Every year in September, buildings that are often not open to the public throw open their doors and invite visitors to explore these hidden or forgotten jewels of local culture and heritage. This event is publicised as the National Heritage Open Days. Masons meeting at Kerneford Hall, the home of Freemasonry in Carnforth, were proud to be a part of this regular event and invited members of the public to take a tour around their building. Local Masons Phil Newby, Roger Nevinson and Alan Williams were on hand to offer explanations or answer any questions. They were joined for part of the day by several other Masons including local group chairman Jim Wilson and vice chairman Peter Pemberton.
Throughout the day, a steady stream of visitors took up the open invitation and were guided around the hall. The symbolism of the Masonic furnishings was explained and information given on the aims and objectives of Masonry, together with details of its significant activity in charitable giving. The history of Freemasonry in the local area also drew a great deal of interest from the visitors who spanned the age ranges from ‘tot’s to seniors. Many admitted to being totally unaware that a Masonic hall existed in Carnforth and said how much they welcomed the chance to view the hall and learn about Freemasonry.
The first meeting place used by local Masons was above the old stables at the Royal Station Hotel on Market Street until a dedicated Masonic hall was created above the former Co-op premises at the junction of New Street and John Street in 1977. The premises now occupied have seen many uses, mainly remembered locally as the original Church of England primary school and latterly, prior to its purchase by the Carnforth Masonic Hall Company in 2012, as a nightclub.
The modern and impressive range of facilities available at Kerneford Hall is the result of the dedication and hard work of local Masons. The premises management team welcome enquiries for private hire as the venue is fully licensed and has in-house catering facilities. The hall has already hosted weddings, birthday parties and social events as well as catering for business meetings.
Other local venues that were open for exploration included Carnforth Station Heritage Centre, Morecambe Winter Gardens, Morecambe Town Hall and Lune Bank Gardens, Halton.
Further details on the facilities available and enquiries concerning private hire of Keneford Hall can be found at the website: http://www.kernefordehall.co.uk Information about the Heritage Open Days is available at http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk