The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Archive July 2019

Caravan Rally

A convoy of eighteen Caravans and Motorhomes descended on The Blue Rose Country Park in Brandesburton, East Yorkshire for the West Yorkshire Mark Caravan Rally on the 5th to the 7th July 2019.. The occupants of the vehicles were a combination of both Mark and Craft Masons, who were all welcomed by organiser Andy Brown, whose own caravan has been permanently sited at the Blue Rose for the past couple of years.Each was allocated one of the pre booked “Super Pitches” and set up their Outfits ready for a weekend of Fun and Masonic Companionship. Mark and Tracy Holland, who are not Caravanners but not wanting to miss a weekend away, booked into the nearby Burton Lodge hotel (5 minutes away from the Blue Rose). They said the place was brilliant with a superb breakfast, definitely a place to revisit.

 Those who arrived early “Alex Geddes for instance arrived Wednesday” spent their time relaxing taking in the local sights and hostelries, of which there are plenty in this part of the county. Saturday evening saw forty six Masons, along with 6 ‘locals’ from the site enjoy, an evening in the Site Club house with superb entertainment from Ms Leanne Jeffers, and a Malaysian feast, expertly prepared by Andy’s partner James, which included Chicken Curry, Satay Chicken with peanut sauce, pineapple and chilli salsa and many other options, finished off with Eton mess and a big cheese board. Alex Geddes indicated that he’ d never eaten curry before, whilst filling his bowl with his 3rd helping. It really was that good.

A raffle, game of Bingo and heads and tails were enjoyed when Andy Brown,, after thanking everyone for their support, called the Deputy PGM Alan Oldfield onto the stage and announced, that the Rally and the evenings Event had raised a magnificent £822.25 for the 2023 MBF festival.

We have been here before, well almost…..

Bram Morley Lodge of R.A.M. No.1905Wednesday, 3rd July 2019 , Blenheim House, Batley, and the Installation of Worshipful Brother John Edward Ryder Davies. A retired Banker, aged eighty nine years and determined to have very good year, I seem to have said this before but it now changes, as the Worshipful Commander of the Bram Morley Lodge of of Royal Ark Mariners No. 1905; a repeat of last November when he was Installed in the Chair of the James Bramley Morley Lodge of M.M.M. No.1905 which he still occupies.The first business was for the acting Worshipful commander, W.Bro.Tony Llewllyn to explain the absence of the W.C.Craig Kidd, which he did in a quite amusing fashion. W.Bro.Craig was in Birmingham in the hope of fulfilling a lifelong dream to become a Member of Parliament, he has been chosen as a candidate for a Party.. However, as we must eschew any references to Politics or Religion, I can say no more other than it could turn out to be a right ‘farrago’, but all power to his efforts, we may get an invite to No.10. no you fool not Downing Street, Railway Cuttings.. The Lodge was then opened by the W.Bro Tony who welcomed the Past Asst.Prov.G.M., V.W.Bro.John Fred Clough, Personal Representative of the P.G.M also Past Prov.G.M., R.W.Bro.Brian Batty. A successful ballot then followed for W.Bro.Roy Mallinson as a Joining Member and Bro.Mathew Toplis as a Member, both Bram Morley lodges are fully justifying their Consecration.

The focus of all attention then turned to Bro.John Davies and the Installing Commander, W.Bro.Tony. Initial enquiries satisfactorily negotiated, Brethren below the Rank of Installed Commander withdrew, an Assembly of Installed Commanders was formed and W.Bro.John as he had now become, was placed in the Chair, a very smooth and professional Ceremony. Brethren were readmitted and W,Bro.John Appointed and Invested his officers, no surprises and good to see that W.Bro.Stephen Wood, a Founder of the Lodge will, all being well, take the Helm in 2020. The Keystone Collaret, a relatively new addition to the regalia of the Lodge, was then explained in perfect order by W.Bro.John English and presented to the W.C. by W.Bro.Tony. W.Bro.John once again took the floor and, word perfect, Addressed the W.C.; this would take a lot to follow, but he did, R.W.Bro.Brian in a calm, clear and unhurried fashion delivered the Exposition in superb style, a pleasure to witness, congratulations to all for a very fine Ceremony, beautifully choreographed by the D.C. W.Bro.David Staniforth.

Remaining business was then speedily concluded and adjourned to the bar, the whole Ceremony taking a mere ninety minutes. A most welcome Festive Board consumed, the Toast to the Province was submitted Bro.David Howe who began by referring to us all as Sailors on the Sea of Life, wow not heard that before, were we in for a literary masterpiece. Well he did most certainly follow the accepted line, we are very reliant upon our Provincial, and Grand, Lodge Officers who are frequently the backbone of the Lodge and we must offer them our sincere thanks for all they do; this should assure him of preferment in the near future, but he was right and this was echoed by V.W.Bro.John Fred in his response. He then drew attention to Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank and the fact that our Province will reduce from five to three appointments per annum, it will now be calculated on Member numbers not Memberships, and these will largely be taken by those who require it for their Office presumably Rulers. Fortunately we do have the West Yorkshire Royal Ark Mariner Distinguished Service Award to offer some recognition. John finished by reminding us that we are all lucky to be members of the Fraternity and the message for our Mark colleagues, yet to take the step , is Come and Join Us.

Dates for your diaries; 24th July, Combined Sheffield Lodges Meeting at Tapton, the Assistant Grand Master will be joining us.5th October, Provincial Royal Ark Mariner meeting at Tapton where those receiving Provincial Honours will be invested.10th September Grand Mark Lodge Investiture meeting for those receiving Past Grand rank promotion. Another day to be there for our West Yorkshire Brethren.30th November Gala Ball, Mercure Hotel, Bingley, 8th December Carol Service at Brighouse,10th December, Grand assembly of Royal Ark Mariners at Grand Lodge, support our Brethren receiving Grand Rank. A most enjoyable Royal Ark Mariner installation.

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.Communications Manager


Taking the barge back to Skipton at the end of the very successful “Barge Pull” last year l got chatting to John Lobley, one of the lock keepers at the Bingley 5 Rise, who said he was planning to raise money to buy a defibrillator unit at the locks. He told me that the previous summer a gentleman had collapsed whilst visiting the locks and they had to run to the fire station to borrow their defib unit.

V.W.Bro. John Fred Clough with the PGM and members of the 5 Rise Locks staff

As we talked I said that the Canal and River Trust had been very helpful to our barge skipper, Mike Brearley, in the planning of the venture and that perhaps l could help him if l could persuade my fellow Trustees of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust that it was a worthy cause and of help to the local community.

John Clough officially hands over the defibrillator to John Lobley

They said yes, the unit was ordered but then we hit up against a “brick wall”. Actually it was a “stone wall” as John emailed me to say that all the buildings at the top lock were “listed” so they couldn’t find a place to “moor” it. However he found out that the old stable block, now The 5 Rise Café, wasn’t listed and the proprietor, Marcus, had readily agreed to allow the unit to be fixed to a wall outside his café.

Joined by Marcus, proprietor of the 5 Rise Locks Cafe (centre right) and members of the public

Tuesday 25th June the PGM and l went over to Bingley to “officially” hand over the unit. Raining it was, but that did not put a damper on the smiling faces of John Lobley and friends on the day. We left hoping that the unit would never ever be used but for the thousands of visitors and the local community it’s there “just in case”.

John Clough,
Trustee of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust