2 017 marks a very special year in Freemasonry. 300 years ago four Lodges met at The Goose & Gridiron Alehouse in London to form the beginnings of the United Grand Lodge of England.
That unification still exists today; The Grand Lodge is situated in Great Queen’s Street, between Covent Garden and Holborn. Standing on the corner of the street, opposite Drury Lane, you may well have missed it, but you will have very probably seen it on the television or the cinema as it’s been used as the MI5 building in Spooks, various locations in Harry Potter, James Bond films, and more recently a bank in an advert for Bulldog hair products!
Peterborough Freemasonry lies within the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, and they were very proud to celebrate their 300 year anniversary with a Grand Parade, on a glorious Sunday afternoon in June, from the Town Hall to Peterborough Cathedral.
Masons, their families, and other well-wishers lined the streets as Max Bayes, their Provincial Grand Master, together with Clr John Fox - the Mayor of Peterborough, the Lady Mayoress, representatives from the police force, and other dignitaries, processed through Bridge Street and on to the Cathedral, where they were greeting by the Dean, who invited them in to attend a very special Evensong Service.
It was in recognition of Cllr Fox’s contribution to their event, allowing his city to be involved with the Tercentenary celebrations, that The Province wanted to say thank you by presenting a cheque for£1000 from the Provincial Grand Charity to the Mayor towards his charities. So, on Monday, October 30, David Burton, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, made that presentation at Peterborough Masonic Centre in Ellindon.
This year has allowed Freemasons to celebrate their fraternity with the wider public, and demystify some of the illusions of what they are about. If you want to know more about Freemasonry in Peterborough, please visit www.northants-huntsmasons.org.uk or call Ellindon Masonic Centre on 01733 331948.
And the reason for the name of this column ‘The North East Corner’? Well, ask a Freemason, he will tell you.