the support he has received so far his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-wright138 remains open should anyone wish to further support the hospice.
Wartime Spirit! Elwyn Hughes, left, with son Richard Hughes, right and PGM David S Pratt
VE Day became VC - Victory over Coronavirus Day for one 96-year-old West Yorkshire Freemason and Connaught Court resident.
Five weeks after being diagnosed with the deadly disease - W Bro Elwyn G Hughes, a member of Linton Lodge which meets in Harrogate – began to rally on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Elwyn, who took the Chair for the second time just seven years ago and still plies his trade as a tailor, making waistcoats from the basement of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Fund-run institution in York, was given the all-clear by the home’s main health worker on Friday, May 8.
And a week later he was well enough to be interviewed by radio, TV and newspaper reporters – all keeping to stringent social distancing guidelines.
Elwyn left school in 1938 at the age of 14 and became a tailor. Four years later, he joined the Army and trained as a machine gunner, spending eight months in Orkney.
However, when it was discovered, he was a skilled tailor, he spent the rest of the war travelling around the country, sewing stripes to soldiers’ uniforms. At the end of the war, he resumed his career and continues working to this day.
Elwyn’s son Richard, who followed in his father’s footsteps in his professional and Masonic careers, said: “When my father was diagnosed with Coronavirus, we feared the worst. However, I’m delighted to say this was not to be the case.
“He told me that watching the evening’s television coverage of a period of his life that was very important to him, it made him realise that life is very much still worth living. The words of a piece of Masonic ritual came to his mind, which very much put things into perspective. It certainly brought a tear to my eye.
“He’s a fighter and realised that his time was not yet up as there are other things he still needs to do.”
Richard added: “It goes without saying that I was over the moon when they told me of his recovery, and I can’t wait until I can once again give him a big hug - no matter what Boris says!”
On the 21st April 1920, shortly after the end of hostilities of the Great War, R.W. Bro Sir William Raynor, Provincial Grand Master, ably assisted by W. Bro Richard Gill, Senior Grand Deacon and Deputy Provincial Grand Master and a full team of Consecrating Officers, came
together to consecrate the newly founded Nevil Talbot Lodge.
One of many Lodges which came into being following the war, Nevil Talbot’s original membership was drawn from that of the then highly successful Furnival Lodge No 2558 who had realised that their growing list of candidates would have to wait many, many years
before attaining the Chair unless another Lodge was formed.
Nevil Talbot Lodge was the solution to that problem. So what of their name?
Well, the founders determined to follow the history of the distinguished Furnivall family but that the Lodge name could not directly involve the name to avoid confusion. Charting the family history back through the 14th and 15th century showed the line of Furnivall merged through marriage first to the Nevill family, through the union of Baroness Furnivall to Sir Thomas Nevill and subsequently through their daughter’s marriage to General Sir John Talbot. From that point forward descendants would be of the line of Nevil-Talbot, and the Lodge banner proudly displays the Coats of Arms of the Furnival, Nevil and Talbot families.
Much of the Lodges history is, like many other Lodges, relatively uneventful with members quietly enjoying their opportunity to dwell together in unity and the companionship which that brought.
Of interest to our current situation was a communication received from UGLE on 4th September 1939 suspending all Masonic meetings until further notice following the issue of emergency orders from H.M. Government following the outbreak of the Second World War on 1st September. That suspension was however lifted just 21 days later with permission granted for the resumption of Masonic activities which then continued throughout the war.
Unfortunately, our current suspension has already lasted twice as long!
However, the war was not without its effects not least the cancellation of a meeting immediately after the Sheffield Blitz in December 1940. There was also a request from Provincial Grand Lodge for brethren to surrender their jewels to be melted down to assist with the war effort. There is no information as to the extent with which this request was complied!
In the 1960s the Lodge began to develop a reputation as a musical Lodge with various members who were local singers of repute. This tradition continued for many years. There was also an association with The Boys Brigade with many members sharing that interest as current or former members. In 1982 the then President of the Sheffield Battalion, Roland Hare was to be initiated and this led to an invitation being issued to the National President, The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Unfortunately the Earl was delayed in responding to the invitation as he was required to attend a meeting abroad about the now renowned Elgin Marbles.
Nevertheless, two days before the Initiation, he accepted the invitation. His acceptance lead to a flurry of activity. He being such a distinguished visitor, the list of those due to attend rapidly rising from 30 to 80!
Over recent years the Lodge has suffered a decline in fortunes with now only 13 members, not all of whom are still active. However behind the small number hide some great if now ageing characters of Sheffield Freemasonry like Terry Hoyland, Philip Kirkup and Roy Yates not
to mention the current Secretary, Richard Drury-Smith just one of several members of that well-known family to have graced the Lodge.
Although small in number the Lodge is big in heart and has been holding on for the past couple of years to be able to celebrate this wonderful milestone.
We all offer our hearty congratulations to everyone at Nevil-Talbot Lodge and hope that we will be able to join them in person when our suspension finishes to celebrate properly what this proud Lodge has achieved over the past 100 years.
I am most grateful to W. Bro’s Terry Hoyland and Philip Kirkup for the work put into the Lodge Centenary booklet from which this article was drawn.
V.W. Bro John Boyington
Deputy Provincial Grand Master
MCF supports Yorkshire, West Riding bringing help to
Bank Holiday Friday saw our Provincial Grand Charity Steward on an exceptional road trip, paying visits to the three specialist children’s hospices in this Province - Martin House at Boston Spa, Bluebell Wood at Rotherham and Forget-Me-Not in Huddersfield.
No one could doubt that his trip counted as essential travel in these challenging times, as he was delivering 50 Samsung electronic tablets, complete with cases and software, for the use of children and families being cared for by these hospices.
The tablets are part of a consignment paid for by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) through its £1m Covid response fund, developed and delivered in conjunction with United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) the 48 Provinces across England and Wales.
Times are challenging for all of us at the moment, but all the more so for those needing the help and support of these highly specialised services.
The tablets will be put to a variety of uses including better communication and contact with children and families still at home but receiving support to enhancing family and visitor contact with those receiving care in the hospices where visiting can be more difficult than normal.
At one hospice, Forget-Me-Not, they will be used to provide remote bereavement support and counselling to those who have lost children in recent weeks and months.
Provincial Grand Charity Steward Mike Holmes is pictured with staff handing over this vital equipment.
Provincial Grand Master David S Pratt said: “Circumstances are difficult enough for those needing the help of these wonderful centres, and the burden is not helped by the restrictions of the current Covid-19 crisis.
We are delighted that these tablets can help to make things just a little bit easier for children and their families at this challenging time and to assist in easing their burden.
“We are deeply grateful to the MCF for helping us to provide this much needed and highly appreciated assistance as part of our on-going support to hospices across Yorkshire, West Riding.”
Brethren your Charity has continued to work on your behalf for those in need within the Province, both Masonic and non-Masonic,
Since our last update [13 April 20] the PGM’s Fund has made grants to the following charities;-
£2500 - The Howarth Foundation, Leeds and Kirklees. The primary activity of this Charity is to prevent or relieve poverty in respect of individuals who are or have recently been homeless.
£3000 - Swinnow Community Centre is a community centre run by volunteers and accommodates various community groups. From the beginning of the pandemic they have been providing hot food and sandwiches to 200 local children and 100 elderly persons every day.
£3000 - Homeless Street Angels, Leeds City Centre. The charity provides support for the homeless with hot food, clean clothes and toiletries.
£2000 - Thorne & Moorlands Community Hub is a food bank assisting families, children and single people in the community. All those involved in its organisation are volunteers. Local families already relied upon the Hub for assistance and support. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on the local community the Hub is having to increase the number of food parcels to help those in dire need.
£2000 - FaithNet is a self funded food bank run by local volunteers who normally cover the areas of Featherstone, Sharlston, Streethouse and Ackton.. However, closure of other food banks within the area due to COVID-19 has increased the need for assistance considerably whilst voluntary donations have diminished.
£1200 - Trinity Mission Food bank Castleford. They are currently providing "survival level" food to those in dire circumstances many of whom have dependent children. The food bank is manned solely by volunteers who gather, pack and distribute to the local community. Trinity Mission also provides broader services to others in need in the area.
As part of our ongoing programme we continue to support other charities. A donation of £2500 has been made to Prostate Cancer UK to help with raising awareness of the disease and hopefully encourage more men to have a test. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. Most cases develop in men aged 50 and above. Be aware – Get checked NOW
PGM’s Fund grants from 1st April now total £53,000
CHOICES continues to provide assistance and support to our Brethren, their Widows, families and dependants who may be in financial distress or have other urgent, immediate or pressing needs.
From 1st April 2020 - 17 Grants have been made to a value of £14,750. 12 of which are Covid-19 related.
The process is quick, simple and extremely efficient. For the fastest response contact your Lodge Almoner. or ring the confidential help line on 03449 020220
CLICK Here for more information on WRMCL and its role.
Our grateful thanks for your continuing generosity.
W.Bro. Peter Worth and.W.Bro. Jack Pigott
on behalf of WRMCL
John was Initiated into the Lodge of Prince George No. 308 by the Worshipful Master W. Bro. Trevor Shepherd who Passed him the following September. He was Raised in December of that year by his proposer into Freemasonry W. Bro. Frederick L. Halstead.
He was Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1985, a year he Initiated, Passed and Raised three candidates. Also that year, along with his Officers, He performed a demonstration Raising ceremony at the Lodge of Fort William No. 43 (Scottish Constitution)
John was Master of the Lodge in 2008 when he again Initiated, Passed and Raised three candidates. John occupied the Chair again in 2013 for a First and Second Degree ceremonies.
In 1994 he was appointed Director of Ceremonies of the Lodge. He held this office for 9 years which included officiating at the Lodge Bicentenary in 1996. He took the office again in 2018 and still holds it today.
John's first Provincial Rank was Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. In this capacity, he officiated at the Installation of R.W. Bro. J. Trevor Broadley as Provincial Grand Master.
W. Bro. Pickles is the fourth generation of his family to be a member of the lodge. He was preceded by his Father George Ronald, his Grandfather Hiram and his Great Grandfather George. Other members of his family were Past Masters of the Lodge too.
Once social distancing restrictions are lifted, his son W. Bro. Howard Pickles is looking forward to presenting his father with his Certificate marking 5O years in the Craft and a member of the Lodge of Prince George No. 308.
WRMCL recently donated £19,200 to Leeds Teaching Hospitals to fund two patient vital signs monitors. These monitors will help with specialist care for those suffering from COVID-19.
Below are two letters of thanks from LEEDS CARES to the WRMCL team who continue to work hard on your behalf, putting your generous charitable donations to excellent use.