Blackpool Lodge No 1476

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The Warrant of the Lodge was granted in 1873 and is dated 3rd December, and is the daughter Lodge of Clifton. The Consecration took place on 22nd May 1874 at the Clifton Arms and Pier Hotel. The first master of the Lodge was W. Bro. Ralph Landless, known to his associates as Red Ralph, on account of his red hair. He claimed to be descended from Rob Roy MacGregor. As the name of MacGregor was proscribed by King James VI and the Clan having been deprived of all land and possessions, MacGregor changed his name to the appropriate one of “Landless”.

Having taken the name of the Lodge from the Borough of Blackpool the founders selected the old
coat of arms as their crest and incorporated therein the town’s motto “Progress”. Alderman Tom Bickerstaffe, whose brother, Alderman Sir John Bickerstaff was the founder of the Blackpool Tower Company, was initiated in November 1885 and occupied the Master’s Chair in 1891.

The Lodge has not always met at the Masonic Hall. From 1874, the Consecration year, to 1889, the Lodge met at the Clifton Arms and Pier Hotel. There is a mention in the minutes of January 1891, of “a meeting of members called for the ‘getting’ of a
Masonic Hall”. In August 1899, it was proposed, seconded and carried unanimously, “that the Lodge from the Clifton Arms Hotel to the Masonic Hall, Adelaide Street”. The first regular Lodge Meeting was held here on Tuesday 10th October 1899. This meeting was celebrated in 1999 in conjunction with the centenary opening of the Masonic Hall.
During the First World War, in 1915, a resolution from United Grand Lodge stated “that in order to prevent the peace and harmony of the Craft being disturbed, it is necessary that Brethren of German, Austrian, Hungarian or Turkish birth should not attend any Lodge during the War”. On May 6 th 1916 W. Bro. Harry Brooks reported that he had delivered to the Rd Cross Society, in London, the motor ambulance presented by the Fylde Group of Lodges together with a donation of £100.00 towards its upkeep. It is perhaps interesting to note that in the Lodge minutes for November 12th 1918 there was no mention of the Armistice signed on the previous day. At the end of the War seventeen members decided upon the formation of a new Lodge. Grand Lodge granted the Petition and the Warrant was issued on May 11 th 1920. The founders selected the motto of Blackpool as the name of the new Lodge. Thus Progress Lodge No 4120 came into being. In 1899 the Lodge was responsible for the founding of Fylde Lodge No 2758 and in sponsoring in 1923, the formation of Fraternal Lodge No 4521. The formation of yet another daughter lodge, Blackpool Lodge of Tranquillity No 6544 took place in 1947. An emergency meeting of the Lodge was held in the Spanish Hall, Winter Gardens on 24 th August 1944, in the presence of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and other distinguished Grand and Provincial Grand Officers, together with 565 Brethren, when the Master of Tyrian Lodge Massachusetts, occupied the Master’s chair. There then followed a rehearsal of the Third Degree Ceremony by the American Brethren who were stationed locally.