On the 28th September 2013, 15 of our members had a visit to the The Library and Museum of Freemasonry in Covent Garden. Freemason’s Hall was built after World War One in art deco style as a tribute to all the Freemasons who lost their lives, but there has been a Masonic meeting place on the Great Queen Street site since 1775.
On entering, we were ushered into the museum, which was full of masonic artifacts and information on past members including Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill and the artist Hogarth.
We then were taken to one of the meeting halls where members are initiated into the Masons.The room was completely dwarfed by 3 enormous chairs. These were specially made for one of the past Grandmasters, George IV who weighed 30 stone.
Trevor, our guide, then lead us to the Grand Temple which lies in the centre of the building and provides a meeting place for the various Masonic Lodges including the Grand Lodge.
The art deco detailing was amazing and you could see why the building was in demand as a film location.
Trevor was happy to answer our questions, all of which I think were asked by women! As the Masons realise, in order to grow and recruit new members it has to be more open. It was interesting to find out that the secret handshake developed in order to identify master stonemasons as they moved about the country to seek work at a time when most people were illiterate.
It was a really interesting visit and I for one really enjoyed, it even if I still don’t know if and why they roll up their trousers!