About the Lodge
Le Willows Lodge is a travelling lodge meeting 3 times in the summer months. We describe ourselves as Nottinghamshire's Motorcycle Lodge, and although a large proportion of our membership own and ride new and vintage motorcycles or own classic cars, we accept any candidates who are willing to pitch in and join in our masonic and social activities.
As a special interest Lodge, meeting when most Lodges are on their summer break, we have many members who are also long-standing members of other Lodges. Our ritual is therefore of a high standard, but we believe in encouraging rather than pressurising newer members through their Masonic progression.
We are a mixed age group of about 25 members, but all are young at heart. A typical meeting will entail travelling to a Masonic Hall within a reasonable distance from Nottingham, so that those who wish to can return to Nottingham on the same day. Other members may make a weekend of it, camping over on a Friday evening, holding the meeting in the afternoon and camping over on a Saturday evening having relaxed camaraderie and beers around a campfire. It is not unusual to see more campervans and caravans than bikes and tents at our gatherings.
We have visited Masonic Halls in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, but we always hold our Installation meeting in Nottingham.
The friendship among our Brethren enhancing the enjoyment of our meetings; the support given to those in need, in terms far broader than merely financial support; and the success in making our good members better men. The principles and tenets of Freemasonry remain firm and hold true in our time just as they did in the time of our founders and forebears.
We hold 3 meetings a year. The 2nd Saturday in May, the 1st Saturday in July and hold our Installation meeting at Nottingham on the 3rd Saturday in September. All are afternoon meetings starting at 3:00 p.m.
Our annual membership fees fairly reflect the limited number of meetings we hold. But, although we only hold 3 meetings in the summer, our members are often members of other lodges, so there are always opportunities to accompany your Le Willows companions to other meetings throughout the year.
As a Lodge proud of its past charitable giving we will always strive to donate any excess funds to worthy causes and fully support our members in their personal charitable activities. Currently our membership are involved in supporting Nottingham based homelessness and Brain Tumour research charities.
The Le Willows Lodge was consecrated on the 4th July 1918, at the Institute in Carlton at 4pm and the minutes of this meeting record that it was preceded by a church service at Carlton Parish Church at 3pm.
The formation of Le Willows Lodge at this time is remarkable, in that it was the only Lodge to be consecrated in Nottinghamshire during the Great War. Whether or not this was done in an optimistic mood that the conflict was bound to end soon, we may never know. Nevertheless, the blessed end of that conflict appears to have assured the Lodge of a wealth of future candidates, something which can be seen from the minutes of the early meetings of the Lodge.
In October 1926 the original Lodge Banner was unveiled which today hangs in the Masonic Hall Goldsmith Street and integral within is an original oil painted canvas showing fields framed by Willow Trees. The trees are long gone, but like the Le Willows Lodge, the local landmarks Willow Park, Willow Lane, Carlton Le Willows Academy and the Willowbrook pub all preserve the past historic ties to the Carlton/Gedling area.
The 14th November 1994 witnessed the dedication of our new Banner.
Our motto is 'Respice Finem' meaning Look to the end : live so that your life will be approved after your death : consider the consequences of your actions.
A number of especial meetings took place in early 1931 at which it was proposed the Lodge be relocated from the Institute Carlton, to Goldsmith Street Nottingham where it still meets today for its Installation meeting.
The mid 1960’s saw the Lodge still in very good health and most meetings achieved regular attendance numbers of between 55 and 70 brethren, but after many successful years, surviving through two World wars, the 1980’s and 1990’s reflected a general trend downward in Masonic membership numbers, with average meeting attendance hovering around 30 – 35.
Serendipitously, at this time, one of the Brethren was a founder member of the Widow's Sons Masonic Motorcycle Association, who were considering forming a motorcycle lodge. In an arrangement beneficial to both parties, a subsequent Le Willows meeting saw an influx of a 19 new joining members, ensuring the healthy survival of the lodge and stability for the existing members.
As mentioned above our lodge is open to all. If you ride a motorcycle or are interested in classic cars you will find many a kindred spirit, but as our non-riders know this is not at all essential and all are valued and have a full participation in the life of the lodge.
We have a really diverse collection of members both in age and occupations, retirees, ex and current university lecturers, teachers, truck drivers, crane operators, civil engineers, computer programmers, air conditioning/heating experts, publicans, cider brewers, accountants, youth workers, military - you name it someone probably has been it at some time or other.
Any candidate will always be welcomed as a friend and will find someone to talk to and fit in.
Our main requirement from a candidate is commitment. We would like our members to work hard and play hard and we passionately believe the more you put in the more you will get out of Masonry. We always welcome joiners from other lodges who wish to continue their Masonic activities through the summer when most lodges are on a break, but we always cherish getting new candidates and watching them develop their personal confidence and make progress through our lodge to become a credit to themselves and the Masonic Movement.