Almost six months have passed since the e-mail arrived asking the team if we would deliver a 1759 performance for a 150th Lodge anniversary. It wasn’t immediately obvious that the venue would be Grand Lodge London, but when it was made clear we all jumped at the chance.
The 1759 team now raise their money for East Lancashire Masonic Charity as the festival is now passed and the members of the troupe wanted to stay together and continue raising funds.
Many practice sessions were conducted and it was on one of those sessions that somebody suggested the southern dialect was different to the norther and they wouldn’t have a clue what we were saying anyway. Especially Harvey Capstick, the Junior Deacon, who seems to have a unique dialect all his own.
The big day arrived and we all boarded the Train from Preston to Euston arriving at Grand Lodge around 3:45pm.
A couple of the team arrived the day before to set up the tables and scout out the room but unfortunately Grand Lodge is run on a very strict regime and they had no access to Lodge room number ten until later in the day, and nobody from Urban Lodge would be in attendance until around 4:00 pm.
Nothing to worry about as they joined a tour around Grand Lodge and had an amazing few hours viewing the magnificent building and museum. The Grand Lodge room was spectacular and well worth the trip alone. It was a pity we weren’t performing in there on the night.
The members of Urban Lodge made us feel very welcomed and I’m sure enjoyed the performance. One or two laughs came from the audience on the night, not sure if it was because how we looked or if it was John Hudson’s singing.
The Ladies also had the opportunity the enter the Lodge room and hear a brief explanation of the duties of each Lodge Officer and their place in the Lodge. They would have likely enjoyed the performance of the 1759 team and could easily have joined us for the show.
A brief walk down Great Queen Street in full 1759 outfit brought us to the Grand Connaught Rooms. The walk was something of a bold dash for some, but on entering the Connaught rooms we found the main room was being used for a boxing tournament and the entrance was policed by rather big lads. Nobody batted an eyelid as we climbed the stairs to the 1st floor dinning room. Later in the evening two of the team, on getting changed downstairs, came face to face with two of the boxing competitors in shorts and boxing gear. They were rightly impressed with the 1759 outfits and demanded photographs with the guys.
The White Table dinning event was excellent and the entertainment started immediately with an invigorating show of Bollywood dancing, which was amazing to see. We all enjoyed the event and took the opportunity to join in the Bollywood style dancing. See the pictures for proof.
It ended quite late with final drinks with the members of Urban lodge and stories of Masonic Travel and derring do.
Sunday morning came quite quickly for those who frequented the bar till 03:000 am but even those managed a full English breakfast in the Dinning Room.
By the time we had all arrived home I think we were all rather worn out but; in a good way.
The next performance is at Radlett Lodge in North London.