Northumberland Masons On Tour

09th July 2022

Mid May witnessed 21 Freemasons, accompanied by 21 ladies, including wives, partners and widows, of the Lodges whihc meet at Hexham Masonic Hall, board a coach for a weekend at Grange-over-Sands. The journey there was broken up with a breakfast stop at Houghton Hall Garden Centre and an extended lunch break in Keswick prior to arriving at the Cumbria Grand Hotel in the late afternoon.

After settling at the hotel, the men attended a meeting of the Arthur John Brogden Lodge No.1715, in the Province of West Lancashire, where the main item of business that evening was the celebration of fifty years in Freemasonry for W Bro John Derbyshire, the presentation being made by W Bro Peter Schofield,, Assistant Provincial Grand Master. Everyone present agreed that this had been a most enjoyable, informative and entertaining evening.

Whilst the men were on Masonic business the ladies enjoyed a meal together and once reunited they all partook in a nightcap prior to retiring for the night. Unfortunately, for some, it proved to be a sleepless night as Eric, the resident peacock, started his screaming as early as 3:00am!

Following breakfast the next day the party journied to Haverthwaite, and boarded the steam train “Princess” for a short journey to Lakeside, Windermere, where they then enjoyed a cruise, on the MV “Swan”, to Bowness, where a few hours was whiled away exploring and partaking in lunch. The party then returned to the hotel where a party of the local masons, and their ladies, joined them for an evening meal, which was a very convivial affair.

The Arthur John Brogden Lodge No.1715 takes it’s name from the first Master of the Lodge who was the local contractor that constructed the Ulverston to Lancaster railway, and is commemorated on a plaque at the town’s railway station.

The final day of the tour saw the party travel to Muncaster Castle, where they browsed the castle and grounds, and enjoyed two fantastic flying displays from the hawk and owl centre, which required the party practice their ability to duck prior to the event!

Sadly it was over far too soon and and the coach was on its return leg to Hexham, making a brief stop at Rheged. W.Bro George Anderson said “Many thanks are due to our driver, Graham of H&S Coaches, who kept us informed and entertained, to the ladies who kept us supplied with their shopping bags full of sweets, and to the organisers of this trip, Worshipful Brothers John Spearman, Ian Clouston and Peter Marshall.”

These weekend tours originated from a desire, some twenty years ago, by John Spearman to visit his cousin, Geoffrey Spearman who was Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Argyll and the Isles. Following this personal visit, the first group trip was arranged to visit Lodge Rothesay St John No.292, of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Argyll and the Isles, Grand Lodge of Scotland, and since then they have visited many places, including Harrogate, Perth, Oban, Dundee and Irvine. Traditionally a vote is held, on the return coach journey, to decide where to visit the next year. It might be Perth, subject to confirmation.

Many thanks go to W.Bro George Anderson for the submission of this article.

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