Hungerford Freemason Lodge was consecrated on 9 Jun 1925. (Brian Sylvester kindly added that James Smallbones was the founding Inner Guard at the time of consecration.
The lodge met in the Town Hall and Corn Exchange between 1925 and 2014. The last meeting there was on 9 Dec 2014, when their Christmas meeting with Festive Board was accompanied by the Hungerford Town Band playing carols.
After the meal, the Lodge ran its Christmas auction. Over the years, this auction has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity through the generosity of the Hungerford and visiting Freemasons.
The money raised supports the activities of the Lodge Benevolent Association, which is a registered charity and since 2009, they have donated over £25,000 to local and national charities including:
- Great Bedwyn Church of England Primary School
- Great Bedwyn Swings and Slides
- Great Bedwyn Playgroup and Toddlers
- The Bruce Trust
- The Hungerford Town Band
- Phoenix Brass
- Help for Heroes
- Scotty's Little Soldiers
- Newbury Weekly News Over 80's Parcel Fund
- Naomi House, Stockbridge
- Hungerford CHAIN
The decision to move from the Town Hall was a direct result of the changing business needs of the Hungerford Town & Manor. It was a source of great disappointment to the members who had always been very proud to call themselves Hungerford Freemasons, and support local Hungerford charities, including funding the disabled access lift for the Town Hall.
The members of the Lodge formed a steering group which was tasked with investigating the alternatives within Hungerford and the surrounding areas. Although every effort was made to remain within Hungerford, no suitable accommodation was found which necessitated a move away from the Lodge's traditional home.
It was therefore decided to approach the Newbury Masonic Centre to host them for the future. This will bring the Hungerford Craft, Chapter and Mark Lodges all back under one roof again.
To maintain a link with Hungerford, the Lodge will hold its support meetings (General Purposes Committee, Lodge of Instruction and rehearsals) in the Cygnet Room of the Three Swans Hotel.
The Lodge has also chosen to hold its Festive Board in Hungerford. The steering group will continue to take feedback from the members as to what is working and what needs to change as we adjust to our new home.
- Dr Starkey-Smith (in the late 1920s?)
- The Festive Board held in the Corn Exchange, 9 Dec 2014