With ‘Freemasons in the community’ emblazoned on sky blue tee shirts, a brilliant day was enjoyed by Fylde Freemasons, who openly walked and cycled in the community. The object of all this exercise was to raise our profile and to raise monies for the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Participants included Assistant Provincial Masters David Winder, who ‘got on his bike’ and Harry Cox, who chose the more sedate pace of Shanks’s pony.
The South Fylde Cycling Group who are in the process of having bespoke Masonic logos on cycling attire for their adventures, were out in force with South Fylde Group Chairman Ian Ward, having left his retro steed, which is well known for the odd puncture, at home. Instead, he set forth on a more modern beast. Ian, of course is known for being given an event nickname and on this occasion, it was ‘nobly knees’.
The bikers route took them from the Masonic Hall in Poulton-le-Fylde to the Palace at St Annes, thence to the Masonic Halls at Adelaide Street, Blackpool, the Esplanade at Fleetwood and finally to West Drive at Cleveleys. A good average speed of 20 plus miles per hour with the following breeze found them in good spirits at Fleetwood
However, the return journey was particularly challenging from Fleetwood to Poulton and Lytham, where, cycling into the wind, even 10mph was a challenge. A distance of 35 miles was covered by David Winder on his faithful steed. David said: “It was great fun with some cheering camaraderie. On several occasions along Blackpool promenade I heard comments from people simply saying ‘look at that – Freemasons cycling!’ What a wonderful day.”
Harry Cox was joined by Blackpool Group Chairman John Turpin and others for the walk from Adelaide Street to West drive and all were pleased by the appearance of the sun to warm them on their way. North Fylde Group Chairman Duncan Smith led a contingent of hikers from the Esplanade south towards Cleveleys. They too enjoyed the pleasantly warm weather and made good time towards the refreshments available at the Masonic Hall at West Drive.
South Fylde Group Vice Chairman John-Robbie Porter, having taken to his bike, left his ever-supportive wife Sue to lead several hikers from the Palace at St Annes to Blackpool. These included John and Cath Lee, with several of their children (affectionately known as the five-a-side football team).
From the Lodge of Fidelity No 1256 was chief organizer Geoff Fogden and his wife Linda. Joining them from the same lodge was Patrick Dwyer who took the plaudits for ‘beyond the call of duty’ prize. As other South Fylde hikers took to cars to ferry them from Blackpool to Cleveleys, Patrick walked on to complete a double section walk. Every credit! Patrick deserved his pint at the end. He received significant applause on his arrival at the Park Club at West Drive. A precise figure of sponsorship and donations is not yet available but organisers are confident that it will amount to several £100s. Watch out on the Provincial and group websites for more information on Masonic Charitable Foundation Festival events.