Prince Setanta Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1446
Triple Keystone Lodge
52nd Fylde Festival Meeting
The Masonic Hall, 14, Market Place, Poulton-le-Fylde 13th April 2023
Another Special Mark Meeting to look forward to, the 52nd Fylde Festival, you can see by the number how long these have been taking place, it is always treated as an honour by the Lodge who has been chosen to present the Festival. I set off with the usual happy anticipation as I know it will be a great meeting amongst friends.
Off we go pretty quick up the on ramp for the M60 but as you can see from a picture that’s where it ends, made it into the outside lane which is always advisable when trying to get to the M61, crawled along and made it in about 15 minutes then it was high speed, 50 MPH until arriving at the M6 junction, now were flying apart from watching out for the pot holes. Plenty of easy car parking in Poulton, made my way to the Hall before a very important errand I had to do, a visit to the famous Pie (Pork) Shop in the Market Square. Would you believe it, the blinds were down and the sign said CLOSED, yes closed, ah well you can’t win them all, headed back to the Hall and found a cosy corner, then settled down with a nice drink of coffee.
Set off mooching around as usual, great building with a fine Lodge room and plenty of anti-rooms, I do hope it continues for many years and not as the rumours being spread around about its future. Before too long members and visitors began to arrive, lots of friendly chat and stories from all over the Province.
“The Magic of the Mark.”   
The meeting started on time at 5.45pm and following several housekeeping items our PGM R.W. Bro. Keith Alan Beardmore entered the proceedings accompanied by Acting Grand and Provincial Grand officers, he was welcomed by the W.M. Allan J. Gould on behalf of the Lodge members and offered the Gavel, which on this special occasion Keith said he would accept for only a short period as there was quite a lot of business to get through.
Due salutations were given to the PGM, his Deputy and two Assistant PGM’s all were acknowledged and well received.
It was now time for the meeting to be called off whilst the 52nd Annual Blackpool and District Association of Mark Lodges could present their story of “The Early Days of Mark Masonry” complete with slides and several question-and-answer sections.
A Craft Mason was invited into the meeting to hopefully learn something about the history of the Mark.
On its completion our own PGM took to the floor and gave a very interesting story of his own history since joining the Mark Degree. The presentation once complete was given loud acclaim by all present. The Craft Mason retired from the Lodge and following a collection for the Charities it was time to close the meeting. Everybody returned for the usual photo session before making their way to the dining room for some liquid refreshment and taking up their allotted seats for the Festive Board.
An excellent meal was served up by the friendly and attentive hall staff, the usual Toasts and Responses followed which again were all well received, a request for a Lodge to continue the Festival tradition for next year was put forward and came as somewhat of a surprise to the Asst PGM W.Bro. Giles Berkley PGJD who accepted the honour on behalf of Bispham and Norbreck Mark Lodge, No. 866.
It wasn’t quite over; a further surprise was to follow when several members of Semper Fidelis Mark Lodge No.880 crept up behind the WM and to his surprise had they much pleasure in presenting him with the West Lancashire Travelling Keystone.
That was it all too soon it was over, another great meeting, an evening spent in good company with genuine Masons (Mark Masons), here’s looking forward to the next one to see old friends and those I have yet to meet, remember your only a stranger once.
Here’s hoping to see everyone at the Provincial Grand Mark Lodge at the Winter Gardens, Spanish Hall Blackpool on Thursday 27th April seated by 1.30pm. If you’re not booked in just come along and fill an attendance card in, all Mark and Royal Ark Masons are welcome, let’s all support our PGM.
Words and pictures by Austin N Fletcher PGJD