Making Good Men Better
1971 marked the start of an action-packed period for Freemasonry in Coventry
An action-packed period for Freemasonry in Coventry began in 1971 with the opening of Allesley’s magnificent facilities. The conversion of the existing Allesley Hotel, partly funded through the sale of the freehold of the Little Park Street premises, was understood to have been carefully observed by Grand Lodge as an imaginative bid to link Masonic catering with a specialist concern. Nine Charterhouse brethren attended the dedication of the new Temple at Allesley.
Our first meeting there, at “Suite No.1 Allesley Hotel”, was for the Installation of Bro H C Thomas. Only two other Charterhouse Installations were held there for, after three years, a project which began in an atmosphere of high hopes and great enthusiasm suddenly collapsed, A series of factors seemed to all fall the wrong way, not least being the increasing interest rates at that time.
The Coventry lodges dispersed in an orderly retreat from an all-too-brief experience of grandeur. Much imagination went into the setting up of alternative arrangements. The Charterhouse solution to the problem of overcoming unexpected homelessness lay in a year’s refuge in another hotel, this time at Kenilworth. A reminder perhaps that development of Freemasonry in earlier generations was closely linked with taverns?
Worshipful Master during our period of exile from Coventry was Bro R N Cook, who was installed in the Greville Suite at the De Montfort Hotel, at a meeting held by dispensation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. A minor alteration to the access to these rooms was needed, and the cost was shared with Stivichall Lodge No. 5799 who were also using the De Montfort during this difficult time. Various members of our Lodge helped out with the transportation of items of equipment. The pedestals of the Lodge of Instruction were particularly useful.
The 1974/75 season found the Past Masters and Officers meetings and meetings of the Lodge of Instruction being held at premises attached to St. Mary Magdalene Church in Hearsall Lane, Coventry.
All meetings at Kenilworth were by dispensation. The last one, on 13 October, 1975, incorporated the Installation of Bro A S Turner as W M, and was attended by the Provincial Grand Master, R W Sir Stanley J Harley, who opened the Lodge.
The move back to Coventry and to our present home, the Coventry Masonic Heritage Centre, Warwick Road, was on 10 November, 1975.