For the trip to Grand Lodge on the 9th June we had our largest contingent yet, 108 East Lancs Mark Masons made the trip down to London . Tuesday We set off from Piccadilly on the 0855 hrs train to Euston, we had carriages A and B to ourselves. Our old friend Tracey was our train Manager and she helped the Stewards look after the large numbers in the 2 carriages . Unfortunately there were some cars travelling down from the North of the Province that were held up by an accident on the M62 , so the PGM, his chauffeur, navigator and bag carrier had to catch a later train and missed out on the delightful snacks and drinks laid on by the Stewards. Apparently Malcolm worked his magic and they were well looked after on their way down.
Some of the travellers are shown below on the journey down.
You can view the photos as a slide show just click on the first one and scroll right with the arrow.
We arrived in London Safely and made our way to Great Queen Street.
The Stewards and Investees went off for their practices and the rest dropped our bags off and repaired to a Local Hostelry.
The meeting started at 2 pm and we managed to get in and get good seats, the Lodge Room was full and their was an overflow room with 200 people in that!
It was nice to see one of the Grand DCs team do the fire procedure and point out the exits using his arms in the manner to which we have become accustomed!
The Grand Master, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent presided over the Meeting and he invested over 400, including the following brethren;
|Grand Standard Bearer||Keith Doyle||F W Broadbent||1132|
|Grand Steward||David Biggs||Wycollar||1582|
|Grand Steward||Gerry Young||Progress||1577|
|Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies||Peter Rothwell||Quatour Legati||1165|
|Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies||Brendan Harte||Manchester Engineers||1059|
|Past Grand Sword Bearer||James Beninson||Temperance||56|
|Past Grand Standard Bearer||Philip Price||Manchester Keystone||745|
|Past Grand Junior Warden||Arthur Axford||Manchester Keystone||745|
|Past Grand JuniorOverseer||Brian Sigsworth||St Andrew's||34|
|Past Grand Junior Deacon||Gary Williams||Wycollar ||1582|
|Past Grand Junior Deacon||Martin Kay||Skelmersdale||141|
|Past Grand Junior Deacon||Fraser McCord||University of Manchester ||100|
Following the Meeting it was off to the Connaught Rooms for dinner, the beef was quite good and the pudding was very tasty, although the wine ran out quite quickly. After the meal we had to join the extra long queue at the cloakroom to retrieve our bags, grab a taxi and then head off to the Union Jack Club.
We settled in to our Rooms and then gathered in the bar for a quiet drink and conversation.
Wednesday we enjoyed a cooked breakfast and then we split up to do our own exploring around the Capital, some are seen here with some of the big shots at the Imperial War Museum.
The Museums around London were also Popular with the Victoria and Albert on the list. There were also visits to Covent Garden, and the Natural History Museum.
The train back to Manchester left at 1820 hrs and this year everyone made it to the Station on time, we were in Carriages A and B again and it was a long walk down the other end of the platform, the upside was we were near the exit when we got to Manchester.
Tracey was travelling with us for the last time as she is moving on and she was presented with a Marks and Spencer’s voucher in appreciation for the way she has looked after us over the years.
The train arrived back in Manchester on time at 2025 hrs and over 100 weary travellers made their way to their connections home.
Until the next time, see you on the train in December for the Grand RAM Investiture!