Ormskirk Priory Mark Lodge. No.1019.
Installation Meeting Thursday 26th November 2015.
Another dark, grey cold morning, plenty of rain up there which will be falling sooner or later before the day is out, in fact not a lot to cheer about, ah but wait there will be a special warmth to look forward to this evening, a Mark Installation Meeting. Ormskirk Priory will have the pleasure of a visit by our wonderful leader Provincial Grand Master RW Keith Beardmore and his Provincial Team who always turn out in force to support him wherever he goes.
Dave Getting His Team Ready
Out came the Opel from its home (well garage) it’s not too keen on the rain, Tom and Snoopy fired up, in went the post code and off we went, same old story five minutes to the motorway junction and ten minutes to actually put a wheel on the tarmac heading north. Not a bad trip this time once clear of the high level bridge near the Trafford Centre down the M60, M62, M6, M58 onto the A570 easy I thought!! Now my instructions were when you get there do not, I repeat, do not park in Morrison’s car park, go past it and park in the baths, ok I thought I’ll do that, ah well I did happen to turn into Morrison’s but thought no it’s got to be the baths, I drove around it for five minutes trying to find my way out before turning left and success I found the swimming pool. Went to the pay machine £2 in the slot, oh oh you must leave at 8.30 p.m. and don’t come back, as usual duff information.
One of the many Lodge Crests
Display Cabinet
Off course by now it was pouring down with sheets of icy rain, real Christmas weather, not to be put off I struck out for the Hall and thought “I’ll sort the parking out later”
The Ornate Masters Chair
Practise over lets relax
I had a picture of the Hall or else in the dark I may not have recognised it, outside quite plain and indistinct, Brethren don’t let that fool you because once inside you will find a hidden gem. At the front on street level it is known as O’Brien’s Tea Rooms which serve up wonderful homemade cakes, ice creams and teas during the day, the entrance to the Hall is via a side door, go up the stairs and you’ve made it.
PGM chatting with Andy Whittle before meeting
PGM with the Standard Bearers

PGM with Brian Molyneux Special Rep

Brian Gregson with Dave Emmerson
A warm inviting anti room complete with bar runs into several other lounge/changing rooms one of which contains some very interesting Masonic artefacts in a well-lit show case, the temple lies before you and is really well appointed. Around the top of the walls are some excellent wooden plaques showing all the names of the Lodges and Chapters which meet there, some really nice furniture and to top it all are the three principals chairs especially the Masters which I have never seen the like of before.     
Geoff Lee, Tony Cross, PGM, Alan Burgess WM, Andy Whittle and David Rawcliffe
PGM with Henry Mayor, Geoff Lee, John Waring, Andy Whittle and Tony Cross
The Provincial Team members arrived early as always to go through their paces under the superb direction of Dave Emerson, Prov DC, once he was satisfied with their performance they retired from the lodge area which was then filled with the Ormskirk Priory members to open the meeting.
Keith Beardmore PGM with the new WM Alan Burgess
Following the usual housekeeping in the Lodge the PGM RW Bro Keith Alan Beardmore entered accompanied by Grand Officers and his Team of Provincial Grand Officers and as his right he was offered the Gavel which on this occasion he accepted. For those who have not yet had the pleasure of attending a Provincial Team visit the PGM at this point introduces all the members of his team with a short insight as to who they are and their interests, in doing so it does make you feel part of something really special which of course it is.

The Master Elect was duly Installed in fine style and had great pleasure in investing the Immediate Past Mark Master with the collar and jewel of his office. The Keystone Jewel and the Mark Benevolent Patrons Jewel were presented to the WM by VW Bro Fred Hargreaves PGJO, address to the WM was given by W.Bro. John B Rawcliffe PPrGJW, address to the Wardens  by the Prov SW Andy Whittle, address to the Overseers by Prov JW Tony Cross and of course the address to the Brethren by the PGM. (Which has to be one of the nicest pieces in the whole of Freemasonry)

The PGM congratulated the newly Installed WM and the excellent work done during the ceremony by the Installing Master W.Bro David Rawcliffe, the Lodge DC W.Bro Ashcroft , W.Bro Fred Hargreaves and all the officers who took part.
WM Bro. Alan T Burgess thanked the PGM for his kind words and had much pleasure in presenting him with a very generous cheque for the West Lancs Mark Charities.
As is usual after the First Rising the PGM RW Keith Beardmore was escorted from the lodge by his Provincial Team and Grand Officers, the Lodge members took a breather and then carried on with their remaining business before closing after what had been a night to remember.
In the anti-room I did speak to a lovely chap who was sat in a corner minding his own business and being nosy by nature from working in intelligence I asked “What are you doing here” (very subtle) his name was Harry Thacker and said he was quite happy and just waiting for a practise meeting, just what’s needed dedicated Masons. He was a member of Park Hall Craft Lodge.   
Once the photo sessions were over everyone present made their way to the dining room which was dressed up in fine style, refreshments (a wee drink or two) were obtained and all was set for the Festive Board. The New WM entered accompanied by the PGM and took up their seats at the head of the table.
At this point I off course had to go and move my car and yes it was pouring down and once I got there could I find the way out of the car park!!  Eventually i did succeed only to find that I couldn’t turn back towards Morrison’s, one way systems wonderful, let’s say fifteen minutes later I made it back to the hall (drowned rat comes to mind) 
The Festive Board
The PGM and WM take wine
The Prov Master Overseer. Kieron Mullan a New Friendship Made
Prov' DC Dave Emmerson and ADC Brian Gregson
The Provincial Wardens Andy and Tony
Anyway I had a wee dram of my favourite Laphroiag to warm me up, there followed a wonderful meal which was served up by very pleasant attentive staff of which nothing was too much trouble. Several Toasts and interesting  speeches during the Festive Board as always before the night came to an end, all too soon it was over for another year at Ormskirk Priory Lodge, I’m sure all who attended went out into the cold, wet night air happy inside from what they had witnessed, here’s to our next merry meeting , The Friendly Degree.
Austin N Fletcher. ProvGJO.
Flixton Shepherd Eastwood Mark Lodge. No. 1173.  
Oh and I forgot to mention my cat “Chuchy” was doing fine when I got home after his major operation.
More to follow.