The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

Newspaper coverage of flood relief pumps

In an article published on the 1st September 2016; The Harrogate Advertiser reports how the people of Tadcaster were left ‘indebted’ after one of the emergency flood pumps was called into action just 5 days after being presented to the town.

The two pumps were made possible by donations from West Riding Craft and Mark Master Masons.

The full article is available in The Harrogate Advertiser here

More information on the pumps here

Fun in the Sun 002

The pumps being presented to the community.


Tadcaster Emergency Flood Relief Pumps Already put to Good Use

One of the emergency flood relief pumps was called into action on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 to save the Tadcaster Albion’s Football Ground from flooding.

It appears that a storm drain was back filling from the river, the river levels rose over night, and one of the outflows non return valves malfunctioned and appears to have remained open slightly. The West Pump was deployed, and we managed to clear the area in an hour.

Thanks go once again to the Yorkshire West Riding Craft Masons and the West Yorkshire Mark Masons for supplying these Pumps.

Tadcaster Bridge

West pump in action


Thank you from the victims of the York and Tadcaster Floods

On the 10 June 2016, the Two Ridings Community Foundation organised a thank you meeting for the donors to the York Flood Appeal, at Brew York, Walmgate, York.  Brew York was an embryonic business that had just started when the Boxing Day floods hit the area.

The purpose of the meeting was to allow the victims of the floods to thank some of the main donors to the York Floods Relief Fund, which also included flood relief for Tadcaster within the Masonic Province of Yorkshire West Riding. The organisations which attended included Nestle, the Rotarians and, of course, the Freemasons of North and East Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

Nestle had donated £100,000 which started the fund off. This was quickly followed by the Craft Freemasons Grand Charity donating £100,000 to the flood appeals for Cumbria, West Yorkshire and York.  The Craft Freemasons of Yorkshire North & East Ridings donated another £25,000 to the Two Ridings Flood Appeal, to be used for the needs of those victims in York.

At the same time, the Mark Master Masons of North & East Yorkshire donated £25,000 for the flood victims in York and the Mark Master Masons of West Yorkshire a further £5,000 ring fenced for use in Tadcaster, where a road bridge had collapsed causing havoc to transport. West Yorkshire Mark also made similar donations to Community Foundations in Calderdale, Leeds and Bradford and donated £3,000 to the Tadcaster Emergency Action Group via the Tadcaster Community Charity ‘i2i’. All Mark donations were financed from the Mark Benevolent Fund.

The Communications Officer for Yorkshire North & East Ridings Craft Freemasons, W.Bro. Tony Burke, represented the Craft. The Mark Master Masons of North & East Yorkshire and West Yorkshire were represented by their respective Provincial Grand Masters, R.W.Bro. Bob Clancy (North and East Yorkshire) and  R.W.Bro. Jim Steggles (West Yorkshire) together with their wives.

Provincial Grand Masters Jim Steggles (West Yorkshire) and Bob Clancy (North and East Yorkshire) with Jan Garrill, the Chief Executive Officer for the Two Ridings Community Foundation

Provincial Grand Masters Jim Steggles (West Yorkshire) and Bob Clancy (North and East Yorkshire) with Jan Garrill, the Chief Executive Officer for the Two Ridings Community Foundation

The afternoon was a wonderful opportunity to talk to some of the victims, one of whom told all present that he was so humbled by the response from people whom he had never met. He was actually in Scotland when the floods hit York.  He saw the reports on television and cut short his trip to return home.  On his return, he found his house under 4 feet of water.  When he eventually managed to get into his house, he discovered that most of his treasured possessions, his photographs of his Mum and Dad and his daughter growing up, had all been lost.  His passport and personal papers were also a soggy mess.

His house was uninhabitable and he was told that it may be months before anyone could live there. He had contacted his landlord, who couldn’t offer him alternative accommodation.  He was desperate for help and had to move in with his daughter, sleeping on her sofa while her family made room for him.

He then made an approach to the Two Ridings Community Foundation, who sorted out accommodation for him and gave him some short-term financial support to allow him to re-build his life.  As the time went on, they supported him not only physically but also mentally to overcome this tragic event in his life. He could not thank the donors enough and in his last sentence to the gathering he said, “It really does restore your faith in humanity.”

The Floods in West Yorkshire – The Mark joins the fight in the big clean-up operation

Following the devastating flooding across Northern England during the Festive Season, the Mark Province, the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and the Mark Benevolent Fund have been working together to identify Mark Masons who have been affected and to provide assistance in local communities for the big cleanup operation.

The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust initially donated £5,000 to the Mark Province of Cumberland and Westmoreland, when many parts of that Province were flooded before Christmas, but it soon became apparent that much of our own Province would be affected by the appalling and unprecedented weather conditions which were to follow.

Many parts of the Calder Valley, Leeds, Bradford and Tadcaster were soon under water as well as York in our sister Province of North and East Yorkshire. Harrowing scenes appeared on our television screens as the weather conditions worsened and the floods became increasingly widespread.

All Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Lodge Secretaries were contacted and asked to work with their Lodge Almoners to confirm that all our own members were safe and well and to identify if any immediate help was needed. The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and the Provincial Grand Almoner were on standby to help and the Mark Benevolent Fund was contacted, resulting in an immediate donation to the Province from the MBF of £25,000.

Thankfully, only a few of our Mark members were personally affected and these were already being dealt with by CHOICES, the newly established branch of WRMCL designed to provide aid and assistance to Yorkshire West Riding Craft Freemasons who are in need. This has left the Mark more able to help out in the local communities.

We have, therefore, agreed to match Craft donations of £5,000 each to the Community Foundation for Calderdale, the Leeds Community Foundation and the Bradford District Community Fund, which are charities orchestrating emergency relief throughout the towns and villages most seriously affected. They provide relief grants to people whose homes have been flooded to meet the immediate financial burdens associated with temporary accommodation, pumping, drying and emergency repairs. They also provide cleaning up materials such as mops, buckets and disinfectant. These first three donations may be followed by additional donations to other parts of the Province affected by the floods.

The Province and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust are acutely aware of the devastation created by the appalling weather conditions and the unimaginable damage it has caused in many of our communities. Jointly we will continue to monitor the situation and do anything possible to provide assistance where appropriate.

In the meantime if you know of any Mark Master Mason who has been personally affected by the floods, please advise them to contact both their Craft and Mark Lodge Almoners as soon as possible.