Freemasonry has long been associated with the township of Newton-
The reason for the move was the distance the brethren had to travel from Ashton to Newton which was “much against the officers perfecting their duties; that there was only 3 out of 22 members from Newton; there was a prospect of an increase in respectable gentlemen; the difficulties of making the journey from Ashton to Newton in winter and summer and its effect on the health of the brethren; and the hour they reached home after Lodge.”
However, 41 years later the members from Newton had increased for they found themselves in a similar situation, and in 1886, 14 members of the Lodge of Faith, together with two other Freemasons, founded Makerfield Lodge No. 2155, which was consecrated at the Pied Bull Hotel, Newton-
In 1901, after the building of the tower at St Peter’s Church, the No. 7 bell was presented by the Freemasons of the Province of West Lancashire.
The inscription on the bell reads:The symbols of our Order are The Compass, Level and the Square Which teach us to be just and fair-
Over a hundred years later it is still proclaiming the same message as it calls the faithful to worship.
Formation of The Willows Lodge
On the 17th December 1931 a meeting of 19 Master Masons was held at the Pied Bull Hotel, Newton-
It was also suggested that the Lodge should meet in the Club Room at the new Pied Bull Hotel , which was an ideal place for a small Lodge. After being addressed by the Worshipful Master and Secretary of Makerfield Lodge, it appeared that Makerfield would prefer the new Lodge to meet at the Town Hall, Newton-
This was subsequently granted at a fee of 12s. per meeting on the last Thursday in the months September to May inclusive, and a fee of 2s. 6d. per meeting for the board room for the previous Thursday. It was also decided that dress for Lodge meetings should be evening dress with white gloves, which continued until the start of the war. Today, this tradition is carried on by the wearing of dinner jackets by the officers at Lodge meetings. Altogether there were six meetings of the Founders Committee between 17th December 1931 and 31st March 1932. The Warrant of the Lodge is dated 2nd March, 1932.
NEWTON LODGE No.6288 History
At the 120th regular meeting of the Willows Lodge held on the 29th November 1945 it was reported that a communication had been received regarding the formation of a new Lodge in Newton-
Due to a 50% increase in charges by Newton-
At the regular meeting on Thursday 14th April 1988 a ceremony was held to dedicate the Banner of the Lodge. The banner has as its centrepiece the design of the badge adopted by the Founders when the Lodge was formed. The badge is in two parts, The top part under a scroll bearing the name of the Lodge is the Rams Head crest rising from a coronet. This is the crest of arms of the Legh family of Lyme who were raised to peerage in 1892, The bottom half depicts the lake below the Church of St Peter, Newton-
NEWTON LODGE No.6288 Today
Heading towards the 300th celebration of Freemasonry in 2017 is probably going to be a great challenge for the Lodge, as along with most other Lodges, membership is declining. One only hopes that the support offered by the strength of our members and from our many visitors will see us through these difficult times.
W.Bro David Whitmore P.Pr.D.G.Supt of Wks