Potted History of the Lodge

You can download the up to date file of the Lodge History by clicking here


Patron Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. Patron Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. Patron Royal Masonic Institution for Boys. Patron Royal Masonic Hospital



We are a very friendly and sociable lodge, who are in 2018 celebrating our centenary year. We have many fun-filled meetings and various fund-raising events. These include ceremonies for the initiation of new candidates who want to become freemasons, Lectures, White tables, Ladies Nights, Cricket days, golf days, quizzes and other community based fund-raising events.

 Brief history. The Lodge of Old Friendship was issued a warrant on December the 8th 1918 and consecrated by the RW Provincial Grand Master Lord Lambourne on the 24th March 1919 at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London . We latterly met at the White Hart Hotel, Nr Market place, Romford. After various meeting places, we moved to Chingford in 1946, There to remain for the next 50Yrs. We eventually moved to Upminster and back home to Havering – The place of our infant nurture in 1999 – We are still there and still going strong.

Our Membership. As a Lodge which is 100 years old, we have many established traditions which we enjoy and embrace, these have been added to and embellished into rich traditions over the years. Our ages ranges from early 30’s to late 60’s – but we do have a few in their late 70’s. Our members  range across many different professions, ranging from, teachers, accountants, police officers, to French polishers and graphic designers, some are retired but all are an interesting range of people with a common interest in helping others, less fortunate than themselves. Most live in Essex, London, Some as far as Suffolk.

Meeting dates: We meet formally five times a year at the Upminster Masonic Hall in Deyncourt Gardens, Upminster, on the fourth Friday in January, March and October and the first Friday in May (Installation,) and ( carols) second Friday in December

The Lodge of Instruction is currently held every Monday from September to June at 7:30At Bretons Manor, Upper Rainham Road, Hornchurch..

Are you interested in joining our friendly lodge? If you are a decent, honest and trustworthy person over 21 are interested in helping your fellow man and have a healthy interest in learning about the history and mysteries of Freemasonry and wish to be a part of a worldwide fraternity whose members enjoy each other’s company- then please get in touch , we would certainly love to welcome you in: W.Bro Paul Towsey Lodge Mentor.

Masonic ancestry features in BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine

Masonic ancestry features in BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine

Tracing masonic ancestry

An article about tracing ancestry through Freemasonry has appeared in the March issue of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. It was produced through a collaboration between St David’s Lodge, No. 393, Berwick-upon-Tweed; The King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) Association Regimental Museum; and Berwick Record Office.

‘We get a lot of people researching family trees asking us about their masonic ancestry and we can trace Freemasonry in Berwick back to 1647,’ said Master of St David’s Lodge, Steve Newman.

‘The regiment had its own lodge,’ added KOSB Association secretary and lodge member Ed Swales. ‘Many soldiers joined St David’s Lodge when they were stationed here at the depot.’

The oldest Lodge Minute – 9 January 1599

The oldest Lodge Minute – 9 January 1599

Source: The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

On Saturday last we posted an image, transcription and translation of the oldest Lodge Minute in the world being that of Lodge Aitcheson’s Haven. We also provided a contemporary map (1610) in order that you could see the exact location of the Lodge and also use that to locate it on a modern map – an interesting exercise on it own.

We also promised that today we would discuss the importance of this Minute and attempt to ‘tease out’ information from this brief entry in a Minute Book from 417 years ago.

Before doing so there is some background information would be helpful for the discussion to follow.

This Lodge Minute is the oldest in the world but the Lodge became dormant in 1852. The oldest Minute of a Lodge which still exists in that of The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel), No.1 and which is dated 31 July 1599.

Although the Lodge Minute of Aitcheson’s Haven is dated 9 January 1599 it is obvious that this was not the date the Lodge was founded because the meeting was held to make Robert Widderspone a Fellow of Craft – meaning that he was already an Entered Apprentice. How no Minute of him being admitted as such exists thereby showing that earlier meetings had been held but were not recorded.

The Minute also records the presence of eight men who were Fellows of Craft but likewise there is no Minute that records their admission to the Lodge. In short then the Lodge was in existence before January 1599 but no Minutes were kept of these earlier meetings. What caused the Lodge (an others) to start to keep written records is due to the First Schaw Statutes issued on 28 December 1598 which, among other things, required Lodges to start to keep written records.

That is Minute records a ceremony is not in doubt: ‘Robert Widderspone was maid fellow of Craft’ but frustratingly there are no details of the ceremony recorded in the Minute – most likely for reasons of secrecy. However, the ceremony of being made a Fellow of Craft appears to have been the beginning of the process because Robert Widderspone had to choose two ‘intenders and instructouris’ strongly suggesting that further education was to follow.

These early Minutes have much to tell us and we hope to return to this subject once more in the near future.