ISSUE 20, January 2007
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Two-handled loving cup; Silver gilt and ivory trowel used by the Grand Master, the Earl of Zetland to lay the foundation stone of the Victorian Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street in 1864 which was purchased earlier this year by the Library and Museum.
    The exhibition was reviewed by the professional publication, the museums journal where it was described as being “of the scale and standard exemplified by [exhibitions] offered by national museums”. The achievement of the exhibition, according to the review, was “to draw attention to the abysmal ignorance …of the social history of fraternity”.
    The Library and Museum has continued to seek ways to allay this ignorance and its leading role in this sector has now been recognised by the award of a small grant by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to explore the establishment of a Subject Specialist Network on Fraternal and Friendly Societies and Associations.
    Working with major museums across the country including Beamish Open Air Museum, the British Museum and the Museum of English Rural Life at Reading, the Library and Museum organised a workshop in Manchester in December for curators, librarians and archivists whose collections include fraternal society material.
    It is intended that this will be the beginnings of a network which will uncover these hidden collections, help other museums, libraries and archives make more effective use of them and put on displays to attract new audiences.

Diane Clements is Director of the Library & Museum of Freemasonry


After my talk at Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication in September, a number of people have asked me about the Friends of the Library and Museum. This is one of a number of ways in which the Library and Museum helps to fund itself. Although a Masonic charity, it does not take part in the Festival system.
    The Friends group is open both to Freemasons and the general public. Friends receive regular newsletters featuring news about acquisitions, articles about particular aspects of the collections and book reviews. Recent editions included articles about the built Masonic heritage, about Sir Michael Costa, an important (but largely forgotten) musician of the 19th century and an account of the ‘behind the scenes of Freemasons’ Hall’ tour, one of the events organised in conjunction with the Summer exhibition The Hall in the Garden.
    There are occasional special events for Friends and discount vouchers on selected shop products.
    Contributions from Friends assist in the development of the Library and Museum and help fund acquisitions and care for the collections. The most recent acquisition made with the support of income from the Friends was a large ceramic two-handled loving cup depicting a meeting of an, as yet unidentified, fraternity. Only one other example of this pattern is known (in the People’s History Museum in Manchester, where it is shown on a much smaller mug).
    It costs £25 a year join as an individual Friend or £50 a year as an individual Lodge or Chapter. Friends who are taxpayers can pay their subscriptions under the Gift Aid scheme. It is also possible to purchase a subscription as a gift.
    Further details of the Friends group can be found on the Library and Museum website at where an application form can be found. Letchworth’s, the Shop at Freemasons’ Hall, is another important source of funding for the Library and Museum. Building on the excellent work of the late Walter Crombie and the London Grand Rank Association for the Grand Charity, the Library and Museum purchased the shop company from the Grand Charity in 2002.
    Kevin Duffy was appointed as manager and under his management the Shop has gone from strength to strength selling a wide range of books, regalia, ties, souvenirs and jewellery.
    The Shop has developed a mail order catalogue and a web site,, where you can buy online. All the profits from the Shop go towards the work of the Library and Museum.

Diane Clements

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