01200 424578




01200 426272

Brief History of Keep Lodge - 6538


Keep Lodge, Clitheroe, was founded in 1947 shortly after the end of the Second World War, when men, demobbed from the forces were perhaps in search of something spiritually deeper than their religion could provide. Traditionally, Masonic lodges have always seen a rise in membership following wars or great upheaval.

The year did not start well for the founding fathers with the worst Winter in living memory. The whole country was buried beneath a thick blanket of snow with villages in the Ribble Valley cut off for days.

Local roads were buried under 6ft drifts while farmers lost hundreds of sheep under drifts of up to 20ft in the fields. Milk could not be collected and in the Downham and Twiston area, farmers knocked down walls to sledge the milk over fields to collection points.
Clothing was rationed and regalia for the Freemasons was classed as clothing so they had to rush round collecting coupons to buy their regalia.

Food was also still rationed following the war and the founding secretary had to apply for coupons to hold the inaugral banquet at the Swan & Royal Hotel. Despite great shortages, Mrs Truman, Mine Host at the hotel, provided wine and sherry for the banquet and two bottles of whiskey to help the meal settle!

The cost of a ticket was one guinea (£1.05) and 110 Freemasons attended, including the then lawyer and later High Court Judge, Benjamin Ormerod, who was subsequently knighted.

The founders - all local men - had many interests in common: church, cricket, golf and there were strong ties with the local amateur operatic and dramatic society.