The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Category Cleeve & Whitehead

A day on the Calder Hebble Navigation, spent with St Chad Mark Lodge and friends.

A lovely day spent with the Safe Anchor Trust Ltd. on the Calder Hebble Navigation. The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust has supported this wonderful charity which provides trips for disabled adults and children, and those living with life’s disadvantages. The trust has three specially adapted narrow boats , which last year gave 7,000 adults and children, with all different sorts of needs, a trip on the water. Now that is some achievement!! 

Thank you St Chad for organising the trip and also for your ongoing support of the Safe Anchor Trust.

Also thanks to our Provincial Grand Chaplain Roger Quick for his musical entertainment, enjoyed by all even with Alex Steele singing along in the background.




Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, Eulogy in respect of Mrs Judith Mann

This is a Eulogy given at the Annual Meeting on the 2nd April by the Chairman of Trustees Jim Stanley.

‘’It s my privilege today to pay tribute to a Lady who was nothing short of a Legend in this Province.

Judith Mann ,Welfare Officer of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, and beloved wife of the late V.W.Bro. Philip Mann who worked alongside Judith, caring for the Brethren and dependants of the Province.

Judith was involved with the Cleeves and Whitehead as Welfare Officer virtually at it’s launch and as well as carrying out the duties of that office also took on the duties of helping with the annual holiday to Llandudno. Pretty soon she and Freda Buxton were running it. Travelling with the party, staying at the hotel, and looking after the Brethren seeing that they were enjoying themselves and that all went smoothly.

That was Judith… if it’s worth doing make sure that it’s done right. And she did. She gained a reputation in West Yorkshire as a hard working member of the Team, someone who could be trusted and whom you knew would not let you down. She took great pride in helping Brethren in distress and would move mountains to get a result. Everyone who came in contact with her had nothing but admiration for her tireless work. 

In 2010 she was presented with the P.G.M.’s Distinguished Service Award and we were all of the opinion that it was a justly deserved Honour in recognition of all that hard work which she had done on behalf of the Trust and the Province. 

Many Tributes have been paid to Judith following her passing on the 14th February, pointing out that her death was the end of an era….not so,… it was the end of a Golden Era..

Judith Mann will always be remembered as a Lady with Integrity, Compassion, and Loyalty, a staunch supporter of the Mark Degree and, in particular, the Members of this Province.  She will be missed.

Launch of the Mobile Cancer Care Unit for West Yorkshire.

On Monday, 5th November, the Cancer Charity, Hope for Tomorrow, and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust officially unveiled the state-of-the art Unit which has four treatment chairs and has been designed to enable flexibility for treatment locations. 

The Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Province of West Yorkshire, James Steggles spoke on behalf of the Mark Benevolent Fund (MBF) and confirmed that this is part of an initiative being rolled out across the country. The MBF. the Charity arm of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons has funded the purchase of seven units at a cost of circa £2m and work has begun on an eighth. Travelling distances in many parts of the country can be quite long, not good news when Chemotherapy is involved, and these units will take the treatment to the Patient and have a significant impact on the quality of their live.


 The MBF supports many other worthy causes, in the last year£437,000, has been utilised in grants to 26 Blood Bike Charities throughout England and Wales. 17 bikes and 9 cars have been handed over. The next major project is already underway, the provision of 52 Ambulances and support vehicles for St John ambulance, total grant circa £3m.

The Mobile Cancer Chemotherapy Care Units (MCCU) is owned and maintained by ‘Hope for Tomorrow’ and will be provided along with a Nurses’ Support Vehicle (NSV) which allows the nursing team to travel to and from the locations of the MCCU; these locations are determined by the hospital, depending on where the patient need is greatest. Megan Broadley, Hope for Tomorrow Partnership Manager said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and look forward to developing this further to make the MCCU a success.” Stacey Hunter, Chief Operating Officer of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is helping us bring our ambition to, wherever possible, offer patients care closer to home so that they don’t have to spend their valuable time travelling to hospital.”

Long may the excellent work of the ‘Hope for Tomorrow’ Charity continue to improve the lives of so many at a very difficult time. 

Duncan Smith, Communications Manager.

West Yorkshire Province  of Mark Master Masons.

2018 Barge Pull


So who in their right mind would sign up for an extremely strenuous challenge when the recruitment poster features an Undertaker in a Kitchener/Grim Reaper ‘I Want You’ pose?Furthermore, this incredibly physical test of endurance was destined to take place during the hottest week since the earth cooled and involved dragging a 47’ barge 41 nautical miles through Weil’s infested waters!

Well, it actually turned out to be relatively easy press-ganging enough brethren for this Herculean task, especially as every pound raised was destined for the 2023 Mark Benevolent Fund Festival. The creators of this crazy jaunt were Commodore John Fred Clough who, at great personal sacrifice, volunteered to be the cargo for the duration of its nine-day epic voyage, and the Skipper, Michael Brearley and his wife Susan who kept all the crews well supplied with tea and coffee, the three of them spent the whole journey on the boat. By day the Commander sat on the prow, with a spotted handkerchief knotted on his head and twine around his trouser legs to keep the rats off, whittling spoons and making pegs (or whatever bargees do). By night he embarked on his own personal challenge to drink every pub dry en-route and looking at him he did have some success and discharged the duties of his new role with customary vigour but it was hard work stopping him selling Mark tokens as lucky charms to unsuspecting passers by!

Michael Holgate recalled his day as a Dragee, with the rest of the brethren from Old York RAMs, coincided with the Tour de Yorkshire blasting through Skipton where progress was somewhat enhanced by a few wannabe racers doing time-trials on the tow path. They were, however, motivated to carry on tugging under the blistering sun by Jan Johnson, Andy’s long-suffering partner, doing her Kate Winslet Titanic impersonation (no, the part where she stood on the prow, not the one you’re thinking of).  They also came up with the idea of dog, not horse, power as can be seen by the photo of Jilly Wilkinson and her helpers. There was also a rumour,that I thought not well founded, that Commodore John Fred had splashed out on an investment, I may have got tha wrong, see photo below!!

All in all it was great fun and a fantastic success. Everyone we met was really supportive with shouts of encouragement like ‘You’ve lost your horse’ and ‘Has it broken down?’ But seriously the generosity of the public was unbelievable; one couple donating a generous £20 and their children being given a short trip on board.

Thanks to everyone who donated, to Commodore Clough, who pulled every day and was master of the Locks and bridges, Skipper Mike and Susan for keeping us watered and steering the barge (apart from when he decided to do a bit of dredging – how we all laughed at that} also ‘Steady as she goes’ Eddie Wilkinson for co-ordinating it and his great idea for all the texts saying the PGM was going to be at the finishing line each day. It was a great ploy to get numbers up! Quote of the week: Philip Oldfield using one of Newton’s Laws of Motion – ‘It is not possible to push an object you are stood on.’ Lovely.

Finally and most importantly, The Pullers

Day 1: Spooners Mob; Steve Spooner and Richard Haigh,Brighouse, John Vause, Haywra, and Edward Wilkinson, Old York etc. Note, John Vause stayed on the boat for two nights and completed three days pulling.

Day 2:  Evilles Marauders, Peter Eville, Lascelles, Keith Payling and Steven Hides, Cleeves. John Smith, Sincerity

Day 3:​ Fearnley Mark: Chris Oldfield, Rod Dyer, Rob Batchelor (dad turned up at the end), Colin Simmons, Mark Kenyon, Martin Charlesworth, Philip Oldfield, Dave Glew, Steve Broadbent, Brian Smart, George Smart.

Day 4:​ The Wilkinsons; Eddie Wilkinson, wife Faye and her sister, Sarah plus friend, Bryan Williams.

Day 5: Old York T.I. RAM: Eddie Wilkinson, Andy Johnson, Alan Pendleton, Ian Wilkinson, Michael Holgate, Will Holgate and Jan Johnson who acted as Captain/Steward.

Day 6:​ Old York T.I.  Mark: Roy Mallinson, David and Mrs Northing, Mike Lawrance, Niall Dew, John Harrison, Phil Benson, Alistair Mcintyre and Edward Wilkinson, who by now was getting under everybodys feet.

Day 7:  Integrity Mark; Frank Milner, Richard Puttrell, Tony Parker, Duncan Smith, Ian Storey and Alan Doyle, what no Edward Wilkinson!

Day 8: Masters in the Chair day; Eric Shaw, Haywra, Ian Cotten, Wharfedale and Mike   Brearley, Integrity and Aire ferry.

Day 9:​ The last Minute Crowd; Final day and a bonanza of those wishing to be there at  the end, Ian Cotten, David and Ben Holland, Wharfedale. Edward Wilkinson Old York etc. Mark Holland, Haywra. Steven Hides, Cleeves. Philip Drury, James Ambler and Jim Reynolds, Escafeld supported by Mrs Ruth Drury, acknowledged by the Skipper to be an admirable Puller, no we are not taking that any further.

Final note, total amount raised is of the order of £7000, including Gift Aid but you would all wish to know that this includes the sum of £840 donated by W. Bro. Mike Brearley. Together with gift aid that amounts to £1050, the cost of the charter of the Boat. Very many thanks W.Bro. Mike. You can still donate at event @

Horatio Holgate, Commander Old York RAM TI (The Flagship Lodge of the Province you know)  and Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith, P.G.S.D. Communications Manager the Cabin Boy!

Psst Not really the Flag Ship you know!


Place in wallet, Take home, Donate, Repeat

At your next installation meeting you may notice something next to the canape fork.  Cards have been printed showing the new URLs for the Cleeves and Whitehead MyDonate pages.  One link takes you to a general donation page which has information about the Trust and its relationship with the MBF during the Festival.  The other takes you to a specific event page which at the moment lands on a page about the Barge Pull in May.

The instructions for the cards are as follows:

place in wallet, take home, donate, repeat as often as you like.