It was that time of year again when Penwortham and Leyland held their annual town festivals. This year being no different, the Leyland Group entered in with the spirit of the community and joined in with the festivities. Both occasions were a test of endurance for the team as Penwortham was extremely hot with clear blue skies, whilst Leyland turned out to be a very damp day with a torrential downpour effectively washing out the festivities.
The usual organising committee, headed up by Andy Sumner including Neil Ward, Wayne Haslam, Dave Coulson and John Anderson, had decided that they were taking part in two festivals and hosting another Open Day. Once the detail had been established they set about organising their contribution to each parade. This year was slightly different as the participation had to be without a vehicle in both parades, so the team concentrated on encouraging more parade walkers. This proved to be quite successful with 10 brethren participating across the parade and the membership stand at Penwortham, and upwards of 15 at Leyland.
Ready for the off at Penwortham Gala day, the walking party had turned out in their finest regalia to show off to the crowds. The parade set off at 12:15pm from Hill Road South and meandered its way around Penwortham eventually reaching the Gala ground of Hurst Grange Park just after 2pm. It was a long parade with the walk being approximately four miles in length. Most of the lads had aching legs and sore feet by the time they had finished the walk due to their enthusiasm in distributing membership leaflets as well as progressing forward with the procession.
The following weekend saw Leyland Festival taking place with 11 brethren on hand to take part in the procession, along with a couple of colleagues from the Chorley Group. The route was much shorter than the Penwortham one and starting at King Street in the town, the parade wound its way around the town centre and off to the destination of Worden Park for the entertainment. During the parade the weather was overcast and warm, however from early in the afternoon there was a torrential downpour which unfortunately brought the festivities to an early conclusion. The festival ground was very hard following previous weeks of glorious sunshine and the rain simply gathered in large pools creating flooding around the festival ground.
Neil Ward had organised the Open Day and he was supported by Dave Coulson and Peter Gibbons who had both worked hard in preparing and setting up the hall to receive visitors.
Another successful year out in the community was had by everyone taking part, here the Leyland Group of Freemasons are definitely part of the community. Both the parade walkers and the membership trailer were well received with a good number of people saying ‘hello’ out on the high street and by stopping at the trailer for a chat.