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Coast and Castles Cycle Ride

This epic long distance cycle route from Edinburgh to Chester le Street takes in the outstanding scenery of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle along the way, helping to mask the fact that it incorporates 180 miles of hard cycling spread over 3 days.

24 keen cyclists from Durham took on the challenge setting off from Edinburgh on Friday 15th September to raise funds for the “Durham 2029 MBF Festival” and “Durham Benevolence”. The weather on day one was wet and cold but a lunchtime stop at Dunbar Masonic Hall helped refresh everyone for the final push to Berwick. Day two took in Alnwick and Seahouses Masonic Hall on another wet and chilly day. The good news was filtering through that the total raised had passed £15,000.00 and this gave everyone an extra lift.

On the first dry day of the whole event the team set off from Alnwick full of purpose, ibuprofen and paracetamol. After some climbs that were a bit of a struggle for aching legs the riders reached the coastal path and one of the most enjoyable sections of the Coast & Castles tour, riding through Warkworth and Amble before some had a well earned ice cream in Creswell. The Province of Northumberland surpassed themselves once again, providing a lovely lunch for our incredibly grateful group. It was then time for the final push. Down the Coast to Tynemouth and then along to the pedestrian tunnel back into the Province of Durham. From Jarrow the team rode through Washington before regrouping on the outskirts of Chester le Street. They were then able to ride into the finish at the Masonic Hall where they were met with rapturous applause from waiting friends and family before presenting a magnificent cheque for £25,000 for the sponsorship raised to David Hanson the PGM of the Mark to be shared between the Mark 2029 Festival and Durham Benevolence

Quote from John Thompson PGM of the Craft :-

“I’ve supported many previous bike rides from the sidelines but to participate has brought a very different perspective. The camaraderie, emotions undulating with the terrain and weather, the sense of achievement and being part of a supportive team are only felt by participation.  I’m truly grateful for the experience, the enhanced friendships and all who have donated to such worthy causes as Durham Benevolence and the MBF.”

Quote from David Hanson PGM of the Mark :-

“It is wonderful to see two brilliant charities benefiting from the Coast & Castle Bike Ride. Congratulations to all the support staff, cyclists and all who donated. Remember it’s not just about making a donation it’s about making a difference and you have certainly done that. Inspirational!

Quote from Gavin Rowell :-

“The weather conditions and general lack of fitness made this probably one of the hardest events we’ve organised but the camaraderie was amazing and more importantly we’ve raised a great sum to help local and national charities supporting those in need”

More photos will be added as received and a link to Flickr for a full album

Click here for more photos

Stronger Together

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Lucies Story

The Hartlepool Masonic Benevolent Association sponsored four pupils from the Dyke House Academy School to participate in the Tall Ships race from Den Helder Holland to Hartlepool, the HMBA followed the exploits of one of the trainees ‘’Lucie Marie Wylie’’ on what has turned out to be a life changing experience.

The trainees had an early morning start to their adventure, they all meet at Hartlepool Railway Station and were transferred by private coaches to Teesside Airport for the short flight to Holland, chaperones from Hartlepool Brough Council accompanied them throughout the journey until they met their shipmates and boarded their respective ships in Den Helder.

Lucie was fortunate to be assigned to the ‘’Class B’’ 24-metre Gaff rigged Pilot cutter the ‘’Jolie Brise’’ which also happens to be the last sailing vessel to carry the Royal Mail under sail, Lucie immediately settled in made herself at home.

Lucie has a very warm and outgoing personality and immediately stuck up a bond with her new ship mates and the crew of the Jolie Brise. The first mate and other crew members said to Sarah (Lucies mam) she was outstanding, even with her sea sickness she kept morale up during the storms and was singing and dancing. She was always happy and helpful, and she took extra shifts.

Sarah; (Lucies mam) added, All good things to hear. She actually wants to look into sailing and get involved, she’s loved it that much.

Evidently the storms were very bad and some of the ships that were due to race had to retire from the race and some never left the port of Den Helder.

Before the event took place Lucie had an interview with BBC television which was aired on Look North and on their return to Hartlepool she had a second interview with the BBC, her personality shining through on both occasions.

A comment from Sarah Wylie: (Lucies mam) Lucie has just got home some I’m sure there will be plenty more news and photos when Lucies washed and slept! She’s had the most amazing time. She battled sea sickness, bad weather and a head injury. But words can’t express how grateful we are to all of you for helping give her this opportunity.

From Lucie To the Freemasons of Hartlepool :-

To start off I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity. I truly appreciate it.

I got to go on an amazing voyage with the most incredible people and I can say hand on heart it was by far the most magnificent adventure. Yes, it may have started a bit rough but that’s the North Sea for you! It was such a whirlwind of emotions; I may have been scared to start with, but I had an unbelievable time, and I wouldn’t change one single second.

As the days went by it became more and more exciting, and as the sun came out so did our smiles. We laughed, we danced, and we sang to great beats all whilst watching the sun rise and set.

We worked so hard on the days we could, as our ship struggled through the stormy nights. I remember like it was yesterday sitting on the deck watching over the edge as the waves crashed against the ship in total amazement that I was lucky enough to be chosen! Of course, I did also claim the ships title of the Best Chunder 😂.

On the second night there was a major storm. I had stood up from the couch when an 11-metre wave crashed into the side of the ship causing me to get thrown into the oven. Unfortunately, it resulted in a slight head wound. I later found out (after returning home) I actually suffered from a concussion. I’m glad at the time it wasn’t that bad and I was able to carry on, I’m happy I did. I climbed to the top of the mast the next day and feeling that salty wind brush across my face, I felt free, unstoppable, it was such a humbling moment and one I’m sure I will never forget.

The experience has ignited a new spark in me and has enabled me to broaden my horizons. I’m keen to learn more so I have recently joined the sea cadets. My dream was to one day become a surgeon.

However, after my adventure and meeting up with Hartlepool Sea Cadets I soon realised that being a Medical Officer in the Royal Marines was what I truly want to be. It unites all my passions and hopes for myself in the future! This trip taught me a lot more than just how to sail. It’s taught me that I’m brave and that my dreams will come true if I just keep going! It’s like my auntie always says.

“Never Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle”.

This is a quote I carry in my heart and remind myself of always! So again, I would like to express how truly grateful I am for all the support and this beautiful opportunity it truly has meant the absolute world to me! Lucie Marie Wylie Lucies ready to join in with Sea Cadet activities.

It’s obvious that this young lady has made the most of the opportunity and is credit to her family, Hartlepool and the Freemasons, even when Lucie returned home and attended hospital for her concussion she never complained and fortunately she has fully recovered. The Sea Cadets have also found a worthy member, good luck Lucie in all your endeavour’s.

Final word from Lucies mam Sarah.

😂 I’m extremely proud. She’s done amazing!

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MCF Survey

The Masonic Charitable Foundation is conducting a brief survey. 

The survey has already received a good number of responses and to ensure as many Freemasons as possible have the opportunity to complete the survey, the MCF has asked if the survey link could also be shared via our Provincial digital communications channels such as Provincial websites, or e-newsletters and mailing lists.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ Charity) is conducting a brief survey to better understand how well the charity is communicating its vision, purpose and activities within Freemasonry.

 All Freemasons are invited to complete the survey, which takes around five minutes to complete. Responses are provided anonymously.

Please click this link to complete the survey: MCF Survey

The survey is intended to be completed only by Freemasons

Please note that the survey will be closed on Sunday, 6 August.

If you have any questions, please contact Harry Smith (cc’d), Head of Communications at the MCF ( or

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CLS Masonic Beer and Cider Festival

The Annual Chester-le-Street Masonic Centre Beer and Cider Festival took place over the weekend of the 6th to the 9th of July 2023.

Chester-Le-Street Masonic Centre is the 2023 Durham CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Club of the Year, an honour they have held since 2020 and the Annual Beer and Cider Festival continues to grow from strength to strength.

This year the Festival featured 16 Beers and 6 Ciders, all supplied by local breweries. The Thistly Cross Whisky Cask Cider, a 6.7% ABV cider, brewed in single malt whisky casks and the Nowt Daft Hazy 4.2% ABV pale ale, brewed by Tyne Bank Brewery, proved the most popular this year, with each selling out well before the finish.

Over the course of the 4 days, the Centre received a record number of visitors from within our Province, from neighbouring Provinces and from the wider community in general. The bar was manned by willing volunteers from the local lodges, supported by members of the Provincial Exec. There was even a sighting of the PGM sweeping the floor as his Deputy mopped alongside him.

Craig Pattison on behalf of the organising team said: “A huge thank you goes out to all of the Organisers, the Volunteers, the Sponsors, the Caterers and the Staff who helped to make this another fabulous event. Role on 2024 where we hope to see you all again.”

All funds raised will go to Masonic and Non-Masonic Local Charities.

Stronger Together

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Ravensworth Golf Trophy

For 102 years the golfers of the Province have met to compete for the Ravensworth Golf Trophy – a fine silver trophy presented in 1921, by the Provincial Grand Master at the time,  Lord Ravensworth.

This year, on Thursday, July 6th, 63 golfers met at Roseberry Grange Community Golf Club to compete again for the trophy and were blessed with good weather, a course in excellent condition, good food, good company – and even some good golf (for some!).

The competition was once again held to raise funds for the Provincial TLC scheme and Big Ted was on hand to have his photograph taken with each foursome on the first tee, assisted by our Provincial Grand Master,  RWBro John Paul Thompson.

The winners this year were Andrew Forster and his partner Malcolm Dunstone – both from St Cuthberts Lodge No 3417, who repeated their success of 2021, with a winning score of 47. In addition to getting their names engraved on the trophy, the pair will hold a magnificent crystal trophy for a year with engraved whisky glasses and golfing equipment.

In their foursome that morning was John Illingworth of Trinity Lodge No 4751, who won the “nearest the pin” competition on the 18th hole with a shot within 5ft 5 inches of the hole, winning himself the prize of £100. 

Second and third were 2 visiting pairs, Ian McArthur & Fran Carrigan (score of 44) and John Davison & Peter Walker (score of 43 and ahead on count back), who also won golfing equipment, whilst in 4th place were John Webster and his playing partner Mike Saint of Old Dunelmian Lodge No 8100, who also came in with a score of 43.

On hand to present the prizes at the end of the day, in his own inimitable way, was Kenneth Howe, who confirmed that not only had it been a great day for the golfers, the event had raised the magnificent sum of £1500 for Big Ted and the TLC scheme.

Well done to the organisers, golfers and Big Ted. Here’s looking forward to the 2024 Ravensworth Trophy.

Stronger Together

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A Day in the Sun At Annual General Meeting 2023.

Saturday 24th June 2023 saw the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham hosted at The Fed Gateshead.

As usual, the Provincial Grand Stewards were on hand with smiling faces to greet everyone on their arrival.

As the final rehearsals and preparations were taking place many of the early arrivals took the opportunity to chat and renew friendships in the robing and changing rooms, before taking their seats in the main meeting area.

The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Martin Rankin, then called the brethren to order to receive the various processions of Distinguished Guests, Past Rulers and Heads of Orders into the meeting, the final procession being the Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham providing the escort to the Provincial Grand Master, John Thompson with the Standard Bearers to the rear.

In Memoriam

Provincial Grand Lodge was then opened in due form, and after confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting, it was that sad time to stand to order and remember those brethren who had passed to the Grand Lodge above since the last meeting, as the Brethren stood in silence and respect, John paid tribute to the 101 Brethren whose names simultaneously scrolled on the digital screens either side of the dais and of course making a particular note to our Glorious Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Before proceeding to work through the agenda John individually welcomed his distinguished guests from various Provinces including Past Rulers of the Craft, Chapter, Provincial Team and Heads of other Companion Orders.

Prior to Appointing and Investing the Provincial Officers for the ensuing Masonic year, John paid special tribute to Paul Debenham, Michael Shaw & Andrew Thompson.

Brethren at this time I would like to pay special tribute to our retiring Almoner WBro Paul Debenham. I know Paul is not here today due to family commitments. Paul came to me in April and told me he thought it was time for him to step down as Almoner and for another to take the baton. Reluctantly I agreed.

Brethren,  during his tenure, as well as the routine work behind the scenes assisting and guiding our Brethren on personal matters, he established the Caring Volunteer Initiative to ensure we kept in contact with the widowed partners of closed Lodges, He started an  Almoners Page with resources on the Provincial Website and for our almoners and headed the Visiting Volunteers and Retrievals Team. 

He has served the Benevolent Committee for 27 years, and the GP Committee for 14 years, six of which as PGA and he also had the privilege of serving on the Advisory Committee for PGAs in London for 3 years as well as being one of our MCF representatives

Brethren this is what commitment looks like and we thank him for his care and we wish him all the best for the future.

Brethren similar thanks to  WBro Michael Shaw who stood down this year as Vice Chairman of DB. Michael was very instrumental in supporting our charity for many years and especially ensuring DB support continued during the lockdown, and my thanks to our outgoing Provincial Grand Charity Steward WBro Andrew Thompson. Andrew thank you for the support you gave to the festival and especially to our successful launch event.  Andrew was the Province’s first Provincial  Grand Charity Steward and I’m glad to see that Andrew will continue his support for the province in supporting  DB with our annual group break”.

After the Principal Officers had been re-appointed and this year’s Provincial Grand Wardens had been individually Appointed, Invested, and placed in the West and South respectively, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies called upon the Provincial Deputy Director of Ceremonies, assisted by the Provincial Stewards to take post.

The Stewards then expertly collected each recipient, escorting them before the PGM to be Invested, receiving their certificate of appointment from the Deputy PGM, and finally taking to their seat and acknowledged with the customary court bow, bursting with pride.

John then invited our guest Speaker Bro Shaun Butler the Director of Membership and Communications at Ugle, Shaun joined the United Grand Lodge of England in 2017 – leading on social media across a number of platforms, including the set-piece Tercentenary event at the Royal Albert Hall. He was promoted to Communications Manager in 2019 with responsibility for Membership Communications. During this time, Shaun launched a number of key initiatives, including the First Rising newsletter and other engagement programmes as the country endured lockdown.

In 2021, Shaun was appointed as Deputy Director of Communications and Marketing and led on the first National Digital Marketing Campaign in UGLE’s history, as well as the rollout of UGLE and SGC’s new 7-year Strategy.

Shaun following John’s introduction which included a nod to his other passion outside Freemasonry being a lifelong supporter of his Champions League club Newcastle United was given a loud Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough fc welcome.

Shaun then delivered his presentation entitled ‘Communicating Freemasonry in 2023’ during which he gave an overview of how UGLE is adapting to modern advancements in Communications encouraging us to embrace change, adapt and stem the tide of losses and look to a bright sustainable future as Freemasons.

On closing John thanked Shaun who stood to a rapturous Durham applause

A collection was then taken in aid of The Masonic Charitable Foundation where a fabulous amount of £3700.06 was raised inclusive of gift aid, with all proceeds being credited to the 2032 Festival.

John then delivered what can only be described as an inspirational address and in closing said:

“Can I thank you all for coming today and for making this day so special for those who have been appointed and promoted today and for the very kind attention you have given to this address, Brethren; I’m proud to be a Freemason, and extremely proud to lead this Province and to quote a friend of mine. Your lodge, your province, your future

Photographs of the day Click Here


To Meet The Wardens: Click here

To read John’s full Address: Click Here

There being no further business, Provincial Grand Lodge was closed in due form which was followed by the first 2 verses of the National Anthem, before the processions that had so ceremoniously entered the venue at the start of the meeting, processed out.

A hive of activity soon followed as the Provincial Stewards and the Catering staff went about transforming the venue into a banquet hall for 428 members. The venue looked magnificent and full to capacity for all to enjoy and the meal was duly served by the catering staff to the happy gathering to round off a fabulous day hopefully enjoyed by all.

Well done to everyone who made the day such a success, and congratulations to anyone who received a Provincial Appointment.

We Are Stronger Together..

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Eardulph 75 Years of Reflections | Durham Freemasons

Eardulph was the last Bishop of Lindisfarne Northumbria, reigning from 796 to 806. For a brief time, he made Chester le Street the centre of Christianity in Northern England, when the body of St Cuthbert resided in the local Church. On Friday 9th June 2023, Eardulph Lodge No. 6645, which took its name from the legendary King, became the centre of Freemasonry in Durham, as the Lodge played host to a full Provincial Team visit to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

In the Lodge room, the members and visitors were treated to a wonderful review of the Lodge’s history, with selected members of the Lodge and visitors recounting their recollections of each decade of the Lodge’s existence.

Kenneth Howe opened the proceedings by reading the words of his great friend, the late Peter Usher, that had been provided for the Lodge’s 50 th Anniversary. Peter recalled how in the 50s & 60s Eardulph was known as the musical lodge. At the festive board, they could call upon a number of pianists, singers and all-around entertainers. He recalled how there was often an early morning retirement from labour, encouraged by exotic festive board menus and some alcoholic consumption. With members including butchers, bakers, hoteliers and gamekeepers – the table was kept well supplied. Discipline was strictly enforced, attendances were high, membership waiting lists were impressive, loyalty was mandatory and morale was unbeatable.

Danny Pollock took us into the 60s and 70s, recalling how he had joined the Lodge after moving to the town from Glasgow. In those days, each Lodge looked after themselves, running their own bar on meeting nights and each had a spot in the cellar for their own stock which was locked away after each meeting. In those days the Master got a discount on his bar bill to compensate for buying all of the drinks for the visitors and Past Masters. Eardulph was still awash with singers and musicians and it was unusual to get home the same day as the meeting started. The Stewards of the Lodge were very busy at the festive boards and ate their meals afterwards, all together in the room under the stairs. Whilst sounding strange, it helped the newer members bond with the older members and the camaraderie amongst the stewards was tremendous.

Taking us into the 80s and 90s, WBro Ian Heaviside, read the words of Ken Beck who could not attend. Ken is the son of Joe Beck, who had been renowned for his harmony. Ken recalled that in those days, prior to the introduction of the smoking ban, the dining room had a cloud of smoke hanging over it by 10 O’clock and you could see the nicotine running down the walls. The cigarette box would be passed up and down the top table and visitors would grab handfuls to be smoked over the rest of the night. Ken also recalled the wonderful entertainers who provided Harmony at the Festive Board but paid particular tribute to Eddie “Keyboard” Kerr, recalling that when Eddie provided harmony, it didn’t matter what song Eddie sang, his keyboard always seemed to play the same tune! Festive boards were always full with between 115 and 120 in attendance. The atmosphere was great and if the meals ran out, the stewards popped to the local chippy.

The Lodge DC, Rob Thompson joined the Lodge after leaving the Royal Marines. He confirmed that in the 90s the Lodge reminded him of the Mess in his marine years, with a contingent of ex-Durham Light Infantrymen, who became known as the “Dessert” Rats for their love of the sweet treats on offer. Rob became a Steward to best serve the Lodge and held that role for around 10 years. The Stewards dining continued to be under the stairs after the tables had been cleared which meant he missed a lot of the goings-on. It was not until he proposed his first candidate and attended his initiation that he enjoyed attending the festive board so much that he decided it was time to come off the Stewards list. Rob confirmed, in true DC style that with the fellowship and friendship, ritual is a very satisfying part of Freemasonry for him and warned that he is looking out for his successor.

WBro David Battensby recalled the “noughties”. Brought up in a household where freemasonry and Eardulph Lodge were frequently mentioned, he had attended the Hall Christmas parties and only ever associated Freemasonry and Eardulph Lodge with fun and enjoyment. He recalled that the quality of the ritual work was inspiring and there was a particularly active social side, especially with Eardulph being a Friday Lodge. Some partners would wait in the lounge until the meetings were finished and would head off to the local Weatherspoons, Chicago Rock which became known to them as The Lodge of Chicago Rock. Several times we were walking home when the sun was coming up and birds were tweeting!! He confirmed that to him Eardulph is more like a family, a second family, giving support and strong companionship.

Bro Scott Butler took us into the 2010s. He recalled sitting on a table with an ex-royal marine, a 70 years old ex-postmaster/come street magician, a painter and decorator, and an ex-policeman. Whilst from different backgrounds, ages, life experiences etc. it felt so natural and he was made to feel incredibly welcome in such an eclectic mix. He confirmed that since joining he had experienced so much, including Dragon boat racing, manning a beer pump at the local jazz festival and buildings Beer Festivals and Gintasias, carrying the haggis at Eardulph’s Burn’s night, visiting a lodge in Scotland, the Chinese new year at Oriental Lodge in the next province over, being part of the contingent of Freemasons of Chester le street at remembrance Sunday and not forgetting snapping his hamstring whilst trying to play cricket for the Masonic team. In such a small space of time, he has made so many fantastic memories. Whilst Covid lockdowns have featured heavily in his Masonic journey, Scott was grateful for the way in which the lodge managed to stay in touch, via WhatsApp and Skype meetings, providing the opportunity to ‘meet’, albeit virtually, have a laugh, check in on each other, keep up to date with goings on and enjoying the odd quiz.

Our final Contributor was Chris Cullen, the latest initiate into Eardulph Lodge, having joined in January 2023. Chris confirmed that he is one of six initiates this year and having asked them all how things are going he confirmed that the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. They are all enjoying making new friends and have been made to feel incredibly welcome. They have already visited other local Lodges and have been out socially with their wives and girlfriends, although never at the same time! The lodge Whatsapp group has helped the “newbies”  keep informed and be a part of the lodge discussions, as well as inflicting various brethren’s attempts at humour. On behalf of all of the Brethren, Chris thanked Eardulph Lodge for the past 75 years and wished it a long and successful future.

At the Festive Board, John was presented with a cheque for £750 to go towards the next Festival in 2032. He paid tribute to the Lodge and thanked all of the contributors for the wonderful recollections they had shared of the history and camaraderie of the Lodge. The packed festive board were then treated to the return of spectacular harmony to Eardulph when they were entertained by Jada, the Granddaughter of Alan Jenkins, who had been supported in with her recent scholarship travels by Durham Benevolence, who treated the Lodge to a wonderful medley of songs as a thank you for the support of Durham Freemasons.

This was a truly memorable evening and one that will live long in the memory of all of those present, even those who ended up leaving the day after the event began!

Stronger Together

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Hartlepool Masonic Benevolent Association

Since the end of the pandemic, it’s been quite a busy 16 months for the HMBA from February 2022 to May 2023 the HMBA received excluding the Tall Ships appeal 26 applications for support funding.

In this period the HMBA have supported these applications with additional funding amounting to £3,060.00 which would have been a lot more had the funds been available. The Tall Ships appeal to send four pupils on the race from Holland to Hartlepool was very well supported with every Lodge in Hartlepool contributing plus a very large donation from Durham Benevolent Ltd. 

There were two lots of applications from Stranton Lodge for four food banks based in Hartlepool, in total, they received £1,400.00, (£350.00 each). There was also a separate application from Heugh Lodge for Hartlepool Food Network which received a further £375.00. These food banks do a sterling job and support a lot of families in Hartlepool who are struggling due to the current economic climate, well done to Poolie Time Bank, Hartlepool Baby Bank, Holy, Trinity Church and Hartlepool Food Network, keep up the good work.

Following a very successful Race night to which the families and friends of the Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group were invited, the Haven of Rest Lodge was able to donate £1,000.00 to the group and requested support from the HMBA to assist with the general day-to-day running costs. the HMBA supported this worthy cause with a donation of £500.00, a total amount of giving £1,500.00.

Heugh Lodge and Heortnesse Lodge both requested support for Catcote Parents and Friends to assist with arranging residential visits, events and equipment that School funds cannot provide. In total, they received £500.00.

The younger generation did not miss out on five applications from St Helens Lodge requesting support for some very worthy causes.

  • 1st Hartlepool Boys Brigade to cover day-to-day running costs and equipment. The total amount of giving was £320.00.
  • Headland Boxing Club to assist with purchasing of new training equipment, and their continued ability to provide training and support for Hartlepool youth. The total amount of giving was £600.00.
  • Seaton Cricket Club U17 Football to assist with day-to-day running costs and equipment. The total amount of giving £600.00,
  • Lab Gym to assist with their Christmas Toy appeal and support for Alice House Hospice. The total amount of giving was £200.00.
  • Hartlepool Headland ABC to provide training facilities and support for Hartlepool youth. The total amount of giving was £200.00.

The bulk of the other donations went to various necessary services that we all, unfortunately, may need at some time, where would we be without them.

  • . Support for the Appy Aven CIC Community Projects, a group aimed at providing multicultural community support and activities. The total amount of giving was £225.00
  • Harbour of Refuge Lodge. Support for the running costs of the Hartlepool citizen advice centre in line with their letter, a Total amount of giving £300.00.
  • Harbour of Refuge Lodge. Support for the running costs of the Hartlepool Town Pastors (Street Angels). The total amount of giving was £300.00.
  • Heugh Lodge. Request support towards the general running costs of the RNLI Hartlepool station, a Total amount of giving £150.00.
  • Heugh Lodge. Request support towards the general running costs of the Alice House Hospice. The total amount of giving £150.00.
  • Clarence Lodge. Request support towards the general running costs of the ‘’Stray Aid’, a group aimed at saving the lives of stray animals. The total amount of giving £150.00.
  • St Helens Lodge. Request support for the Hartlepool MS group to assist with running costs.

The total amount of giving was £200.00.

  • Request support for Lily Annes Cafe for their continued supply of ‘food and requisites’ to the needy of Hartlepool. The total amount of giving £200.00.

The HMBA is run by representatives from each Hartlepool-based Lodge, with 100% of all monies received being distributed to charities or worthy causes in Hartlepool. If you want to make a donation or have any spare cash that the HMBA can use please contact your HMBA representative as listed below.

Clarence Lodge No2462.                                                    Bill Florentine. Secretary.

Connaught Lodge No 2961.                                                Lewis Ayers. Treasurer.

Harte Lodge No 4217.                                                        Duncan Maw. Chairman.

Haven of Rest Lodge No 4350.                                          Brian Footitt.

Heortnesse Lodge No 4639.                                              Kevin Godfrey.

Heugh Lodge No 7773.                                                      Paul Fryer.

Stranton Lodge No 1862.                                                   Ian Hewetson.

Strathearn Lodge No 4965.                                                Kris Middleton.

St Helens Lodge No 531.                                                   Peter Richardson / Paul Manley.   

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A Wonderful Evening Spent Celebrating Denny’s 50 years | Durham Freemasons

The Provincial Grand Master, John Paul Thompson along with the Deputy Provincial Master, Michael Graham, two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Andrew Moule and John Watts, along with a Provincial Deputation attended Palatine Lodge at Wearside Masonic Hall in Sunderland.

The reason for this visit was to ‘Mark’ a very special occasion for 50 years of Freemasonry for Denovan “Denny” Keith Wilson.

To help celebrate his achievement, many distinguished brethren, heads of Orders, friends and in addition for the Mark, the Deputy Grand Master, Francis Spencer attented. With 130 in the Lodge room, additional seats were required to accommodate the huge numbers for the evening.

After the Lodge being opened, Denny gave an illustrated talk on Palatines’ Lodge Warrant, which is the first ever issued by Premier Grand Lodge, and by extension the United Grand Lodge of England, being dated 14th January 1757.

It was then the turn for the most important part of the evening, two chairs were sited just in front of the pedestal in a ‘Parkinson’ style layout. John Thompson then discussed Denny’s 50 years of membership with him, after which the Deputy Provincial Secretary, Mike Davies was then called to read out the long service award.

After the Lodge was closed and the Deputation had paraded out, over 100 brethren then retired for to dine. They were greeted by a string quartet playing throughout, an excellent five course meal and a huge raffle to benefit the charity of Denny Wilson’s choice. This was certainly going to be a night to remember.

John Thompson responded to his toast, again by thanking Denny for his 50 years service to this Province and highlighting the importance of the connection between Craft and Mark freemasonry.

A thoughtful and insightful response from Denny in his reply to his toast so typical of him, given in a most eloquent way. ‘’Thank you to all at Palatine Lodge and Province for making the arrangements for what turned out to be a great night for all and one that will linger in our memories’’.

In addition to a unique presentation of the Lodge number in pounds for Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham charity. The Chairman of Durham Benevolence and Durham 2029 MBF Festival, John Watts, was very grateful when each benefited 50% of the over £500 raised by the raffle that evening.

Such a wonderful occasion to celebrate 50 years of service to Craft Freemasonry, for a true and respected gentleman that is “Denny” Keith Wilson.

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Durham Freemasons Sponsor Tall Ships Trainees | Durham Freemasons

Durham Freemasons Sponsor Tall Ships Trainees

The Hartlepool Masonic Benevolent Association (HMBA) with support from Hartlepool Freemasons and the Durham Benevolence Charity have sponsored four pupils from the Dyke House Academy School Hartlepool to take part in a 7-night voyage of discovery from Den Helder, Holland, home port of the fleet of the Royal Dutch to Hartlepool Marina.

The local Freemasons led by Bill Florentine as part of their continued community engagement recently presented the pupils with a donation of £4,000 allowing them to take part in the voyage of a lifetime when they embark experience aboard three magnificent sailing vessels, Jolie Brise, the Wilde Swan and the Golden Leeuw.

The HMBA is keen to engage with the Hartlepool community and support local activities.

The team building Event will see the trainees becoming integral members of the team during the race and taking part in Crew Activities, the Crew Parade, Prize Giving and Crew Party when they reach the finish line on the 8th-9th July in Hartlepool alongside a fleet of over 30 ships, where a warm Northeast welcome awaits them and 1000’s of people as they join in and celebrate at one of the largest FREE maritime events in the UK.

Four days of atmospheric celebrations will transform Hartlepool’s Waterfront into a spectacular display of music, art, dance, and song and of course, there are the Ships!

Photo 1 (Left to Right) Lucie Marie Wylie, Kaci-Mai Good, Jack Griffiths (Teacher) Imogen Davies and  Callum Bromley.

Photo 2  Pupils with representatives of the HMBA, at the rear (Left to Right) Steve Mckie, WBro Bill Florentine (HMBA Secretary, Peter Richardson (HMBA Trustee) and Derek Muirhead.


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