Following on from the success of the previous year’s outing into the public eye, the Leyland Group of Freemasons decided not only to give it another go, but to enter into the communities of three towns across the district.
This year the Leyland Group wanted to join in with their local communities across South Ribble as well as in their home town of Leyland. Group publicity officer Andy Sumner gathered the festival committee together earlier in the year and challenged his team to step up to the mark and therefore prepare to attend three events during the summer months and whilst the Masonic season was in recess.
The first of the events was at Penwortham Gala, and it was during a sun drenched day that the festival got under way. Neil Ward had taken on the organisation of this particular event and the team met up in Hill Road South, Penwortham ready for a 12:30pm start of the procession. There were seven in the team at this event and whilst John Anderson drove our trailer along the lengthy route, the others walked behind and distributed leaflets to the festival onlookers who were enjoying the parade in the sunshine.
Eventually, the parade twisted its way around Penwortham and culminated at the fairground on Hurst Grange Park. The team disbanded with some of the members making for the Provincial membership trailer which had been set up earlier in the day. There Neil and Dave Coulson met up with Neil Hartley and Dick Griffiths who had volunteered a few hours of their time to join in the event. There were a good number of visitors to the stand with more than a few taking away a better understanding of what Freemasonry is about.
The next event on the agenda was the one in the group’s home town of Leyland. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t too kind on this particular day but nevertheless a good time seemed to be had by all. Again, there were lots of onlookers lining the streets who watched as the procession advanced its way through Leyland town centre, starting in King Street and culminating at Worden Park, where the festival ground was situated. The procession team numbered nine on this occasion and they were well prepared with clear plastic rain macs; this way the group members including Des Hatton, John Anderson, Wayne Haslam and Patrick Martindale could still show off their regalia without it getting wet. A good reception by the townsfolk and visitors alike encouraged everyone in the parade to put on a smile. Leaflets were once again distributed by the members before joining the trailer on the park where Graham Fish and Terry Challinor had already setup the stall.
Lostock Hall was by far the hottest of the three days where the group had a good turnout of members both in the procession and on the fairground itself. Dave Bishop had volunteered to organise this particular event on behalf of the group given that this was his home town. His planning was spot on and once again Teddies for Loving Care, (TLC), joined the group on the fairground as they had on both previous occasions attracting many visitors to their stall, manned by Mike Knowles. Bill Bruce brought his Harley Davidson motorbike along for the festival goers to take a look around and have pictures taken sitting on the bike. As expected this enticed lots of visitors to both the TLC and the membership stalls, with Graham Miller on hand to answer any questions.
Over each of the festivals the group members turned out in support of their local community and the ones who felt comfortable wearing their regalia did so with heads held high and showing it off with pride. The aim of joining in the events was to show the support given to both local and national charities over the past year and of course to inform members of the public just what Freemasonry is all about.