Bradfordians Lodge donates Variety Show proceeds to West Yorks Mark Benevolent Fund


Bradfordians WM Mark Sheldon, left, with W Bro Richard Putrell, the fund’s chairman.


BRADFORDIANS Lodge concert committee have handed over cheques totalling £10,860 to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund following the popular Northern Masonic Variety Show.

W Bro Richard Putrell, the fund’s chairman, accepted the cheques from Bradfordians WM Mark Sheldon at this month’s Regular Lodge meeting at Bradford Grammar School.

The money which comprised ticket sales, a raffle, auction and bar profits will support a project to provide 52 ambulances and support vehicles for St John Ambulance.

It was a special day for W Bro Sheldon who conducted an initiation ceremony for two Grammar School Old Boys, one of whom was his son, Alexander Mountain, a student at Lincoln University, and David Fear, a University of Salford student.

The proceedings were enhanced by the attendance of Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton who was in office as Director of Ceremonies.

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The Provincial Grand Master’s Message – JUNE 2018

Decorum Matters – Yes indeed it does! :- The Provincial Grand Master’s Fund :- The 2018 Provincial Quiz – An Outstanding Finale :- Provincial DCs’ Workshop : – General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) Training :- Communications – Further Successes :- November Remembrance Month – The “Masonic” Tie.


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The Provincial Grand Master’s Message – May 2018

Provincial Grand Lodge, Harrogate, May 8th:- 2018 Major Grants:- Provincial Office Team changes:- GDPR:- Universities Scheme:- Provincial Ties:- White Rose Magazine:- On the Horizon.


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The Provincial Grand Master’s Message – April 2018

Presentation of PAsstProvGM collar & jewel:- Goose Attack:- 2017/18 Acting Officers visit:- 2nd Northern Masonic Variety Show:- St. Georges Day:- London Annual Investiture:- Masonic Meeting Place Seminar:- Acting Officers Lodge 9645:- Looking Ahead Barometer:- Provincial Quiz Final.


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Disabled people step into a whole new world thanks to virtual reality and The Freemasons

Disabled people supported by a Harrogate charity will be able to step into a whole new world, thanks to the Freemasons.

In a bid to equip customers for independent living, Disability Action Yorkshire is turning to virtual reality to help train and prepare them for a host of everyday life experiences, including supermarket shopping and travelling by public transport.

Members of the town’s The Spa Lodge secured a grant of £2,000 from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, which has been used for the charity’s Virtual Independence Project to purchase a Garmin spherical camera, Oculus Go virtual reality headset and a new laptop computer to edit the recorded footage.

Disability Action Yorkshire Chief Executive Jackie Snape said: “Thanks to The Spa Lodge nominating us for this generous grant, our training sessions for customers will be totally revolutionised.

“Whilst many are keen to live as independently as possible, the reality is that some people have had little or no experience of everyday life. Our Virtual Independence Project will change all that.

“Our customers will be able to experience what it is like to travel on a bus independently, travel around a busy shopping centre or supermarket, or prepare and cook a simple meal.

“The aim is that once people have gained confidence in a virtual setting they will then go to try new experiences in daily life.”

Doug Mills, The Spa Lodge Charity Steward, said: “Charity is one of the three grand principles of Freemasonry, and I’m delighted that we have been able to support Disability Action Yorkshire in kick-starting their Virtual Independence Project.

“With the camera, the charity will now be able to develop a series of 360-degree videos, which will help train and prepare customers keen to explore new experiences.

“I tried the headset on myself, and whilst it was great fun I could see a real benefit for those who lack confidence in undertaking simple tasks which, to them, can seem like major obstacles.

“The visit to Disability Action Yorkshire’s Claro Road residential care home proved to be a very satisfying experience, particularly in the knowledge that Freemasons in The Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, have provided financial support to the wider community.”


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250-year-old masonic letter sent from Amsterdam discovered during Skipton lodge audit

A letter written more than 250 years ago in Amsterdam, congratulating the new master of a Leeds Masonic Lodge, has been discovered amongst the pages of a book in Skipton.

In the two-page letter penned in 1762, Lewis Bastide, a member of Golden Lion Lodge, also speaks of his experience with foreign lodges in the Dutch capital, and his intention to form an English lodge in Amsterdam.

The correspondence was unearthed by Chris Hill, secretary of Craven Lodge, during an audit of historical books and documents, where it was found in an envelope tucked into an old copy of a Book of Constitutions.

From records held at The Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London, The Golden Lion Lodge was warranted by the premier Grand Lodge of England on January 8, 1761, and numbered 258 on the Roll of Lodges, and initially called “A Masters Lodge”.

The Warrant for Lodge No 258 was issued by Lord Aberdour, Grand Master, and appointed Sir Henry Ibbetson to be Master, Lewis Bastide to be Senior Warden and George Lawman to be Junior Warden.

During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Sir Henry raised a corps of 100 men at his own expense and, in recompense for his loyalty, was created a Baronet.

Lewis Bastide was a prominent merchant in Leeds whilst George Lawman was a master Surgeon in the Army.

The lodge met at various taverns in Leeds including, from 1766, the Golden Lion, Briggate, from which the Lodge took its name in 1772.

However, it ceased to meet regularly from December 1780, and was erased on February 1, 1786.

The only information available about the Lodge’s members is a list of names which appears in a volume entitled List of Members 1770.

Chris Hill, Secretary of Craven Lodge, which meets at The Masonic Hall, Sackville Street in Skipton, said: “This wonderful letter was found totally by accident when I was conducting an audit of lodge possessions.

“It was in a plain envelope and fell out of the pages of an old Book of Constitutions. Despite it being there for goodness knows how long, the letter is in remarkably good condition, and is now carefully preserved.

“The contents of the letter are fascinating and give an insight into Freemasonry in Leeds and Amsterdam more than 250 years ago. It’s just a shame the name of the Master Lewis Bastide was writing to congratulate is not known.”


Below is the transcribed letter in full:

To Golden Lion Lodge, No. 285

Amsterdam – the 23rd March 1762

Dear Sir & Brother,

I should have troubled you before now with a few lines had my business allowed me the time to write them, which I hope you will excuse:  the friendship and brotherly love reigns no less betwixt us for all that, at least on my side and I dare flatter myself of its being the same on yours.

It is with great deal of pleasure that I have heard by Brother Geo. Scott that the Brethren have elected you Master of our Lodge, of which I wish you joy. What pleases me the most and what I can say without flattery is to see that our worthy Brethren have recompensed your merits, and that they have done but what you justly deserv’d  by the zeal you have always shew’d for the Craft, and the trouble you have taken in helping to make the Lodge upon a good footing and to maintain a good order in the same, which I doubt not but you’ll continue,  especially now that you are at the head of it, and to which I take the liberty to exhort you  and the rest of the Brethren , and to see our laws well observed by everyone in the Lodge. For what greater beauty and pleasure there can be than to see a good order kept in a Society? It is that only, that creates and maintains a good harmony and friendship amongst the members thereof.

You’ll have heard that I have had the pleasure of visiting some foreign Lodges, where there is Such a good order kept that you would be charmed with if you was to see it. I was admitted to one in Amsterdam where the Baron of Boetzelaer, Grand Master of Holland assisted, and as I had the honour of being placed by him, he asked me several questions about our Grand Lodge at London and how Masonry went on in England to which I answered in the best manner I was able. They did me the honour of drinking our Lodge’s prosperity which I return’d in a proper manner. I have met with some Brethren in Amsterdam, whom were made in England and being desirous to work in the English way I instruct them in the same and am going to form an English Lodge in the said place having accordingly wrote for a Constitution to Bro. Spencer.

I further observe that you are increased in number, and that you are removed to the old Kings Arms. I must beg to tell you upon the first article that you should be very discreet in taking people in; you know what we had resolved upon before I left Leeds, and I hope if we keep them rules our Lodge will flourish and will be composed of good sorts of people. In regard to the other article, that is about changing the Lodge, I did the necessary for the same and paid 2/6d to Bro. Spencer for it which please to note in conformity.

I cannot say to have anything further to write at present but to wish you health, happiness & prosperity in all your undertakings, and to Salute you as well as to the rest of the Brethren, by the number only known of the Enlighten’d mortals and believe me always Dear Sir and Brother

Your most obed’t and Humble Serv’t, and Affectionate Bro.

Lewis Bastide

PS I am afraid I shall not be so happy as to be with you before May. If I can be of any service to you or to any other friend please to give your letters to young Tennant who will take care to forward them to me.


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Freemasons give £1,000 towards digital radios for Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team will be able to replace aging analogue radios with new, digital replacements, thanks to a £1,000 donation from the Freemasons.

De Warren Lodge, which meets in Halifax and has close ties to the organisation, – Past Master, David Whitteron, is the rescue team’s new President – secured the money via numerous raffles and the individual generosity of members.

With GPS capability, the new radios will enhance the safety of rescuers in remote areas, and greatly improve the management of searches for missing and vulnerable persons, relaying the position of search parties to the control vehicle and base.

The team, which is part of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, is a Registered Charity, and is funded entirely through donations from the community, societies and local business.

The team members are all volunteers, on call 24/7 throughout every day of the year.

Details of the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team Team can be found at


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The Provincial Grand Master’s Message – March 2018

Ripon revisited – A Groundhog Day Stone Laying Ceremony, “Enough is Enough”, 2018 – “BEST YEAR EVER”!

Read our PGM’s March message at the link below:


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Northern Masonic Variety Show – not long to go, book your places!

High Rulers coming to Bradford

Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton, a Past Master of Bradfordians Lodge, will be joined by Mark Master Masons Pro Grand Master Raymond John Smith at the second Northern Masonic Variety show next month.

Venue for the musical and entertainment extravaganza is the splendid Gothic Price Hall at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday, 14 April, for a spectacular staged and managed by the incomparable Freddie “Parrot-face” Davies.

PGM David Pratt and Mark PGM James Steggles have booked their tickets and West Yorkshire Lord Lieutenant Dr Ingrid Roscoe will head a number of local dignitaries attending the prestigious fund-raising event.

Versatile violinist/electric violinist Lauren Hinds, who has entertained audiences across the UK, and impressionist Terry Webster, a one-man musical and comedy act, feature among an exciting line-up.

Tickets are £20 and a booking form can be downloaded here:
Variety Show Booking Form

This year’s proceeds will go to the West Yorkshire Mark Masons 2023 Festival and towards providing 52 ambulances and support vehicles for St John Ambulance.

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A Yorkshire Lodge in London? Find out more…

After a series of meetings between the two Yorkshire Provinces and with the assistance of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge it is proposed for a Lodge to be formed for Brethren and Gentlemen who are interested in becoming a joining member or being initiated into Freemasonry who live or have a connection in the Capital.

The Metropolitan Grand Master is in favour of this proposal and negotiations are well underway between the Provinces and Metropolitan Grand Lodge.

Should you be interested in the proposed lodge further detail can be obtained from

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