Morecambe and Heysham Lodge
As for our town’s group of Lady Masons – known as the Morecambe and Heysham Lodge No.15 – it dates back to the 1930s.
In February 1938 the Very Worshipful Brother Elsie Anderson, then Grand Registrar, asked Brother Mrs M Herd if she could assist in forming a lady Freemasons’ Lodge in Morecambe.
Brother Herd, who owned a gown shop on Euston Road, gathered together a number of ladies who were interested and V. Wor. Bro. Anderson then visited Morecambe to explain the aims of Freemasonry to them.
After these 22 ‘brethren’ were initiated later that year, the Morecambe and Heysham Lodge No. 15 was officially consecrated into the Freemasons in June 1939 at a special meeting in the Temple, London.
The first Master (leader) of the Morecambe and Heysham Lodge was Mrs Jean Platten, who also sat on Morecambe Council.
Initially the Lodge was based in Alexandra Road at a rented premises, and some meetings were held at the Temple of Light on West End Road.
During the Second World War the Lodge was commandeered for use as a hospital for wounded soldiers, forcing the Brothers to find temporary premises.
When the War ended, this made the Morecambe brethren all the more determined to buy a Temple of their own.
When the former Christian Science Church on the corner of West End Road and Balmoral Road became available, the Lodge bought it. Named ‘The Unity Temple’, the building was officially dedicated to the purposes of Freemasonry in a ceremony on April 26, 1955.
Evelyn Battersby of Battersby Coaches was also a member of the Lodge and Master in 1944/5. After she died, the Temple was re-named the Evelyn Battersby Temple, a name still used today. A portrait of her still hangs in the Temple.
Today the Morecambe and Heysham Lodge is also the headquarters for Lady Freemasonry in the North of England, one of eight Lodges in the North.