The Eccles and District Group of lodges and chapters meet in two Freemasons halls which are situated in Eccles and Swinton, both are in the Metropolitan Borough of Salford. The eastern boundary immediately abuts the city of Salford which is in the neighbouring Masonic Province of East Lancashire and many lodges show the influence of the happy mixing of traditions from both east and west. The name of one of the lodges meeting at Swinton Freemasons hall, ‘Border Lodge’, indicates the close affinity of the group to our neighbouring Province.
Swinton Freemasons Hall, was opened in 1964 and is on Hospital Road, Pendlebury next to where a children’s hospital used to be. Nine lodges and one chapter meet in this hall.
Eccles Freemasons Hall is situated on Half Edge Lane, which was originally a private house built in 1846 called ‘Elm Bank’. Formerly used as a convalescent home during World War One, it was purchased in 1921 by seven Eccles lodges and was adapted for use as a Masonic hall. In 1953 a ballroom was added and in 1979 a new kitchen and dining room were constructed. It is now the home of five lodges and three chapters.
Eccles Freemasons Hall is the base for the Salford Masonic Fellowship, Eccles Probus Club and a line-dancing class. Swinton Masonic Hall hosts a number of communal activities including dog shows, rabbit shows, blood transfusion sessions and modern dancing.
As well as supporting Provincial and national Masonic charities, charitable donations are regularly made to local charities. These include contributions to renovations and repairs at Eccles and Worsley Parish Churches. In addition there have been donations to the Parkinson’s Disease Society, the British Diabetic Society, the British Red Cross, the local Army Cadet Force and a community centre.
In 1975, ‘Ecclesholme’, a retirement home of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, was built on land adjacent to our hall and since then there has been a close association between both Eccles and Swinton members in fund-raising for the ‘Friends of Ecclesholme’ and in providing accommodation for the annual summer and Christmas fairs.
The Swinton Charitable Trust Limited was formed in 1994 and has donated over £250,000 to non-Masonic registered charities which include, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Macmillan Cancer Relief, Salford Heart Care, the Rainbow Family Trust, the Brain, Spinal and Breast Cancer Units at Salford Royal Hospital, St Ann’s Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Disease Society.