The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

All posts by Warren Marsden

Mark Family Carol Service

The Provincial Grand Master invites you to join him at Brighouse Central Methodist Church on Sunday 8th December for our annual Mark Family Carol Service.
The Service starts at 2.30 and family and friends of all ages are welcome.

As well as the usual Service and Carols, there will be readings by West Yorkshire Mark Brethren and Choir items, followed by tea and biscuits in the Church Hall.
The afternoon usually concludes around 4.00 pm.

The church itself is warm and comfortable, and there is ample parking available nearby, including a public carpark adjacent to the church.


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



And in a surprise presentation to Steve Hallberg, Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire’s Mark Master Masons, the Mark Masons of Cumberland and Westmorland added a further £2,000 to the pot, taking the donation to £77,000.

The fund has been set up by the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, which is bringing together fundraising efforts behind the long-term recovery plan which will swing into action once the floodwaters have receded.

Already there have been about 500 people from a number of agencies working around the clock to provide an emergency response to the incident, which has forced the evacuation of almost 300 homes.

But it’s the recovery phase that will take time, and that’s where the Freemasons’ donation will be directed. Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler said: ‘To see anyone driven from their home by flooding is heartbreaking, especially when it’s in your own community.

‘The emergency response to the incident has been extremely effective through the days after the torrential rainfall followed by the breach of the banks of the River Steeping, but that is only part of the story. The recovery phase will be long, and will take considerable effort.

‘I’m pleased that we have been able to move so quickly in making this donation of £75,000. It underlines that Lincolnshire Freemasons are determined to help put the heart back into this part of Lincolnshire, and we have every confidence that the Lincolnshire Community Foundation will make sure the money is used effectively in making that happen.’

The donation is made up of three Masonic grants of £25,000 each, from The Province of Lincolnshire, the Mark Benevolent Fund, and the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The latter two are national charities subscribed to by Freemasons all over the country, including those in Lincolnshire.

James Murphy, Joint CEO of the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, said: ‘There are lots of people for whom properties in Wainfleet are their “forever home”. We shall be doing what we can to return things to normal for this community. It’s when something like this happens that you find out how good a community is, and Wainfleet’s is particularly strong.

‘The Lincolnshire Community Foundation is working in partnership with the Recovery Coordinating Group to raise funds and support Wainfleet and the surrounding area. Money donated will help to relieve hardship, complete repairs, make good loss or damage, help to prevent the flooding happening again, and to improve the response in the event that it ever does. 100% of donations will be spent in and around Wainfleet.’

2nd Northern Masonic Variety Show – Final donation from Bradfordians Craft Lodge

Many of you will remember the very successful 2nd Northern Masonic Variety Show which was held at Bradford Grammar School in April 2018.

The Show was organised by members of Bradfordians Craft Lodge No 9886 and Bradfordians Lodge also ran the bars at the event, with all proceeds going to the West Yorkshire 2023 MBF Festival.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, but just as importantly the event raised a very significant amount for our 2023 Festival and for the Mark Benevolent Fund.

The final handover of proceeds took place at the Installation Meeting of Bradfordians Lodge on 12th January 2019, with the Provincial Grand Master , R.W.Bro. Jim Steggles, being presented with a cheque for £1416, bringing the final income from the Show to over £12,000. A wonderful effort by everyone concerned.

The Provincial Grand Master then informed the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Mark Sheldon,  that the amount raised actually qualified Bradfordians Lodge for a Grand Patron Gold Award from the M.B.F., and to the surprise of everyone present went on to present the Lodge with a certificate to recognise that achievement.

An excellent result all round – and long may the excellent relationship between the Craft and the Mark in this Province continue.

A Concert with the ‘Real Elvis Presley’ at Mirfield

Well that was how it was billed and it could very well have been so for those who attended on Sunday, 2nd December had a wonderful Steak Pie, chips and peas Lunch surrounded by two and a half hours of entertainment. I do mean entertainment for the Tribute act, ‘Kirk Kreole’ made it so with humour, particularly with the Ladies including Mrs Ann Broadbent who can vouch for that, just the look on her face had Chris Oldfield and I in laughter.

He was supported by the ‘real Elvis’, as can be seen in the photograph having lost quite a few inches in height but not in girth, yes he does look remarkably like the organiser of the event, W.Bro. Rod Dyer. This was the second )me that Kirk has performed at Mirfield in 2018, together the events have raised one thousand one hundred pounds for the WYMBFF 2023, well done Rod. A great deal of information was forthcoming about Elvis, his life and )mes, through a Quiz that Rod had put together prior to the first spot. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi in January 1935 he became the King of Rock and roll and reigned supreme for many years with numbers such as, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound dog, Jailhouse Rock and Love me Tender, all of which were in Kirk’s repertoire together with many others.




We talk a lot about having functions to enjoy ourselves whilst raising Funds for the Festival, this was a perfect example of how to do it!!. I was never an Elvis fan but he was brought to life before us and very enthusiastically thanked and applauded when he concluded; We started at 1 p.m. and made for our cars at 4.30 p.m., three and a half hours of entertainment and food for TWENTY POUNDS, it is a no brainer. I am sure that he will be back next year , my recommendation DO NOT MISS IT.

Kirk then sent Rod the following; ‘Just wanted to say that on behalf on me and my family thank you for the opportunity to come down and perform at the lodge yesterday. The crowd was fantastic and we enjoyed being in your company. Thanks for looking a>er us and I hope you have a great Xmas and new year Rod and we hope to see you again in 2019. Best wishes and kindest regards always flower, Kirk and family’. Flower a favourite word of Rod , Bob On

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