A Short History
The District after which the Lodge was named has been known for a thousand years and possibly longer as part of the forest of Toxteth where a rocky promontory stood, covered with oak trees. Its ancient name ‘Ackerbeth’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘ac’ (oak) coupled with a derivate of ‘beran’ (to bear).
Situated on the banks of the Mersey, the area was probably occupied by the Celts and also the Norsemen, who are known to have sailed up the river. 13th Century records show that at the time the area was owned and farmed by the monks of Stanlaw in Cheshire, having been given to them by Adam, Lord of Gerstan in 1264 and called at that time ‘Aikeberg’.
It can only have been fitting for our founders to name our Lodge after Aigburth.
The fist meeting to consider forming the Lodge was held at ‘Wetherfield’, Mersey Road, the home of W.Bro H Goldstone on 29th June 1920. Twenty-six Brethren formed the Lodge, of whom seventeen would eventually occupy the Masters Chair.
|W.Bro J McCauley PPrGTreasurer (1756;2229;2923)||W.Bro H Goldstone PPrAGChap (2714;3401;3840)|
|W.Bro J Forster (2714;3401)||W.Bro J Sargent (3401)|
|W.Bro J F Vickers (2889)||Bro C Welch (3401)|
|Bro G C Latimer (3401)||Bro S H Goldstone (3401)|
|Bro F Williams (3401)||Bro W Griffiths (3401)|
|Bro A Cordon (3401)||Bro J Lewis (3401)|
|Bro A College (3401)||Bro J Donkin (3401)|
|Bro C V Smallwood (1086)||Bro W Welsh (1675)|
|Bro J Evans (3401)||Bro A Brownhill (3401)|
|Bro J H Rogers (3401)||Bro S H Griffiths (3401)|
|Bro A Young (944;1030)||Bro W H Griffiths (3401)|
|Bro W H Whiting (3401)||Bro A Honey (3401)|
The original intention was to have an otter as the badge of the Lodge, to symbolise the district of Aigburth known as Otterspool. A stream that ran through Otterspool in the 17th Century had been named ‘The River Jordan’ by Puritans who farmed there and passing through Aigburth Vale from Smithdown Road, fell as a cascade into the ‘Otterspool’ on the banks of the Mersey.
For some reason the proposition was amended to reflect the oak trees which gave the area its original name and which we acknowledge to this day.
The formalities of setting up a Lodge drawn from members of our Mother Lodge, St Michaels No 3401 were completed on 19th February 1920 and the petition was forwarded to Grand Lodge.
The Founders were seeking to meet on the first Monday of every month, July and August excepted, at ‘Vale House’ No 1 Aigburth Vale, Liverpool.
The Charter was granted and the Lodge Consecrated at the Masonic Hall, Hope Street, on Thursday 22nd July 1920. The Founders met as a Lodge for the first time on Monday 6th September 1920.
The association with ‘Vale House’ was not entirely happy, the accommodation was thought to be uncomfortable and the kitchen facilities inadequate. The premises were also used as a ‘Dancing Academy’ and the efforts of a Jazz Band were not welcomed during meetings. The Founders also were unhappy at being charged the sum of half-a-crown for every Hotpot which was set up but not required!
The Lodge members were however tied to a five-year lease and were unable to move on until it expired. The last meeting at ‘Vale House’ was on 21st December 1926.
The joining fees in 1920 were Five Guineas, the initiation fees Fifteen Guineas and two Guineas as resident Annual Subscription. This did not discourage candidates however and in 1920 twenty-six candidates were initiated in batches of up to four at a time.
It was not uncommon for the Lodge to work more than one Degree at a meeting, so in the same year they also passed a further twenty-three Brothers and raised sixteen more!
The Lodge was effectively without a fixed home until it took up residence at the newly built Garston Masonic Hall for it’s meeting on 18th January 1927. The Lodge furniture that had been removed from ‘Vale House’ was surplus to requirements and were sold to the Aintree Lodge for £85, which was invested and in 1936 realised £115 to be donated to the RMBI 1937 Festival.
In the period until the Second World War the Lodge grew in strength, both Masonic ally and socially. There were Ladies Nights, summer excursions, children’s parties and even invitations to the Ladies to join the Brethren for dinner after Lodge proceedings. Tickets were typically between four and five shillings- 25 pence in decimal coinage. If only costs could return to those levels now – but leaving wages at the present.
The war years had a bad effect on the Lodge. Meetings had to be held on Saturday afternoons and attendances slumped badly. The Lodge made another transfer on 1st February 1943 to meet in the Adams Room at Hope Street, where they continued to meet until the disastrous fire there on 13th October 1968.
Thanks to the efforts of several Brethren most of the Lodge regalia and the Warrant were rescued, but were fire and water-damaged. Island Road Hall came to our rescue again and meetings resumed at Garston on 4th November 1968 and we have remained here from that time.
The Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee here at Garston on 4th May 1970 with 90 subscribing Brethren, our 75th Anniversary unfortunately sees us with only 59.
There can be few Lodges such as Aigburth who can number four blood brothers all through the Chair, amongst their number. Jeffrey Fisher was installed in1972, just after our Jubilee and followed in 1973 by Eric Fisher and Gilbert Fisher in 1974. Kenneth Fisher, the last of the brothers, was installed in 1981.
In December 1987 the Lodge was presented with a finely crafted and embroidered Banner by W.Bro Harry Boscoe and it was dedicated by W.Bro R Wallace Davies PSGD our Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
The Lodge was presented with a fine Masters collar by Bro Brian Hodkinson in 1979. The collar bears a silver chain which is engraved the names of successive Masters of the Lodge. The Immediate Past Master wears the Jewel of W.Bro J McCauley PAGDC who was the very first Master of the Lodge in 1920 as well as being one of our Founders. This Jewel is passed along to his successor, while in the following year he then wears a diamond studded gold Jewel which was first worn by W.Bro Harry Rigsby PPrJGW following his installation in 1948. Both Jewels were returned to the Lodge by the families of these distinguished Brethren.
In 1989 the Lodge became a Patron of the Masonic Trust for Boys and Girls, intending to target the Charity with a donation of £4103 in its festival year of 1997. This figure has been already well exceeded by the date of our 75thAnniversary.
The Lodge at present time unfortunately has only 26 members, but we hope in the near future to attract more.
We trust that with the blessing of the GAOTU the Lodge continues and be granted the health and good fortune.
|1920 J Macauly PAGDC||1921 J Forter PPrGD|
|1922 J Sargent PPrGDC||1922 J Sargent PPrGDC|
|1923 S H Goldstone PPrAGDC||1924 G C Latimer PPrGW|
|1925 Alfred Gordon||1926 F A Williams PPrAGDC|
|1927 W Griffiths PPrGDC||1927 W Griffiths PPrGDC|
|1928 W Griffiths PPrGDC||1929 S R Griffiths PPrAGDC|
|1930 A Colledge||1931 Wm Welsh|
|1932 T J Lewis PPrAGDC||1933 C V Smallwood PPrAGDC|
|1934 W H Whiting||1935 Harold Smith|
|1936 R R Honey PPrAGDC||1937 A P Hall|
|1938 S H Wright PPrAGDC||1939 Joseph Lunt|
|1940 S R Jackson PPrAGReg||1941 R W Jones|
|1942 T W Denney PPrAGDC||1943 R W Robertson|
|1944 J Whylie||1945 T C Jones|
|1946 T Robinson||1947 G R Pritchard|
|1948 Harry Rigsby PPrGW||1949 F Lennard|
|1950 J Hind PGStdB||1951 J V Hughes|
|1952 W E Wright||1953 Sidney B Wilcox|
|1954 William Roberts||1955 Harold A Fitzpatrick PPrSGW|
|1956 G T Prince PPrGD||1957 J Proudfoot PPrGDC|
|1958 J D Wilson PPrGD||1959 E Taylor PPrAGDC|
|1960 E Gronback||1961 W M Fitzpatrick PPrAGDC|
|1962 T A Houghton PPrJGD||1963 J Taggart|
|1964 T G Carrier PPrAGDC||1965 R G C Hannah PPrAGDC|
|1966 C Sargent PPrJGD||1967 J Montgomery|
|1968 E Dooley PPrAGDC||1969 E A Wood PPrJGW|
|1970 D L Jenkins PPrJGW||1971 H Moorcroft PPrJGW|
|1972 J S Fisher PPrJGW||1973 C E Fisher PPrDGSuptofWks|
|1974 L G Fisher PPrJGW||1975 T G Hughes PPrJGW|
|1976 T R Hitchman PPrJGD||1977 R W Porter PPrJGD|
|1978 W J Wilson PPrAGDC||1979R Draper|
|1980 S L Hughes PPrJGD||1981 K L Fisher PPrAGSuptofWKs|
|1982 P V Webb PPrJGD||1983 K Cook|
|1984 G Harvey PPrJGW||1985 G H Geale PPrAGSuptofWks|
|1986 P Cockton PPrAGDC||1987 A J Moore PPrAGDC|
|1988 F L Smith||1989 K G Clarke PprGSuptofWks|
|1990 P E Davies PPrAGDC||1991 J Banks PprGSuptofWks|
|1992 C MNewell||1993 C Turner|
|1994 D S Lindley||1995 A Dykes PPrJGD|
|1996 P Cockton PPrAGDC||1997 D Hockin|
|1998 P J Cockton||1999 A Marquis PPrAGDC|
|2000 R G Mottram||2001 R G Mottram|
|2002 P E Davies PPrAGDC||2003 A Marquis PPrAGDC|
|2004 C E Wright||2005 C E Wright|
|2006 C E Fisher PPrDGSuptofWks||2007 L G Fisher PPrJGW|
|2008 A Parkinson||2009 A T Hughes|
|2010 J S Smith|