History of the Masonic Hall Building
The Masonic Hall is constructed of gault bricks with a plain clay tiled roof. It has semi-circular headed vertical window openings with metal small paned windows. It was formerly the Sunday School of the John Street Congregational Church 1843-1922. The church originally stood opposite, but was demolished in the 1960s.
Founding The Lodge
Royston Lodge No.4304 was consecrated at the Town Hall, Royston on Monday 17th October 1921 by R.W Bro the Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick Halsey Bart, Deputy Grand Master, Provincial Grand Master.
In total 63 brethern were present and the consecration including:
- 9 Consecration Officers
- 17 Founders
- 37 Visitors
The minutes recorded that R.W. Bro Charles Edward Keyser, the Installing Officer, gave all three addresses. The final minute of the consecration meeting reads ” The Brethern adjourned to the Bull hotel where an excellent banquet was provided”.
At the first Regular meeting on 17th Decemeber 1921 Mr Simms Camps was initiated.
The idea of forming a Lodge at Royston was conceived at Buntingford at Wyddial Hall, the seat of its first Master. There Col. Charles Heaton-Ellis gathered his co-founders together and made sure that they were fully aware of, and prepared to undertake, the duties he was assuming.
The Petition of the Founders was sponsored by Cecil Lodge No. 449, for which act the members of Royston Lodge will always be grateful. The Petition was considered at a meeting in the Sun Hotel on the 12th May 1921 and by unanimous vote of the brethren was signed by W. Bro Hugh E. Perks, Master, Bro. A. W. C. Bullmore, Senior Warden and by Bro T. G. Williams, Junior Warden. The recommendation of the R. W Provincial Grand Master was made on 16th May 1921. The Warrant was issued on the 30th May 1921 without delay.
The Lodge Banner
The next event of special note occurred at the Regular Meeting held on 10th April 1928, when the Lodge Stand was presented by the first Master, W. Bro Sir Charles Heaton-Ellis, C.B.E., P.G.D., was Consecrated by W. Bro W. Hamilton Underhill, Deputy Provincial Grand Master. The Consecrating Chaplain was W. Bro Rev. Bernard W. Harvey, P. A. G. Chaplain. Sir Charles Heaton-Ellis unveiled the Standard and requested the Worshipful Master Bro. Samual Taylor, to Accept it on behalf of the Lodge. There can be little doubt that at the end of the Ceremony it was placed in the N.E. corner of the Temple: its honoured place today.
The War Years
In 1941 the War Office requisitioned the Masonic Building at the meetings were transferred to Icknield Halls. A special emercency meeting was held on the 20th March 1943 to Initiate Mr Godfrey Kent who later became the only member of Royston Lodge to become Provinical Grand Master (PGM). At the time Mr Kent was serving as Lieutenant in the Cambridgeshire Regiment and was expecting to be ordered overseas and wanted very much to become a Mason before leaving. It wasn’t until the 13th Ocober 1945 when the Masonic Building was derequistioned.