Congratulation from Northumberland Freemasons to the members of Cramlington Lodge No.4196 on reaching a fantastic hundred years of existence.
Thirty one Petitioners put their names to the petition for the formation of the new Lodge, which was approved by the Provincial Grand Master, Colonel Charles Warren Napier-Clavering on 5 October 1920. Most of the prospective founder members were already members of Astley Lodge No.7977, which meets at Seaton Delaval Masonic Hall, and Croft Lodge No.3310, which meets at Blyth Masonic Hall.
The Lodge was consecrated on 21 January 1921 by the Provincial Grand Master and his team at the Masonic Hall, Seaton Delaval, which must have been the new Masonic Hall on Station Road, built in 1909. Prior to this date local Freemasons met at the Miners Hall, and before that, the Astley Arms Hotel.
The Lodge had an auspicious beginning: apart from the thirty-one founders, within the first 6 months of its existence, there were fourteen Joining Members, and during the first year, eighteen candidates for Initiation. As a consequence, of which all the ceremonies had to be ‘doubles’.
The first candidate, Robert Lawson, a butcher from Cramlington, was initiated on 6 April 1921, with other candidates coming from a variety of occupations; a few had connections with the mining industry, and at least four came from mining villages in Wales, with one such member described as a ‘Heapkeeper’, which on investigation proved to be someone who cleans up the coal on the surface.
Cramlington Lodge was the prime instigator of a new Masonic Hall for the village, for village it was in those days, with the building and development of Cramlington New Town not coming along until much later.
On 26 September 1923, the Masonic Hall in School Lane was dedicated by Charles Hodgson, Deputy Provincial Grand Master., and the Lodge took up abode in its new location. By 1957, three Lodges met in the building, with a total membership of 402.
In the one hundred years since its foundation, Cramlington Lodge has been a stalwart to Freemasonry in the south-eastern part of Northumberland, and it can look forward with a new confidence to the next hundred years.
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