In 1342 an early reference to the existence of a placename of Grassendale arises from a deed granting Alan Le Norreys of Speke a plot of land named as ‘Gresselonddale’ stretching from the sea to Aykeburgh (Aigburth), which in those days was part of Garston. The Masonic Hall at Garston was aptly the location for the consecration of Grassendale Lodge No 4808 in 1926.
Somewhat earlier, Alliance Lodge No 667 was consecrated in 1856 at the Masonic Rooms, Roby, for which a historical search, has not been able to ascertain the location. However, shortly after the lodge moved to The Stanley Arms Hotel, Roby in 1859 for just over a century before moving to Hope Street, Liverpool in 1968.
The Stanley Arms Hotel, Huyton with Roby, appears to have been a focal point for many social and community events. In 1866 it was the location for an Athletics Day for workers of the London and North-Western Railway, with medals for the day awarded by none other than Robertson Gladstone, who living nearby in Court Hey House, was also a member of St George’s Lodge of Harmony No 32. One wonders if Robertson Gladstone was a visitor of Alliance Lodge in those days.
The amalgamation of these two old and honourable lodges, becoming the Grassendale Alliance Lodge No 667 occurred in 2009, moving to the Britannia Adelphi Hotel in 2011 and is now a proud member of the Gladstone Group.
The lodge was opened in solemn form by the WM Edwin Ewan, and following the lead of director of ceremonies Mick Molyneux, announced that David Hawkes, the representative of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, stood without. David was then conducted into the lodge, accompanied by Patrick Kent, Secretary of the Gladstone Group. Edwin welcomed David into the lodge and David responded saying that he had especially been looking forward to the evening.
Edwin requested David Foulkes to honour the lodge and occupy the chair of King Solomon. Having done so, David asked that master elect James Horne be presented to him. Keith Reid who was standing in as senior deacon, collected James and presented him to the master.
After assenting to the necessary qualifications, James made his way to the masters’ pedestal and delivered a fine display of ritual in recital of his obligation as master elect. A board of installed masters was convened and David presented a fine ceremony, duly installing James into the chair of King Solomon for what would be his seventh time.
After giving the necessary salutations, David closed the board of installed masters and requested that Masons be admitted in each degree in turn. With a contingent of light blue Masons present within the lodge, the salutations were completed in turn in each degree, and not to be outdone Patrick Kent joined in the salutations with the entered apprentices of the lodge.
It was pleasing to see junior brethren encouraged and excelling in the display of ritual of the working tools in each degree. Third degree by Sean Nolan, second degree by Steve Cummings and finally first degree by Filip Nastasie. All three were superb and a fine example of junior brethren enjoying their Freemasonry.
The established brethren were also excellent in their command of ritual, with Mick Molyneux delivering an impassioned address to the master, James Horne. The appointment of officers soon followed, and again it was very pleasing to see the appointment of offices of the lodge going to ‘light blues’ and sharing the responsibility of running of a lodge.
It would be amiss at this stage to omit the excellent organist of the lodge Colin Porter, who played very well and provided a musical interlude to the proceedings throughout the ceremony. With the opening and closing odes being a particular treat with the very thoughtfully provided song sheets allowing for accompaniment of the songs with the correct words!
At the festive board, David Hawkes commented on the ceremony itself and how pleased he was to see that the lodge was obviously thriving and the involvement and commitment of the junior brethren in the running of the lodge. He also congratulated the lodge on their fine donation to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity of £250. A sentiment that was also echoed by new master James Horne, who also commented on how pleased he was to be presiding over the lodge again.
James thanked both David Foulkes and Edwin Ewan and had great pleasure in investing Edwin with a past masters’ jewel. Music plays a big part in the festive board and organist Colin was on hand throughout for the various songs sung at the festive board to accompany the respective toasts.
James thanked both David and Patrick and stating that he had a pleasant duty to attend to presented both with flowers in recognition of their support. As with all celebrations they have to end, and with the rising of tyler Gary Friday, the tyler’s toast was duly done.