Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Shirley celebrates 85 years of Lodge
A freemasons lodge whose roots are in Haworth is celebrating its 85th birthday.
Shirley Lodge No 4978 was founded in the Bronte village and named after a novel by one of the famous literary sisters, Charlotte.
The group was set up after an existing well-subscribed Haworth lodge, the Lodge of the Three Graces No 408, decided another was needed to cope with numbers.
The Bronte siblings’ father, Patrick, was a member and secretary of the Three Graces for a short time.
David Mortimer, assistant secretary of Shirley Lodge No 4978, said: “When seeking a name for the new lodge they sought to commemorate the Bronte connection and settled on Shirley, from the book of the same name by Charlotte first published in 1849.
“Its title was originally expected to be Hollows Mill but Charlotte was persuaded by her publishers to adopt Shirley because of the fine portrayal of her leading character Shirley Keelder, which is generally acknowledged to have been based on her sister Emily.”
The lodge has a painting of Oakwell Hall – Fieldhead in the book.
And it has recently acquired a memento from the lodge’s formative days – a framed collection of photographs of its founders.
“This item was recovered in a most fortuitous manner due to the actions of a freemason in Manchester who discovered it for sale on the internet and alerted the Shirley Lodge members,” said Mr Mortimer.
“It transpired that it was being sold by a house clearance business in Bridgewater, Somerset, and was in poor condition. The lodge bought and restored it but it is not known how it got from Haworth to Bridgewater, nor who originally commissioned and financed its production.”
Both items can be seen at open days being staged by the lodge, which remained in Haworth until 1984 but is now based at the masonic hall in Charles Street, Bingley.
The open days are on Tuesday (September 4), from 7.30pm to 9pm, and next Saturday, September 8, from 10.30am to 2pm.
For more details, visit bingley freemasons.com or write to Bingley Masonic Hall, Charles Street, Bingley BD16 4LG.