A Brief History

Of The Lodge Of St Andrew

The consecration of The Lodge of St Andrew No 4683 took place at the Drypool Parish Hall, Abbey Street, Kingston upon Hull on Wednesday the 8th April 1925. In total there were 325 Brethren in attendance and the ceremony was presided over by The Right Honourable, The Earl of Ronaldshay, The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master.

Our 12 founding members are pictured here unfortunately it has not been possible to identify them all other than our founding master. W/Bro The Reverend, Edward Arthur Berry, who is distinguished by his clerical collar.

The first regular meeting of the lodge took place on Wednesday 15th April 1925, one week after consecration. The business of the night was “The instruction of the brethren in the taking of the ballot and the proposal of candidates”. No doubt W/Bro Berry considered this to be a necessary exercise as at this first meeting 8 new candidates were proposed along with 4 joining members, the second meeting saw another 8 candidates proposed. This trend appears to have continued as the minute books record that a number of emergency meetings were called specifically to initiate candidates.

The number of initiation ceremonies conducted in that first year is reflected in the presentation of a cigarette case made to W/Bro Berry, which bears the inscription: - ‘To Wor Bro Canon E A Berry from his initiates of the Lodge of St Andrew No 4683, 1925 - 1926 in token of regard & esteem’ There then follows the names of the 38 candidates he initiated during his year as master.

History or fate saw fit for the cigarette case to find its way back to the lodge as in 2009 Mr William Avril the grandson of W/Bro Berry found it in an old box of his grandfathers’ belongings in his loft. He contacted the lodge and very kindly donated it to us, for which we are eternally grateful. It now takes pride of place in our display cabinet with one of the founder Jewels that was discovered by W/Bro Daragon whilst trawling e-Bay? (But that’s another story).

The lodge continued to meet at the Parish Hall, which was also referred to as the Meeting Rooms, Abbey Street. Throughout the war years’ membership was affected as it was in many lodges by brethren joining the armed forces to serve their country, many did not return. However, following the war years, the number of men becoming Masons began to rise and as a consequence the membership of the lodge as at February 1948 stood at 160.

A major event in the history of the lodge occurred 16th February 1948 when a Special Meeting was called to consider a Notice of Motion to move the lodge to the Central Masonic Hall, Park Street. In recent years there has been much speculation as to why the lodge moved, theories ranging from the Parish Hall being burnt down to being damaged by bombing in the war, just two of the most popular.

The truth is that the lodge had simply grown too big for the building. The Parish Hall was not big enough to hold the membership and the matter was compounded with the addition of visitors. It also appears that the amenities at the hall were simply inadequate and outdated. The motion to move to Park Street had been put forward by the then Worshipful Master W.Bro P Foster and was supported by 14 other worshipful brethren, seven of whom were past masters.

It appears the condition of the hall had been an issue for some time as the following quote from W. Bro Hutchinson’s address to the meeting indicates: -

As the years have passed our strength has grown, our members have increased and it is not fair to the brethren and not fair to the visitors, that we should continue under present conditions. We have done our best in the matter of trying to provide other accommodation at various times, and even to the length of purchasing land to build a new lodge, which nearly became an accomplished fact but the war unfortunately came along and we were unable to proceed further

A lengthy discussion took place and the minutes clearly indicate that this was a popular course of action. The terms of the offer from Thesaurus lodge were that the second and fourth Tuesday of each month would be available for lodge meetings. The rent was to be £120 per annum. (The same rent currently paid for the Parish Hall) A sum of £2/15s was to be paid to the chef at each meeting to cover cost of cooking, staff and cleaning. The lodge was to provide its own table linen and laundry.

The 274th meeting of the lodge was the last ever meeting at Abbey Street and took place on Wednesday 18th February 1948.

On Wednesday 24 March 1948 the lodge met for the first time at Park Street with the permission of Provincial Grand Lodge in the form of a dispensation, which had to be obtained to cover the change of venue. At this meeting W.Bro Emanuel Levinson was installed as Worshipful Master and in line with the lodge's continued growth there were 6 proposals for new members. Park Street was now to become the home of the lodge for the next 53 years.

It is not intended to go into detail about those years in these pages suffice to say that the lodge continued to do well but in the latter years saw a decline in membership.

On 1st March 2000 W.Bro Alan Norris was installed as Worshipful Master and was to be the last Master to govern the lodge at Park Street and it was under his stewardship that the lodge moved from Park Street to our current home at Beverley Road.

The regular meeting on Wednesday 3rd July 2000 a notice of motion was put to the lodge by W.Bro Michael Graham to the effect that at the next regular meeting he would propose that the lodge moved its regular meetings from Park Street to the Masonic Hall Beverley Rd. The secretary announced that a Dispensation Order had been applied for to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday 2nd August 2000 at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road to discuss the motion.

At the next regular meeting the W. Master W.Bro Alan Norris and W. Bros Ron Harris and Michael Graham were elected members of a committee to undertake the necessary negotiations with Masonic Hall (Kingston upon Hull) Ltd and Wilberforce Lodge 2134. Following lengthy negotiations favourable terms were negotiated and the lodge was on the move.

On Wednesday 10th January 2001 the lodge held its first meeting at the Masonic Hall Beverley Road. The meeting was attended by 29 members along with the representative of the Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, V.W. Bro D E Davinson the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and a provincial team of 19 and 15 visitors from other lodges. The business of the evening was to pass Bro Robert Cheyne Jackson who was initiated on 18th October 2000.

It is not intended to delve deep into the activities of the lodge within these pages, after all this is a potted history and maybe at some future time a more detailed history will be written. The lodge has settled in well at Beverley Road and continues to meet there to this day. Our current membership stands at 42 and continues to grow each year.