Chapter 3: 1935 -1960
A third member of Craven Lodge and one of the Founder Members of Faith, Hope and Charity Lodge, W. Bro. R. Slater Windle received the Grand Lodge Rank of P. D. G. Std. Br. At the May Meeting of the Lodge in 1936, which was attended by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, a presentation of Regalia was made to him on behalf of the Brethren of the two Lodges as a token of their respect and esteem. Also, to mark the occasion, the Provincial
Grand Master, Most W. Bro. the Earl of Harewood, K. G., D. S. 0., the Deputy Prov. G. M. and the Assistant Prov. G. Masters were elected Honorary Members of Craven Lodge 810. Four years later, in 1940, W. Bro. Seth Munday was congratulated on also achieving the Grand Lodge Rank of P. G. St. Bearer and presented with his Grand Lodge Regalia. Surely few Lodges could boast of having four Grand Lodge Officers at any one time.
In the years leading up to the outbreak of World War II, we are able to read in the Minutes, from time to time, references to a custom no longer widely practised in Freemasonry and therefore unfamiliar to Junior Brethren. I refer to the Lodge of Emergency held on the death of a Brother. The Lodge was opened in the First Degree, adjourned for the Brethren present to attend the funeral in procession, then to return to the Lodge Rooms to close the Lodge. There was a Ritual also to observe. One such example is worthy of note especially as it involved the funeral of the Reigning Master of the Lodge. We read that a Lodge of Emergency was held on 25th August, 1937 for Brethren able to attend the Funeral of the Reigning Master W. Bro. Frank Suddards. W. Bro. Rev. Canon Stoney, Prov. Grand Chaplain gave the Introductory Portion of the Funeral Oration. The Brethren then proceeded to the house of Mrs. Suddards and accompanied the Cortege to Christ Church and then to Waltonwrays Cemetery where the Masonic portion of the Ceremony was conducted by Bro. A. E. Ayre.
The Regular Lodge Meeting was not held in September 1939 because of National Emergency Regulations at the outbreak of War. The October Lodge Meeting 1939 was held on Saturday afternoon, 28th October, at which a proposal to hold future Meetings on the last Saturday afternoon of the month was withdrawn, and it was resolved to adhere to the last Friday evening of the month.
A Lodge of Emergency was held on 2nd July, 1940 to consider a request by the Midland Bank, as Landlords, through their Local Manager, that in the event of invasion of this country by the enemy, the Lodge should permit the Bank the use of the Premises for administrative purposes, on the understanding that no rent would be payable during the Bank’s occupation and that compensation for any loss sustained would be paid by the Bank. After lengthy discussion, a motion that the Lodge should accede to the request was carried unanimously.
It was approved at the Regular Lodge Meeting of 27th September, 1940 that £10 -10 – 0 be donated from Lodge Funds to the Lord Mayor of London’s Air Raid Distress Fund. At the same Meeting, a letter was read from the Prov. G. Master, R. W. Bro. the Earl of Harewood urging Lodges to continue to meet regularly in these distressing times. He went on to say: ‘The Province is in a very healthy state and the continuance of our work will keep it so. Many Brethren, particularly in the South, have suffered loss of livelihood through destruction of homes and businesses. The time will come when we shall be called upon to prove that the great lesson of Chari
ty we have all been taught, has not been forgotten.”
Our most senior Member of the Lodge at the present time (1986), W. Bro. J. Tattersall, was initiated into Craven Lodge in May 1943, passed on 29th October 1943 and BY DISPENSATION was raised on 12th November 1943, even though an interval of four weeks had not elapsed from his passing. This was on account of his service in H. M. Forces and his pending departure overseas.
One of the greatest high-lights ever to be experienced in the History of Craven Lodge occurred on the occasion of the Installation Meeting held on Saturday 29th January, 1944. Most W. Bro. the Earl of Harewood had recently been appointed and invested as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England and Craven Lodge was now honoured by his presence, accompanied by W. Bro. Frobisher, P. G. D., Prov, G. Secretary and other distinguished Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge Officers. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge, W. Bro. L. Marshall addressed the M. W. Bro. the Grand Master, expressing the thanks and appreciation of the Brethren of the Lodge for the honour conferred on the Lodge by his attending their Installation Ceremony. In his reply, the M. W. G. Master charged the Brethren to accept their duties and responsibilities not only to their Lodge, but to the whole world, especially at the present time. The active support of all Brethren would be needed for the future good of the Order.
As the War Years drew to an end, the Brethren were informed that a telegram had been sent to M. W. Bro. the Grand Master, the Earl of Harewood, rejoicing with him and the Princess Royal on the safe return of their son Viscount Lascelles, from captivity. A message of thanks from the M. W. Grand Master was read at the Regular Lodge Meeting held on 25th May, 1945.
Scroll night on 28th December. 1945 was marked by the information that W. Bro. Arthur Harrison P. G. D., had completed 55 years of membership of the Lodge, having been Initiated into Craven Lodge 810 on 26th December, 1890. W. Bro. Seth Munday P. G. St. Br. spoke
of his distinguished career in Masonry, not only in Craven Lodge but also in the Province of East Lanes. Following this, it was unanimously approved in open Lodge on 22nd February, 1946 that W. Bro. Harrison P. G. D., and W. Bro. M. R. Knowles P. P. A. G. D. C., be elected Honorary Members of Craven Lodge 810 in view of the long and distinguished services they had rendered to the Lodge. Unfortunately the recipients had not been previously approached to obtain their reaction to the proposal, and W. Bro. Harrison refused to accept, as he was perfectly entitled to do, being reluctant to forego his voting rights and privileges.
Less than four years after the notable visit of M. W. Bro. the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother the Earl of Harewood to Craven Lodge, his successor as M. W. Bro. the Grand Master. M. W. Bro. His Grace the Duke of Devonshire bestowed unprecedented honour on the Lodge by also attending the Regular Meeting of the Lodge on 28th November 1947, on the occasion of the Initiation of his Land Agent of the Bolton Abbey Estates, Ernest Ellis Hey. His Grace was accompanied by W. Bro. Milburn Edward Clarke, Dep. Provincial Grand Master. W. Bro. Henry Clifford Smith, Asst. Provincial Grand Master and W. Bro. Charles Edward Frobisher, Prov. Grand Secretary.
The Worshipful Master of Craven Lodge, W. Bro. Harry Adams extended congratulations to the Grand Master on his appointment and a hearty Masonic welcome to Craven Lodge. In reply, the Grand Master said he was very happy to come on this occasion. Great honours may well be a subject of congratulation but they followed events of great sadness in the deaths of H. R. H. the Duke of Ke
nt and the Earl of Harewood. He had very intimate associations with our Candidate and thought very highly of him and no one could have a more loyal friend.
Older members of the Lodge have never forgotten a most moving event in the history of the Lodge. W. Bro. William Greenwood had served many years as Lodge Treasurer and advancing years had made the sitting through of a full Ceremony something of an ordeal. Although a most regular attender, it had become his custom to sit out the working of the Lodge in the Bar, and he was there during the Installation Ceremony on 25th January, 1957 when the Lodge was honoured by the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, R. W. Bro. Henry Clifford Smith, who called Billy in and, on the spot, conferred upon him the rank of P. P. Grand Junior Warden for his services to Freemasonry in general and Craven Lodge in particular. The Prov. Grand Master ended his tribute to W. Bro. Greenwood with the following quotation:
“If, from life, you seek the best,
If for life, you keep the zest,
If Love you hold, no matter how the years go by,
No matter how the Birthdays fly You are not old”
How the birthdays had flown for the Lodge, born in 1860, and now approaching its Centenary. We are mindful there are many others who have made a worthy contribution to the Lodge’s well-being over a long period but only a few have been included for special mention here:
Ralph Wynn who was largely responsible for the establishment and growth of the local firm of Ledgard & Wynn in Skipton High Street. A self-made man who served in the first World War, Ralph became successful in business and was awarded an O.B.E. for his services to Public and Political life. He was not only a breeder of dogs but enjoyed a national reputation as a Judge and was a distinguished Me
mber of the Kennel Club, becoming W. Master of the Kennel Club Lodge in 1964.
Harold Meson is another character who did a great deal for Craven Lodge. He served as Chief Steward from 1946 to 1950 with great benefit to the Lodge and served with distinction in progressive offices on the floor of the Lodge. Unfortunately he never achieved the W. Master’s Chair as ill-health finally proved fatal and he died in 1956, having reached the Junior Warden’s Chair. The last Lodge of Emergency to be called by Craven Lodge on the death of a member was on the occasion of Bro. Harold’s funeral.
Clifford C. Wilson was a Wine and Spirit Merchant for Andertons, which later was taken over by Bass Charrington. He was also a member of Brun Lodge 5118 at Burnley and became a Joining Member of Craven Lodge 810 when coming to live in Skipton. He was responsible for an annual exchange of visits between the two Lodges which became extremely popular and forged a close link which still exists to-day. Many times in the post-war years visits were by coach load. Invariably the Harmony at the Festive Board has become a traditional feature.
George Dean still happily with us and still in good bass voice, though unable to accept office in the Lodge, has been providing harmony for over 30 years. One can scarcely visualise an Installation Banquet or Ladies Evening without George singing the Master’s song or the Ladies Song.
The actual celebration of the Centenary of the Lodge was held in Aireville School, Skipton on 10th June, 1960 at 4.00 p.m. The guests were W. Bro. John Tait M. B. E, P. G. D. Deputy Provincial Grand Master., W. Bro. J. H. Bromley, P. G. D., Assistant Prov. G. Master., W. Bro. Kenneth Hirst, P. A. G. D. C., Prov. G. Secretary, W. Bro. Harry Squires, J. G. D., Chairman of the Provincial Charity Committee and 48 others. There were also 44 Members of Craven Lodge. The Worshipful Master, W. Bro. T. C. Booth gave the following Address of Welcome:
“On behalf of the Brethren of Craven Lodge 810, it is my privilege and pleasure to extend to you a most cordial welcome to this ancient Lodge, and in doing so, to express to you our sincere thanks for the great honour you have conferred upon us this day by coming to share with us in our thanksgiving and pride for the 100 years of honourable and devoted service given by this Lodge of Craven to the ca
use of Freemasonry.
By virtue of its position, Skipton has long been known as the Capital of Craven and the Gateway to the Dales and has itself a noble and far longer history than we can claim for ourselves. Dominating the town, as though keeping watch over it, stand impressively the Parish Church and the fine old Castle. To us, meeting here to-day, it is worthy of note that in the grounds of that Castle there is an ancient Chapel dedicated to our own Patron Saint – Saint John the Evangelist. Unfortunately it remains only in a dilapidated state, for it would seem likely that its conversion into stables occurred during the Civil War. But I would call your attention to the first known mention of the Chapel in an inspeximus of Henry Lord Clifford, the Shepherd
Lord – dated May 2nd, 1512 in which he confirms to his Chaplayne in words so reminiscent of our own ritual: ‘cert’n libtys and dutyes, Wherefore be eyt knowen that I, Henrie Lord Clifford, in honoure of God and St. John ye Evangelist, and for ye helthe of mye sowle, ratifye and confirm all such
Indeed we meet today to ‘ratify and confirm’ all that is honourable and good which has been handed down to us through Freemasonry in general and this Lodge in particular.
As I look back on a long line of my predecessors in the Office of Master since the year 1860, I feel how great is my responsibility to uphold its high reputation and how it behoves us all to contemplate the familiar Clifford Motto “DESORMAIS” -‘HENCEFORTH’ which surely calls upon us not to dwell too much on the past, but to look forward to the future, that this Lodge of Craven may long continue
to bear an honoured name in the annals of Freemasonry.
We welcome you most heartily, thank you for your visit most cordially, and we sincerely hope that you will long remember your visit this day to Craven Lodge”.
The Centenary Warrant was then read by W. Bro. Kenneth Hirst P. A. G. D. C., Prov. Grand Secretary, wherein it was directed that all subscribing brethren to Craven Lodge 810 were authorised to wear the Centenary Jewel. The Warrant was then presented to the W. M., W. Bro. T. C. Booth, by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. John Tait, M. B. E., P. G. D., who thanked the Worshipful Master for his delightful Address of Welcome and said that it was fitting for the W. M. to receive the Warrant as not only was he the W. M. for the Centenary Celebrations but also for part of the first year of the second century. The Deputy Prov. G. M. W. Bro. John Tait then presented the Centenary Jewel to each member of Craven Lodge and afterwards addressed the Brethren and finally requested them to wear the Jewel at the Festive Board after the Meeting.
- Bro. Tait said that it was the Provincial Grand Master’s wish that two of the Brethren of the Lodge be promoted, W. Bro. Oswald Hill, J. P., from P. P. G. D. to P. P. G. W. and W. Bro. E. Nelson, Treasurer, to P. P. G. D. and invested them with their collars of office. The Charity Representative, W. Bro. G. G. Jackson presented to W. Bro. Harry Squires J. G. D., Chairman of the Charity Committee for the Province of Yorkshire W. R., a cheque for 100 guineas to mark the Centenary of the Lodge. He also presented a further cheque for 100 guineas which had only been handed him that day, on behalf of the Brethren of Craven
Lodge below the rank of the Chair. W. Bro. Squires thanked the Lodge most warmly for the donation, particularly mentioning the spontaneous response by the Junior Brethren.
- Bro. Secretary, W. Bro. J. H. Armistead read a letter from the Provincial Grand Master expressing his regret at not being able to be present owing to his absence abroad. He congratulated the Lodge on reaching its Centenary . .
The Centenary Banquet was afterwards held at the Black Horse Hotel, Skipton.
A Centenary Service of Thanksgiving was held in the Skipton Parish Church, attended by the Brethren and Ladies, on Sunday June 12th 1960 at 3.00 p.m. The Service was conducted by the Venerable A. Sephton, Archdeacon of Craven and Canon C. C. MacKay, Vicar of Barnoldswick. Lessons were read by the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. T. C. Booth and W. Bro. Sidney Emmott, P. P. G. W. and there was a collection for Masonic Charities.
Regrettably no History of Craven Lodge covering the first 100 years was compiled for this Centenary Year, apart from a very brief account covering a single page., which was read at the Centenary Meeting by W. Bro. H. Dixon, P. P. D. G. D of C. After much prodding from time to time on the part of certain Past Masters of the Lodge, it was approved that a Sub-Committee consisting of W. Bro. j. H. Armistead, P. A. G. D. C., P. P. G. W, W. Bro. T. C. Booth, P. P. G. Reg. and W. Bro. H. Taylforth, with W. Bro. A. H. Norton P. P. G. Sw. Br. acting as Secretary, be appointed to prepare such a History, and indeed to bring it up to date i.e. 1986, twenty six years into the Second Century. This will require further Chapters. Meanwhile this has been a labour of love which we hope will be of great interest and delight to the Brethren and friends of Craven Lodge 810.