Lodge History

Now the oldest organisation in the town, the light of Masonry first shone in Barrhead in 1824. About this time, Barrhead was a mere collection of four different hamlets, Ralston, Dovecothall, Grahamston and West Arthurlie, names which are still known and recognised to this present day.

A number of brethren in the town, recognising the need for Freemasonry, and probably judging that it would be invaluable for the moral and social advancement of the community, presented a petition to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, asking that a Charter be granted for the purpose of holding a lodge in the town. A Charter was granted on the 2nd February 1824 and Lodge Union & Crown No. 378 came into being. It is noteworthy that this original charter, signed by the Grand Master Mason, his Grace the Duke of Argyll, is still in use at all meetings of the Lodge.

Recession struck the town during the 1830’s and the Lodge slipped into darkness for a number of years, only to be resuscitated in 1868 when the authority to work under the original charter was given by Grand Lodge. During the dormancy of the Lodge, all Lodges within the Scottish Craft were renumbered, with the result that Union & Crown, Barrhead was given the new and now familiar number 307. At that time the Lodge met in an upper room of the Queen’s Arms Hotel and at the first meeting in 1868, 11 Candidates were Entered, Passed & Raised on the same evening, probably by Lodge Pollokshaws R.A., No. 153 with an initiation fee £1-12s-6d (£1.63).

 

The Lodge moved to the Lesser Public hall in 1872 and continued to meet on alternate Mondays during the winter months, although for a short spell they met on a Wednesday. The Benevolent fund was established in 1877 with the sum of 2/-6d (13p) payable annually by each member.    Over the next couple of decades the Lodge went from strength to strength taking part in the laying of memorial stones throughout the district, usually accompanied by the local brass band.

 

In 1905 the regular meeting night was moved to a Tuesday and a few years later in 1910 a fine new temple was erected on the present site at a cost of £1446. The memorial stone was laid with full Masonic honours in September of that year by the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Zachariah Henry Heys.

The Lodge celebrated its centenary in 1924 with a series of festivities, the highlight of which was a dinner for almost 350 people in the Higher Grade School. It has continued to prosper throughout the 20th century, with a long list of credits to its name. During the 1970’s attendances climbed steadily culminating in a series of record attendances in the mid 1980’s and whilst these have now levelled out and stabilised, we are still one of the most successful and well supported Lodges in the Scottish Craft.

A handsome extension was erected in 1994, enhancing the already impressive listed building. The Lodge Celebrated its 175th anniversary with a fabulous week of celebrations in February 1999, culminating in a re-dedication and consecration meeting within the temple, conducted by Provincial Grand Lodge. Thereafter a dinner attended by over 300 brethren was held within the main hall of the old Barrhead Higher Grade School in Main Street (the site of the centenary dinner in 1924).

Later that year 25 brethren of the Lodge travelled to Frituna Lodge, No. 2949 in Essex to confer an exemplification of our popular Dramatised Master Mason degree, a trip, which was repeated 2 years later.

Early in 2001, over 30 brethren travelled across the Atlantic to Houston in Texas where we had been invited to confer an EA and Dramatised MM degree within Spring Lodge #1174 (a reciprocal visit was hosted by Union & Crown in November 2002 when a group of our Texan brethren and their wives came to Barrhead as our guests).

In April 2001 the Lodge was further honoured when we were invited to confer the Dramatised Fellowcraft degree within Provincial Grand Lodge as part of their 175th anniversary celebrations, the very first occasion a Daughter Lodge has been invited to confer a degree within Provincial Grand Lodge. 

In addition, in 2012 Union & Crown were invited to confer their Dramatised Fellowcraft Degree within Grand Lodge, in front of an invited audience of Grand Secretaries from across the globe.  A tremendous honour for 307.

Over the years, there have been several famous freemasons within Lodge Union & Crown –

  • Lord Colin Renfrew of Kaimsthorn & Hurlet,
  • Bro Sir Henry Meechan, Bros Bob McPhail,
  • David Provan, Gordon Durie & Bobby McKean (all of Rangers F.C.),
  • Bro Malcolm McPhail (Scottish Cup Winner with Kilmarnock F.C. in 1919) and
  • Bro Cameron Peddie (Author & Faith Healer).

There can be no doubt that Lodge Union & Crown, No. 307 are still very much to the forefront within the town of Barrhead, and throughout Freemasonry, as we celebrate our anniversary.

 

 

Extracted from

“A Short History of the Daughter Lodges”

A Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East publication

By

Bro. James W Renfrew PM, No.307