Home of the Freemasons in Southend

Grey Towers Lodge 7787


Introduction

Grey Towers Lodge is an eclectic group, dedicated to enjoying their Freemasonry and each other’s company, whilst supporting charity.  The Lodge members are surprisingly diverse in background, age and home location, with members from London, Surrey, Sussex and Buckinghamshire, as well as throughout Essex. The Lodge has four formal meetings each year, all of which take place on a Saturday, which is ideal for those who work during the week. With the exception of the September (Installation) meeting, the meetings are held in the morning, which has the further advantage of leaving Saturday evening free for family and other commitments.

The opportunity of a night out mid-week is not overlooked, however, with the ‘Lodge of Instruction’ (LOI) meeting on many Wednesday evenings at West Horndon. The LOI is really the heart of the Lodge where members get to meet each other on a regular basis and practise the work in an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere, always with the likelihood of a pint afterwards.

So, if you would like to join a friendly and diverse Lodge, contact the Secretary for further details. To see our Lodge history please click the button below.



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For more information please contact our secretary Kevin Hendle by e-mail: KEVIN.PC.HENDLE@GMAIL.COM



Lodge History

The Grey Towers Lodge is named after ‘Grey Towers’, an imposing castellated Victorian mansion designed and built in Hornchurch in 1876 by Lieut. Colonel Holmes, D.L., J.P., the owner and occupier. Old photographs depict truly pleasant, peaceful and rural scenes in the grounds of Grey Towers, whilst those of the old mansion itself show the excellence of its design. The facade being covered with Ivy which must have presented a charming, delightful and wonderful picture through the changing seasons of the year. When Lieut. Colonel Holmes built Grey Towers he took over part of the grounds of "Langtons" a handsome Georgian mansion which was for many years was used as the administrative Offices of the old Hornchurch Urban District Council.

The dwelling itself has now disappeared, together with the two lodges which marked the entrance to the Drive leading through Grey Towers Park, now transformed into a residential and shopping area. This Drive was originally an avenue of stately Lime trees, a few of which still remain, facing Harrow Lodge Park, near the junction of Abbs Cross Lane. The Lodge crest commemorates that entrance to the Drive.

On the 14th January 1961 members of Lodge of Industry discussed the sponsorship of a Daughter Lodge and this proposition was carried with the full support of all the members present. As many members of the Lodge of Industry lived in the Hornchurch area, the new Lodge was named after ‘Grey Towers’. Following upon this resolution, arrangements were made for the Consecration Ceremony of the Grey Towers Lodge to take place at Freemasons Hall, Southend-on-Sea, on the 19th March 1962, which was performed by W.Bro. Dr. A. G. Duncan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, together with 14 Provincial Officers, 24 Founders and 91 visitors present.

Until early 1970, the regular meetings were held at the Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford. In January 1970 the Royal Forest Hotel advised that they would be closing the Hotel for all Masonic Functions and meetings from May. Many successful meetings had been held at this Temple, together with some very happy Festive Boards. It was there, at one of the earliest Festive Boards, that W.Bro. A. Soames introduced,

"Worshipful Master we will take Wine with you"

A tradition that the Lodge still maintains to this day and is characteristic of our concord and harmony and which has become the symbol of a very happy Lodge.  Most of us feel sure that this alone has encouraged members to bring visitors along to our meetings (and for those visitors to return).

With the closure of the Royal Forest Hotel, the Lodge transferred its meeting place to Southend Memorial Temple, Southend and it was this move that necessitated all meetings with the exception of Installation being held on a Saturday morning. The Lodge still meets at Southend, now at Saxon Hall, the successor to the Southend Memorial Temple. Despite meeting at Southend, the Lodge still draws many of its members from the Essex/London borders, although other members come from as far afield as Surrey, Sussex and Buckinghamshire.


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Saxon Hall, Aviation Way, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 6UN
T. (01702) 545554
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