City of Lancaster are ‘away match’ cup winners

Strangely enough, this isn’t a football related success story but something of a more cerebral nature. On a wet and windy evening, a raiding party led by the master of City of Lancaster Lodge No 281, sneaked over the Yorkshire border to visit Alcuin Lodge No 6300 in the historic city of York. Both lodges are members of the Universities Scheme.

The presentation of the ‘Lancashire survival hamper’. Pictured from left to right, are: Michael Cole, Paul Finlay, Graham Dodd and Graham Rotherham.

The objective was to acquire the David K Williamson Cup (DKW Cup), also known as the Loving Cup, which is highly prized amongst the lodges who are members of the scheme. The cup was envisaged as a means of encouraging visits between lodges who are involved in the Universities Scheme. It requires a minimum of four members to visit the lodge presently holding the cup and to make a claim. If more than one lodge with the necessary number visiting is in attendance, it is awarded to the lodge which has travelled the furthest.

The DKW Cup was presented by the founding president David K Williamson, a Past Assistant Grand Master, to mark the 10th anniversary of the scheme.

The travelling members from City of Lancaster Lodge were Michael Cole WM, Jake Arkinstall, Graham Rotherham and Paul Finlay. On their arrival in York, they were made to feel very welcome by the members of Alcuin Lodge, led by Graham Dodd WM and his senior warden Alister Heaton, who was their host for the evening.

Whilst in the lodge, the visitors from Lancaster had the opportunity to witness a third degree ceremony. This was conducted with integrity and sincerity by all the officers of the lodge and the occasion was made a little more special for the candidate as Peter Chew, the Provincial Junior Grand Warden for Yorkshire, North and East Ridings was in attendance.

The David K Williamson Cup, the Universities Scheme Travelling Loving Cup

Following the meeting, the celebration of the DKW Cup began at the festive board. The cup was filled with a champagne cocktail, the recipe for which is a closely guarded secret and is known only by the previous holders. It was then passed around the brethren who took turns in drinking from it and toasting each other’s good health. Once it had finished circulating the room, Michael Cole rose and made an official challenge for the cup on behalf of the Lancastrians, which on this occasion was successful.

He said he was very happy to accept the cup on behalf of the City of Lancaster Lodge, especially on behalf of the brethren who had made the effort to travel over the Pennines to claim it. He continued by apologising to the members of Alcuin Lodge for stealing it away from them so soon. It had, he noted, only been in their possession for six days! He also couldn’t resist mentioning that history reported that this wasn’t the first time that the House of Lancaster had celebrated a victory over the House of York, an observation that was greeted with much laughter.

Before departing on their homeward journey, the visitors presented their hosts with a ‘Lancashire survival hamper’ which included teabags, black pudding, Lancashire cheese and bottled beer. The gift was very well received by all, but especially by some of the Alcuin members who discovered to their great surprise that their current master was in fact Lancashire born and bred! Finally, a very warm and sincere invitation was extended by the City of Lancaster members to their ‘white rose’ colleagues, that they should make a reciprocal visit to the ‘land of the red rose’ in the near future.

As the DKW Cup may only be in the possession of City of Lancaster Lodge for a short time, they extend an open invitation to anyone who would care to join them at their next meeting. Details can be found at:



Article and photographs courtesy of Michael Cole.