Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Eddie keeping the standard up

On the 14th January 2017 Brother Eddie Mansfield of St. Milburga Lodge 1120, who is the Branch Standard Bearer for the Royal British Legion in Dawley, Telford, attended the County Conference for the Royal British Legion held at Shirehall in Shrewsbury.

After the County business had been concluded there was an award ceremony for members of the RBL who have contributed the most during the year 2016. Brother Eddie was awarded the Standard Bearers Cup for the most parades throughout the County of Shropshire. It came as a complete surprise to him as he is still only in his first year as a Royal British Legion Standard Bearer. He also carries the standard for the Wrekin (Wellington) Branch of the Royal Air Force Association so it has been a very busy year.

Part of the duties of being a standard bearer is also to attend funerals with the standard if requested by family members. The standard bearer attends other events such as the Shrewsbury Flower Show every year and the Battle of Britain Parades at RAF Cosford held in September, which is a busy month as two are held in the area. 

pictured above:  (l to r) Royal British Legion County President,  Eddie Mansfield and Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

"Blue Note" in play

Shropshire Freemasons have a new email service "Blue Note", bringing news and other information to their Inbox direct. To Subscribe to "Blue Note", click on the button below and complete the few details required.

117 Installation and 'Burns Night' Festive Board

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Cae Glas Burns Night

Thursday, 2nd Feb @ Roft Street, Oswestry   

3rd Degree & Burns Night Festive Board

Once again the most famous Burns Night meeting south of Edinburgh - with the haggis piped in by Bro Izzy MacLachlan and Junior Brethren in traditional style. Leave space for a wee dram to wash it all down!

£19 for Members, £17 for Visitors. 10% discount to kilt wearers - early booking advised!

Contact Keith Arscott and book in for one of Shropshire's Caledonian classics.

Spectacular Wine Tasting Evening

Friday, 7th April, Crewe Street, SHREWSBURY SY1 2HQ.

You are invited to a fun evening of wine tasting hosted by Christopher Wildt, Master of Wine and Lord of Misrule! Gingham table cloths, low lights, Jacques Brel, good wine, great cheese and a whole lot of fun.

Christopher will entertain you with his great knowledge of wine and his enthusiasm for finding really good stuff at low prices in your local stores!

Competitions for best French costume, and prizes for "Hommes et Femmes". All proceeds to the 2019 Grand Charity Festival. 

Tickets £15/head - apply to Deputy Provincial Grand Master Roger Pemberton to book places - payment will then be taken at the door.

SMCA at Hope House

WBro David Thomas of Albric Festival Lodge recently received his 50 year Certificate, and is pictured here with that hard-earned award!

Albric Festival Lodge is based in the 'Wolverhampton village'
 of Albrighton, at one time famous for its clock-makers. Thus the dandelion 'clock' on its banner. Best wishes to David for the next 50 years!!

150 years of St Oswald lodge

Thanks to Denzil Ellis who prepared this article for the "Oswestry Advertiser"

“The Lodge of St Oswald” was consecrated on 5th November 1866 when Oswestry was so different from today. Oswestry was one of the first towns to be lit by gas, and sewage was in open drains running into a fetid pool at Coney Green.

The foundation of the Lodge of St Oswald came at a time when the town was going through a period of rapid transition, largely due to the opening of the Oswestry to Newtown railway, the choice of Oswestry as Headquarters of the Cambrian Railway, and the company’s decision to establish its works in the town. This was a happy coincidence, and several of the Lodge founders were prominent in the Cambrian Railway in the early years.

The name St Oswald was adapted after St Oswald or King Oswald (they were one and the same) who was the Son of Ethelfrith, King of Northumbria (605 – 642). Oswald was eventually defeated and slain in the battle of Maserfield (on the outskirts of Oswestry) by Penda, King of Mercia.

When the Lodge was formed Sir Watkin Williams Wynn of Wynnstay estate presented the Lodge with three chairs and six candle sticks dated on invoice at 1771 at a cost of £84 -11p

These chairs and candle stick are still in use.

The first meeting was on 1st October 1866 with the consecration on 5th November 1866. The Lodge met at the Wynnstay Hotel from 1866 to 1903 after which it was held at the new Masonic Hall in Smithfield Street/Roft Street, Oswestry and has met there ever since.

The Lodge met on 1st November 1869 at the Victoria Rooms with a special meeting to lay a foundation stone for the Oswestry Cottage Hospital. This was a great day, and the ‘Oswestry Advertiser’ published a special Masonic edition with an account of the proceedings.This Foundation Stone can still be seen at what is now Holbache House in Welsh Walls.

Sir H.L. Watkin Williams Wynn, Baronet, Provincial Grand Master of North Wales 1914 to 1945. The Province of North Wales and Shropshire was split in 1926 when Rt Hon. Lord Harlech was appointed Provincial Grand Master for Shropshire. The Lodge is unique in its history of having four Provincial Grand Masters, Four Deputy Grand Masters and six Members of Parliaments

On 22nd June 1937, another historic Masonic Ceremony was conducted for the laying of a foundation Stone for Oswestry Hospital in Trefonen Road. The Stone was laid and dedicated by Sir Watkin W. Wynn the Provincial Grand Master of North Wales assisted by the Provincial Grand Master of Shropshire, The Right Honourable Lord Harlech.

Recently a Model Steam Exhibition was held in the Memorial Hall, Oswestry (covered by Articles in the Advertiser) which enabled the Lodge to 
support Porthywaen Youth and Training Band with a £2000 donation with prospect of what is called matched funding increasing this for another £2000. The Band is to perform a Concert on 25th November.

The Lodge celebrated with a special meeting on 7th November 2016 by reflection of past years.

The Lodge of St Oswald No. 1124 meets on the first Monday October to April and anyone interested in Freemasonry can obtain advice online on the Province of Shropshire website.

Friday, 13 January 2017

SMCA visit to Severn Hospice, Apley

It was lovely to meet you all from the Shropshire Masonic Charitable Association this morning and to be able to thank you personally for the significant contribution you’ve made to supporting Severn Hospice.

I’m still waiting for information about the ceiling hoist! By the way, I think it was Roger who mentioned that your members might be generously minded to donate something particularly tangible to the hospice. If that were indeed the case at any time in the future, then you might be interested to know that we have a list of “Specific Gifts”. These include items of equipment, like specialist mattresses, that Becky and her counterpart Matron of Inpatient Services raise as being in need of funding. I have to admit that ceiling hoists weren’t on the list, so thank you for opening our eyes to this omission!

Many thanks again for the most generous donations of your members to our three hospice sites. I will copy you the formal letter of thanks to the MCF once I have the receipts from our Finance Team. And it would be a pleasure to host a future visit from yourselves.

Kind regards

Gillian Asbury

Project Manager, Severn Hospice, Apley Castle

Paws for thought...

Visitors to the Chief Executive's office at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital are now welcomed by two cheery teddies who invite people to pick up a business card carrying the TLC charity's details.

Thanks go to Column Lodge's new Senior Warden, Brendan Knott, whose good lady whisked the pink and blue duo from the Installation to the hospital quicker than an ambulance!!!

Monday, 9 January 2017

From the Provincial Charity Steward

Brethren All
May I start by wishing a Happy New Year to you, and your families.
At the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in April 2014 our Provincial Grand Master set the Province a target to raise £1m for The Freemasons’ Grand Charity by October 2019.
We are a little over halfway through our Festival...
The most popular way of contributing to the Festival has been through monthly subscription using Direct Debit.
It is important that every Mason in the Province has an opportunity to qualify for the magnificent, yellow-ribboned, Festival Steward’s Jewel. This confers the right to attend the very exciting celebration planned for the climax of the Festival in October 2019.
Please ask your Lodge Charity Steward for your current contribution record. He will be able to tell you what may be required for your personal Honorific qualification as well as more details of our fund raising so far.      
                                  (above: Simon far right with Laura Chapman, Peter and Pat Taylor)
He can also provide you with a range of options for contribution and opportunity to obtain Gift Aid relief.
I wish you well for the remainder of the Festival and thank you all for your support.

Yours sincerely and fraternally,

WBro Simon Aucott


Burns Night bookings?

Book now for an unmissable Burns Night organised by Group 6 lodges in aid of the 2019 Festival and the Royal British Legion. This Black Tie Burns Night Charity Supper at the Park Inn (next to the Radisson) in Telford will include a three- course meal (three menu choices, all Scottish!), pipes and drums, poetry, raffle, entertainment and a disco to take you through to 3am.

28th January, 2017 1900h-0300h, £35/head. 

Contact marcellus.archer444@mod.uk for more information.

MFest 300 ahoy!!!

With the tercentenary celebrations at Weston Park on 24th and 25th June fast approaching, Brethren are needed not only to attend and have a great time, but also to assist with stewarding the event - traffic management, ticket scanning and so forth. The rota will be so organised that you will have plenty of time to enjoy all that is to be on offer.

To offer help, please contact your Secretary or else direct to Ralph Howarth - or indeed John Norman.
Brethren - this promises to be a once in a lifetime event - please help to ensure its success!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Youngest Mason in Shropshire?

Brother Richard Slack of The Iron Bridge Lodge 9897, one of Shropshire's newest Freemasons, has been completely upstaged on New Year's Eve by his baby son Mason, dressed to party the night away at the age of just 11 days.

Baby Mason already seems to have picked up some of his Father's dance moves. Watch out Richard - heavens only knows what Mason will be getting up to by the time he's two weeks old...



Looking forward to the 300th birthday of our Grand Lodge later this year...

Crime and the Craft

The next regular Crewe Street meeting of Shropshire Installed Masters Lodge 6262 on Saturday, February 4th at 11 a.m. will feature a Lecture on the subject of Crime and the Craft, open to all Masons.

WBro Mike Neville will be speaking about a number of mysterious crime-related stories with a Masonic 'angle' - including the old question - was Jack the Ripper 'on the Square'? The meeting is followed by a meal, all done by about 3 p.m..

Guaranteed to entertain, you can book in by contacting Secretary David Griffiths.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016


It has to be said that Freemasonry's age profile is often slanted towards the grandparents
rather than the parents - we are, after all, not an organisation which excludes older members - so this story is a little bit special. Once again The Iron Bridge lodge is in the news as its newest Initiate, Brother Richard Slack, has just become a father for the fifth time.

Richard and wife Becci (who it is understood had something to do with it too) welcomed the latest addition to their family on 20th December, as their children Abigail, Megan, Maya and Harvey were joined by a 7lb 11oz son. Our best wishes go to them all - especially as the new arrival has been given the name Mason. 

All jokes about stepping off with the left foot please kept in reserve for the next few days at least...