New Hall Lodge No 5940


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Meetings: Merged with Carnarvon Lodge No 2376

Lodge History:

A Short History of New Hall Lodge

On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee

16 March 1994




Before the consecration of New Hall Lodge in March 1944, the founders were brought together by two prominent Leyland Freemasons, who realized that the three existing lodges meeting in the town would not be able to meet the growing demand for Freemasonry in the Post War world that was eagerly awaited.

WBro Thomas Hargreaves PPrGW, the Managing Director of Leyland Construction Company, who had played a major part in the building of the first Masonic hall in Leyland in 1938 and WBro Harry Sutton, the founder of Leyland Road Springs, were the inspiration and motivation leading to the series of meetings held in late 1943 and early 1944, and the co-authors of the letter to the Provincial Grand Master, requesting approval for the foundation of a new lodge.

The first meeting of founders was held on the 23 November 1943, and the first proposal that the lodge be called the “New Hall Lodge”, to commemorate the completion of the new MasonicHall in North View, Towngate, Leyland.  It was also agreed that Carnarvon Lodge No 2376 should be the sponsoring lodge.  At further founders meetings it was agreed that the lodge should work the Emulation Ritual and that three candidates per year be initiated.

A petition was signed in Carnarvon Lodge on the 10 January 1944, and on the 14 February 1944 it was reported that Grand Lodge had granted a warrant to the lodge on the 2 February and the number 5940 had been allocated. The Provincial Grand Secretary also suggested that a joint consecration be held with Wilderswood Lodge, Horwich. This suggestion did not receive the approval of the founders.

All 21 founders were present at a meeting held on the 28 February 1944 when final arrangements for the consecration were confirmed. “Drill” was to be at 10.30am, the Lodge at 11.00am and lunch at 1.30pm. The founders fee was to be 25 guineas, each founder was to be presented with a copy of the Volume of the Sacred Law, suitably embossed, and each initiate be also presented with a copy; a tradition that has happily been honoured up to the present.

Copy of the fetter sent to the Chairman of the Chorley and Leyland Group of Lodges, and to the RW Provincial Grand Master, Bro Arthur Foster PGD, by WBro Thomas Hargreaves PPrGW

“It is, I believe, within your knowledge that there has been locally now, for some time past, considerable agitation for the provision of additional facilities for the practice of Freemasonry, and as a consequence a number of brethren attended a meeting, convened by W.Bro. Harry Sutton and myself, on Tuesday last in the Masonic Hall, when it was unanimously decided that I should make this formal application for the creation of a new craft lodge in Leyland. and ask for your support and guidance in this matter. It is our submission that a new lodge is very necessary, and in support of this I would state that the oldest lodge, “Carnarvon” has a membership of some 130, with a waiting list of 30 or so. “Leyland Lodge” has some 110 members, and a very considerable waiting list. and whilst “Old Worden Lodge” has only some 45 members, also with a considerable waiting list, it is their custom only to take two candidates per year, and consequently they do not materially ease the situation. I need not tell you that in recent years Leyland has grown amazingly, and will I feel sure, continue to do so after this War is over. The reason is, of course, obvious and it is the demand for personnel by the large and varied industrial firms which are established in the town. I suggest that few, if any towns of considerable size in this country can claim to have the varied, the progressive, and the prosperous business undertakings that are to be found here. There is too the indisputable fact that since the creation of our new home in Leyland, the requests to join our order from applicants who in the main would be valuable acquisitions .has greatly increased. Under present conditions however, applicants are having to wait anything from five to ten years, and I suggest it is natural to assume that they will become discouraged and disinterested. There is the further fact that even when they gain admission to one or other of these large lodges, there is little hope of advancement, with a consequent waning of interest. May I suggest that if Freemasonry is to play the part we expect it to in the ordering of the post war world we hope to get, then we should be in position to embrace in our lodges any and everyone who can make a contribution to this end, and are reasonably qualified.”

Thomas Hargreaves PPrGW



The Consecration of New Hall Lodge No 5940 was held at the Masonic Hall, Leyland, on the 22 March 1944 at 11.30 am., attended by over 40 Grand and Provincial Grand Officers, more than 100 visiting brethren and 8 members of the Masonic choir.

The brethren assembled in the lodge room, and the Consecrating Officer, RWBro Arthur Foster, PGD,  Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by Grand and Provincial Grand Officers entered in procession. The Provincial Grand Master occupied the chair and appointed his consecrating officers as follows.


W.Bro. G.Maddocks P.Pr.G.W. as Senior Warden.
W.Bro. T.A.Manning Pr.J.G.W. as Junior Warden.
W.Bro. Cannon A.L.J.Shields P.G.Chap. as Chaplain.
W.Bro. E.A.Nicholsan P.A.G.D.C. Pr.G.Sec. as Secretary.
W.Bro. A.A.Bouteiller P.Pr.G.W. Pr.G.D.C. as Director of Cermonies.
W.Bro. J.Longbridge P.S.G.D. as Senior Deacon.
W.Bro. F.K.Smith Pr.J.G.D. as Junior Deacon.
W.Bro. C.Damp P.Pr.G.D. as Inner Guard.
W.Bro. T.B.Whittaker P.D.G.D.C. as I.P.M.
W.Bro. G.Radcliffe P.G.D-.Asst. Prov. G.M.,as Presenting Officer.
W.Bro. G.H.Redman P.G.D.
W.Bro. S.Pearce Pr.D.G.Reg, as Standard Bearer.
W.Bro. D.Dickinson Pr.G.St.B.
W.Bro. S.Shandley P.Pr.A.G.Reg-.Pr.G.T. asTyler.


The Lodge was opened by the RW PrGM in solemn form in the three Degrees. He then conducted the consecration ceremony in due form, concluding with the consecrating prayer.

Next. WBro W S S Hannay PGW, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the Installing Officer, occupied the Chair of King Solomon and closed the lodge from the third to the second degree. The Presenting Officers then presented the WM designate, WBro Thomas Hargreaves who took the obligation. After those below the rank of an Installed Master had retired, a Board of Installed Masters was declared and WBro Hargreaves was installed as the first master of New Hall Lodge according to Ancient Custom.

Founder Members of New Hall Lodge – 22 March 1944

W.Bro. J. Bradshaw P.Pr.G.W.
W.Bro. T. Hargreaves P.Pr.G.W.
W.Bro. H. Sutton
W.Bro. James Lord.
W.Bro. T. Singleton P.Pr.A.G.Swd.B.
W.Bro. John Lord P.Pr.G.D.
W.Bro. S. Swan.
W.Bro. J. Brown.
W.Bro. R. Wood.
Bro. E.R. Tomlinson.
Bro. W. Wilkins.
Bro. J.M. Hitchen.
Bro. J. Tomlinson.
Bro. W. Cocker.
Bro. H. Naylor.
Bro. G. Hamer.
Bro. S. Turner.
Bro. J. Derbyshire.
Bro. C. Rogerson.
Bro. W.T. OIiver.
Bro J. Fleming


Personalities and Family Connections.

WBro Thomas Hargreaves PPrGW. at the founding of the lodge, and very prominent in local business and Masonic circles, was promoted to the rank of PAGDC in 1945, on which occasion a portrait was commissioned to mark the event.

Further promotion to PGD in 1951 was followed by his elevation to Assistant Prov Grand Master for the Province of West Lancashire in 1957. The lodge congratulated him on his receipt of a Knighthood in 1960. His death in April 1966 was marked by the lodge being in mourning until June.

The second WM of the lodge, WBro Harry Sutton, also followed a glittering career in masonry with his appointment in 1947 as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, the next year becoming Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, a post he held until 1957. He was Assistantt GDC in Grand Lodge in 1952 and finally was promoted to PGD in 1954. New Hall Lodge conferred Honorary Membership on him in 1964 as a mark of respect.

Other members who gave long and distinguished service to the lodge included WBro Thomas Singleton,  PPrGW, Treasurer of the lodge for many years from the foundation, WBro Walter Cocker PPrGD, Secretary from 1951 until 1960, and the Rev. John Thornber initiated at the second meeting of the lodge in April 1944, Chaplain from 1944 till 1956 when he was the WM, .and again from 1958 till 1966.

The family connections within the lodge have been strong from its inception

– three members of the Tomlinson family, Ronald WM in 1946, James WM in 1948 and Alfred WM in1959. All three brothers becoming DCs of the lodge and all achieved high rank in Grand or Provincial Grand Lodge.

– the Lord family with John and James, founders and John (junior) WM in1976 the present representative of the family and not to forget the Marlands, George senior, the WM in 1960, Henry in 1966 and George junior. all members of a local building family who were involved in the construction and development of the first Masonic hall and also responsible for the building of this Masonic hall in 1990.

The brethren were then readmitted, and the W.M. appointed and invested his officers.


W.Bro. J. Bradshaw P.Pr.G.W.          as I.P.M.
W.Bro Harry Sutton                            as Senior Warden.
W.Bro. E. Ronald Tomlinson              as Junior Warden.
W.Bro. T. Singleton P.Pr.G.Swd.B.    as Treasurer. .
W.Bro. R. Wood                                 as Secretary
W.Bro. J. Lord                                    as Director of Ceremonies.
Bro. W. Wilkins                                   as Senior Deacon.
Bro. J.M. Hitchen                                as Junior Deacon.
Bro. J. Tomlinson                                as Inner Guard.
Bro. H. Naylor                                   as Assistant Secretary.
Bros. G. Hamer. S.Turner.C. Rogerson. and T.W. Oliver as Stewards.
Bro. W. Cocker                                  as Tyler



The W.M. thanked the R.W. Provincial Grand Master and the consecrating officers for the honour they had conferred on the founders of the lodge, and then presented each with a Volume of the Sacred Law suitably inscribed as a token of the founder’s appreciation.

The Early Years

The first meeting of the Ladies Evening Committee met in September 1944 when it was resolved that the cost of the evening would be 12 shillings and six pence, of which the dinner was to cost 8/6. The committee allowed £5 for stage decorations and £910 shillings for the band.  Saturday 12 August saw the first Emergency Meeting, when a team of American brethren led by WBro E A Powers, gave a demonstration of the American third degree before 286 members and visitors.

The second Installation meeting of the lodge was also held on a Saturday in January 1945, when WBro Harry Sutton was installed as the second master. Two further Emergency Meetings were held in 1945, the first for the visit of the Provincial Grand Master, and 75 other visitors to hear a lecture on “Masonic Penalties” .and the second to raise to the third degree, on the instruction of Grand Lodge, Bro Harry Blundell Cross, a member of Hope Lodge No  337, Grand Lodge of Scotland.

Installation Ceremonies were also held on Saturdays in 1949 and 1951, and in 1952 New Hall Lodge were the sponsors for the proposed Euxton Lodge.

1954 saw the last installation of a WM who was a founder member of the lodge, Bro T William Oliver, the eleventh founder to become master. The following year Bro Frank Marsden became the first joining member to become WM, followed in 1956 by the first initiate Bro Rev John Thornber, Vicar of St. James. Leyland.

The Second 25 Years

In 1971 .under the Mastership of WBro Eric Jackson, now a PPrJGW, the lodge approved the application of a joining member from the U.S.A., Bro W K ones of Fayette Lodge.No.69, Connecticut, and also an increase in the annual subscription to £8.

During the next 20 years the lodge continued to have a steady supply of candidates, usually initiating three per year, and also a succession of able masters. Long service was given by WBro Alfred Bennet who retired in 1983 – after 17 years as the lodges Charity Representative, and Bro George Taylor who was appointed PrGStd Bearer in 1982 in reward for his work as Treasurer for many years.

In 1983 the death occurred of two of the remaining founder members of the lodge, WBro Stanley Turner PPrGW the last founder to become WM and WBro William Wilkins PPrGD, the fourth master in 1948 and sadly of Bro George Taylor. Due to the death of the candidate, Mr. Joseph Turner, several days before his initiation in 1987 the lodge held a series of lectures, the first given by brethren of our daughter lodge Euxton, the second by Past Masters of New Hall Lodge.

It became clear during the 1980s that the site occupied by the old Masonic Hall would be required for town centre development, and in 1988 the Directors of Leyland Masonic Properties invited WBro Geoffrey Lee, the WM of New Hall Lodge in 1983, to negotiate on their behalf the sale of the old building and the site purchase and development for a new Masonic Hall. This project came to a satisfactory conclusion in 1990. The last meeting of New Hall Lodge to take place in its original home at Towngate was on the 18 April 1990 when Bro David Mortimer was passed to the second degree. The May meeting was taken by the WM Bro David Ball, to the Masonic Hall in Chorley, for which a dispensation was granted by the Provincial Grand Master and read before the lodge was opened.

In September, 1990 New Hall Lodge met for the first time at the new Masonic Hall, Church Road  and in January 1991 the RW Prov GM Bro Kenneth Edward Moxley led a team of Grand and Provincial Grand Officers in the dedication of the lodges new home, some 47 years after its consecration. February 1992 marked the celebration of 50 years in Freemasonry of WBro Frank Marsden, the lodges first joining member, WM in 1955, Secretary manager of Leyland Masonic Hall Association from 1945 until 1960, and its Chairman from 1974 to1978 – At the conclusion of the celebration the Asst. PGM WBro W S Huck promoted WBro Marsden to the rank of PPrSGW.

The APGM was also present in October 1992 when the lodge met to dedicate its newly made Banner, purchased with a bequest from the late WBro Alfred Bennet .and which now hangs proudly in the East.

As New Hall Lodge comes to the end of its first 50 years its members look forward to two special events which follow the Golden Jubilee, in April WBro Cecil B Capstick PAGDC will celebrate 50 years since his initiation into Freemasonry in Waltair Lodge No 2592 in India while serving with the Royal Engineers. This special milestone will also be shared by WBro Colin Kydd PPrAGDC in September

Three Golden Jubilees in one year!

New Hall Lodge can be proud of its past, of the contributions its members have made to Freemasonry in Leyland and in the Province, and its generosity in supporting national and West Lancashire charities.

May New Hall Lodge and its future member prosper in the next 50 years.

Officers Of New Hall Lodge At The Golden Jubilee in 1994

W.M.                Bro. P. Tipping
I.P.M.               W.Bro. F.K.Sefton.
S.W.                Bro. C. Baines.
J.W.                 Bro. B. Ainsworth.
Chaplain.         W.Bro. M.Norris P.Pr. G.St.
Treasurer.      Bro. J. Hindle.
Secretary.       W.Bro. H. Mortimer P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
Dir. Cer.          W.Bro. D.E. Ball.
Almoner.          W.Bro. T. Marston.
Char. St.          W.Bro. G. Singleton P.Pr.J.G.W.
S.D.                 Bro. P. Sutton.
J.D.                  Bro. M. Chapman.
A.D.C.             W.Bro. F. McGuire.
Organist          Bro. D.P. Brown.
Asst. Sec.       Bro. D.J. Mortimer.
I.G.                   Bro. M.G. Ashmore.
Tyier                Bro. T.G.R. Pearson.
Stewards.        Bros. J.A. Hudson. C.M. Burns, M.R. Mortimer.
                                 M.J. Keenan, D.M.D. Black. J. Whalley.
                                 C.R.Livingstone and M.A. Howes.
Group Representative. W.Bro. E. Jackson P.Pr.J.G.W..

Past Masters of New Hall Lodge

1944 W.Bro. Sir Thomas Hargreaves P.G.D., Asst. Prov. G.M.
1945 W.Bro. Harry Sutton P.G.D.
1946 W.Bro. E. Ronald Tomlinson P.Pr.G.D.C
1947 W.Bro. William Wilkins P.Pr.G.D.
1948 W.Bro. James Tomlinson P.A.G.D.C
1949 W.Bro. Walter Cocker P.Pr.G.D
1950 W.Bro. John M. Hitchen P.Pr.J.G.W.
1951 W.Bro. George Hamer P.Pr.J.G.W.
1952 W.Bro. Stanley Turner P.Pr.J.G.W.
1953 W.Bro. Charles Rogerson.
1954 W.Bro. T. William Oliver P.Pr.G.D.
1955 W.Bro  Frank Marsden P.Pr.S.G.W.
1956 W.Bro. Rev. John E. Thornber P.Pr.G.Chap.
1957 W.Bro. John C. Bannister P.Pr.J.G.D.
1958 W.Bro. Roy McCalla P.Pr.J.G.W.
1959 W.Bro. Alfred Tomlinson B.E.M.,P.Pr.J.G.W.
1960 W.Bro. George Marland.
1961 W.Bro. Frank Lawton P.Pr.G.Reg.
1962 W.Bro. Alfred Bennet P.Pr.J.G.D.
1963 W.Bro. Fred Mather.
1964 W.Bro. Harry Mortimer P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
1965 W.Bro. Richard Wildman P.Pr.J.G.W.
1966 W.Bro. Henry B. Marland
1967 W.Bro. Arthur S. Porter P.Pr.J.G.D.
1968 W.Bro. Herbert Lee.
1969 W.Bro. Ronald Marginson P.Pr.J.G.D.
1970 W.Bro. T. Keith Clayton P.Pr.A.G.Reg.
1971 W.Bro. Eric Jackson P.Pr.J.G.W.
1972 W.Bro. Eric C.T.Noon P.Pr.G.Supt. of Works.
1973 W.Bro. Geoffrey Singleton P.Pr.J.G.W.
1974 W.Bro. Fred Stringfellow P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
1975 W.Bro. Brian Jones P.Pr.J.G.D.
1976 W.Bro. John T. Lord P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
1977 W.Bro. Douglas Melling P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
1978 W.Bro. Christopher Bolton
1979 W.Bro. William M. Jackson P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
1980 W.Bro. Eric Ash more P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
1981 W.Bro. Kenneth Bretherton P.Pr.S.G.D.
1982 W.Bro. Mathew Nowell P.Pr.J.G.D.
1983 W.Bro. Geoffrey H. Lee P.Pr.J.G.W.
1984 W.Bro. Thomas Marston.
1985 W.Bro. James C. Bowler.
1986 W.Bro. Frederick J. Swanton.
1987 W.Bro. Thomas G.Lane.
1988 W.Bro. Michael Norris P. Pr.G. Steward.
1989 W.Bro. Colin Kydd P.Pr.A.G.D.C.
1990 W.Bro. David E. Ball.
1991 W.Bro. Charles R. Gray.
1992 W.Bro. Frank McGuire.
1993 W.Bro. F. Kenneth Sefton.

Past Masters In the Lodge.

W.Bro. John H. Shorrock P.Pr.J.G.W.   No 6733.

W.Bro. Cecil B. Capstick P.A.G.D.C.    No 7391 and 8532.

986 W.Bro. Frederick J. Swanton.

1987 W.Bro. Thomas G.Lane.

1988 W.Bro. Michael Norris P. Pr.G. Steward.

1989 W.Bro. Colin Kydd P.Pr.A.G.D.C.

1990 W.Bro. David E. Ball.

1991 W.Bro. Charles R. Gray.

1992 W.Bro. Frank McGuire.

1993 W.Bro. F. Kenneth Sefton.


Past Masters In the Lodge.

W.Bro. John H. Shorrock P.Pr.J.G.W.   No 6733.

W.Bro. Cecil B. Capstick P.A.G.D.C.    No 7391 and 8532.