On Thursday 8th of October 2015 I visited Abbey Lodge 947’s Installation meeting in Abingdon.
Abingdon is a town in the county of Oxfordshire; this however, is the official county line. As far a Masonic Provinces goes Abingdon falls under the Province of Berkshire. There are four Masonic Lodges that meet in Abingdon, though my visit to Abbey Lodge has been my first visit to Abingdon (for Masonic purposes!)
I did have some trouble finding the where the Lodge meeting was to take place. According to the Provincial website the meetings take place in the Guildhall, but I noticed on the Summons that the meeting was to be in a place called Cosener’s House, close to the Guildhall.
I popped the post code of the venue in the sat-nav and promptly found myself in a car-park near a Waitrose. Knowing I was in the area I decided it best to park my car and hunt around on foot. Fortunately I did because when I was wandering around I saw a car drive past with three middle-ages, white-haired men in, all wearing black waist-coats over their white shirts. The car went down a part of the road that I assumed was a dead-end, so I quickly headed back to my car and set off in pursuit.
A hundred yards down the road was another smaller car park, complete with three gents putting on their jackets – who turned out to be the PGM and PSGW! It turns out that the Guildhall is currently undergoing refurbishment so the Abingdon Lodges have struck up an arrangement with a local hotel.
The Lodge room itself was a function room in the hotel. The Lodge furniture has been moved to the hotel from the Guildhall and the hotel lets them store it there. The door to the Lodge is even in the place!
It was a good meeting and good to see young Worshipful Master being installed into the Chair. Andy is works for the RAF at the nearby RAF base near Benson.
The Festive Board was also in the hotel, and I must say it was a very good meal – with a good drop of wine to go with it. One downside was there was a queue to get to to the bar after the meeting; it was a busy meeting, and having the PGM in attendance always draws a bigger crowd. (Obviously the staff at the hotel need to get used to the format too – I’m sure this will be rectified with future meetings.)
It was also good to meet some Masters of other Lodges, particularly of those from Masonic centres in and around Abingdon.