Meetings: Handed in warrant – November 2013
There were 791 meetings of this lodge before it finally handed its’ warrant in to the United Grand Lodge of England.
The history of any Lodge consists of how the lodge was formed, the Founders, the events that happened during the Lodges life to the Men that became its members and therefore the human history of any Lodge.
This Lodge has been known as a leading lodge with men that were the backbone in local life. The Lodge drew many of its members from the local businesses and local families.
Leyland Motors was the recruiting ground in the early days, with some of the Lodge equipment made in the workshops there.
The idea for a new lodge came to two Founders, Charles Damp and Bert Venning during a stroll together around the Old Worden Hall area, which became part of the Royal Ordnance factory for many years, but is now part of BucksawVillage and is a private residence. W Bro Maurice Simmons with the assistance of Bro John Bradshaw did all the preliminary work and the following names were submitted to Provincial Grand Lodge and accepted as founders :- W Bro Spencer Hooley Pr. G.W., W Bro. M A Simmons,
W Bro. Richard Abbott, W Bro. G H Redman, Bro. Ashton Davies, Bro. H C Venning,
Bro. Charles Damp, Bro T C Lockwood, Bro. T Hargreaves and Bro. J Jump.
The warrant is dated 5 June 1932 with the founder’s names appearing on the certificate. The lodge was duly consecrated at the Railway Hotel, Leyland by W Bro. Arthur Foster PGD, and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master on the 24 June 1932. The oration was given by W Bro. D R Davies. Prov. Chaplain.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master appointed the Founders to office with W Bro W S Hooley Pr. G.W. being the first Worshipful Master and W Bro Richard Abbott the first Secretary, a position in the Lodge he held for over 30 years. There was four Honoury Members appointed at the Consecration meeting: – being W Bro Arthur Foster Dep. Prov. G M., W Bro Arthur Milner P.G.Std.B. Bro. John Bradshaw and BroPercyTemple. The first Candidate for initiation was proposed and Mr Edward Charles Simmons was duly initiated on 1 September 1932. However, Mr Simmons was not the first initiate to attain the Chair of the Lodge, Mr Harry Sutton who was initiated on 4 May 1933 was to become the first initiate to become WM in November 1942 and was later promoted within Provincial Grand Lodge as Acting Asst Pr G D C, then Pr G DC and elevated to Grand rank.
In 1933, after attaining a dispensation the Installation ceremony of Bro Ashton Davies was held at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool with a special train being laid on, stopping at all stations with 73 visitors attending. The following year when Bro Ashton Davies had installed his successor, W Bro Arthur Foster Deputy Provincial Grand Master, took the chair of the Lodge and invested W Bro Ashton Davies to the rank of Prov. S G W and in 1942 he was promoted to Asst. Prov. G M.
Over the years, there have been many events held in the lodge, we have celebrated at our 25th, 50th and 75th Anniversaries in style and as our Founders would have wished it be. We have also had many 50th anniversary of membership, the most recent being those of the late Edwin Crook and W Bro Bryan Holmes.
As I said earlier, the men that join any lodge are the Backbone. The Founding Brethren were the solid Foundation and they had influence and knew other good men and in turn invited them to join the lodge. Families have always played a huge part in this lodges recruitment, At one time there was so many “Damps” in the lodge in was said that “lodge is not damp its B****y wet through”. There have been Father and Sons, Brothers, Uncles and Nephews, father-in-laws and son-in laws.
Famous members include W Bro Harry Holdcroft, WM in 1962, Goal keeper for Preston North End; he was the 66th England Goal keeper and had two England Caps.
W Bro John Graham, known in the Lodge as Johnnie Graham but when he was playing Football known as “Jackie” Graham. Signed for Blackburn Rovers as an Amateur then went Professional in 1946, played with Aston Villa for four seasons from 1945 – 1949 was then transferred to Wrexham. He previously played for Leyland Works FC. Brethren, the Damp family as a whole from Charles Snr, (Founder) to Charlie, Sydney, Jack and Bert (the Twins) to George, Michael and Chris our Current member who is Syd’s son. have played a large part in the history of this Lodge. The only member to be installed into the chair and bring his own chair with him was my Dad Duncan Ward.
The Brethren of the Lodge was superb at getting the Pedestal to pieces, putting my Dad in place, then re-building the pedestal around him and doing the reverse once the ceremony was over. My Dad derived enormous pleasure from being Worshipful Master of the Lodge and as a member at the time something I shall remember all my life as well.
Leyland Motors also played a big part in getting us Candidates. From the Training School Team with W. Bro. Ken Potter, W Bro Billy Preston, W.Bro. Harry Glassbrook and W Bro Sam Slack to W Bro. Nelson, W Bro Tattersall and many others that worked there.
So 24 June 1932 to 7 November 2013, Eighty One Years of Freemasonry within the Leyland Group, The lodge has played more than its part in the life of freemasonry in this town and has served the members of the group well although at times we have been misunderstood but had always the interests of all the brethren at heart.
To the Brethren of the lodge I say this to you; you will never forget Old Worden Lodge for as long as you live, it will never forget you. Practise in your new lodges the duties you have been taught in this lodge.
This brief history was put together by W. Bro. J. N. Ward P. Pr. Dep. G. Supt. of Works