Saturday 11th September saw Alnwick Masonic Centre take part in the Heritage Open Day, hosted by Alnwick, Hulme Priory and Coquetdale Lodges, which saw 117 visitors to the building. There were, of course, some brethren from the ‘lower reaches’ of the Province, but also Masons from other parts of the country. Locals were also in attendance, looking for information on relatives, as well as those who were intrigued to see what went on inside the building, including the Priest who lives next door!.
Visitors were treated to two very interesting talks. The local history society shared the story of the building, a first commission in Alnwick for F.R. Wilson as a Sunday School, plus some history of the area at the time. The second talk shared the story of the ‘Chevy Chase’ sideboard, which is one of the country’s finest examples of 19th century wood carving, with some exquisite detail hidden in the piece. Carved in 1889 by renowned artist Gerard Robinson it depicts the hunting scene from the ballad and was Robinson’s last piece.
Masons were on hand to explain a little about the Lodge room, which is one of the most atmospheric in the Province and some visitors found the names of relatives and family friends on the Lodge Past Master boards and shared their stories.
In the dining room, a fantastic display of Masonic treasures associated with Alnwick, including the Working Tools of Northumberland Lodge 483 which met in the Beehive Inn, Alnwick in 1788 and the Bible from 1640, took centre stage, alongside information on Freemasonry itself – what it’s all about, our Charity work, including MCF, TLC, Blood Bikes and the Air Ambulance, and some content from the Provincial website.
The day was enjoyed by all who took part and the icing on the cake? Three membership enquiries and one Hall booking. The Posters, leaflets etc. are all available to borrow for events from the Provincial Office and the Comms team can always find someone to help set up the ‘kit’.
Thanks go to W.Bro Andrew Smith for the submission of this article and photographs.
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