Shoeburyness, situated on the banks of the river Thames 45 miles from London,  and since 1933 has been part of the Borough of Southend on Sea.  It has two parishes, North and South.

The parish Church of North Shoebury is St. Mary the Virgin and dates back to around 1230 AD.  Built in an early English style popular in the Middle Ages and thought to be the third church built on the site, the original dating back to Saxon times.

The Church of St. Andrews circa 1100 AD is in the parish of South Shoebury, a small and ancient building of stone, formally a Chapel attached to Cluniac Priory of Prittlewell.  Norman in style and origin, subsequent additions and restorations have left a well preserved Chancel Arch which is one of the finest examples of 12th century architecture in the area.

The surrounding fields are made up of variable sub soil, clay, brick earth and gravel.  The chief crops being wheat, barley, potatoes, peas, beans and mustard.  The area consists of 1092 acres of land and water and 900 acres of foreshore.

The War Department are the principal landowners, there are extensive brickworks in the area and the remains of some form of camp thought to be of the Viking era.

Shoeburyness Lodge Formation

In 1948 George the VI was the monarch, Prince Charles was born and the post WW II birth rate was the highest for 30 years, Shoeburyness Lodge came in to being.

Back in 1945 local Freemasons who met at The Cambridge Hotel in Ness Road, Shoeburyness for their Lodge of Instruction meetings; had been discussing the formation of a new Masonic Lodge for some time.

In December 1947 at one of these meetings it was decided to form a Founders Committee under the guidance of Worshipful Brother Ernest H. Fowles, a local school teacher who acted as Secretary for the committee.  He wrote to Worshipfull Brother P. A. W. Simmonds, the Provincial Grand Secretary of Essex with a petition to be presented to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master to form a new Lodge titled the Shoeburyness Lodge.

The reasons given for the petition was that it was felt that a new Lodge would extend Freemasonry in the expanding area of Shoeburyness, where most of the proposed founders and joining members lived and worked.  In addition to which they had sixteen intended candidates for initiation into Freemasonry and six prospective joining members.  St. Andrews Lodge No. 1817 would sponsor the new lodge, which was intending to meet five times a year at the Cambridge Hotel.

The proposed  costs being : founders fee 10 Guineas, the annual subscription inclusive of dining to be 5 Guineas, non dining 1 ½ Guineas, with an Initiation fee of 20 Guineas.

The Lodge Crest takes the form of a quatered banner and is made up of four illustrations. 

The one at the top left represents St. Andrews Church which is in the South Parish of Shoeburyness. 

Adjacent is an emblem of an Artillery Field Gun depicting the close ties both parish's have to the military and the Army Garrison. 

In the lower left hand corner is a sketch of a rake depicting Shoeburys extensive arable land and farming. 

While in the lower right is shown St. Mary the Virgin Church which is situarted in the North Parish of Shoeburyness.

Attached to the bottom hang the Square and Compasses in front of which is draped a tessellated sash with the name and number of the Lodge.

The consecration ceremony took place on Wednesday 8th September 1948 at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London and was conducted by the Provincial Grand Master of Essex; Brigadier General K. Kincaid-Smith C.B., G.C.M.G., D.S.O.

The installation of the Master Designate (Worshipful Brother W. J. Cottis PPGSTdB) was carried out by Worshipful Brother Sir Frederic Senier J.P., PGD, PPGW, Deputy provincial Grand Master.  The worshipful Master then invested the 1st officers of the Lodge.

Founders and First Officers

The Lodge regular meeting days were the Second Wednesdays in the months of February, April, May, October (Installation) and November, all taking place at the “Cambridge Hotel”.

 From the 2nd regular meeting onwards, and as its reputation spread, Shoeburyness Lodge was now accepting Joining members on a regular basis.

New candidates were being initiated two at a time, followed by a double Passing and Raising, all on the same night; starting at 3pm and finishing at around 7.30pm or later, and in those days it was nothing unusual in having 18 to 20 guests at the Festive Board.

This type of Lodge meeting along with other Emergency meetings held by dispensation given from the Province were the Norm in the early years of the Lodges activities.

8th November 1950 the Lodge meetings were increased to 7, January, February, March, April, May, October (installation) and November, by- law No.1 being altered accordingly, it’s interesting to note that these dates do not start to appear as regular meeting dates on the Summons until 9th May 1951.

3rd August 1951 Right Worshipful Brother Sir Frederick Senier the Provincial Grand Master passes to the Grand Lodge above, the Province of Essex goes into morning for 6 months.

6th February 1952, Our Most Worshipful Brother His late Most Gracious Majesty King George the VI, Past Grand Master passed to the Grand Lodge above, and his death was mourned by Freemasons through out the world.

9th April 1952 the lodge reverts to 5 meetings, January, March, April, October (Installation) and November, the bye-laws again being altered.

8th October 1952 W Bro L. T. Burrows Installed as Master.

W Bro E. J. Boosey Installed as Assistant Director of Ceremonies.  The “Titch Boosey” Legend Begins!

 October 1953 the Membership of Shoeburyness Lodge exceeds 60.

 15th October 1954 the Lodge becomes a Founding Lodge of the Southend on Sea “Memorial Temple”.

W Bro “Titch Boosey” is Invested as Director of Ceremonies of the Lodge.

24th January 1955 the option of wearing uniform is dropped from the Summons.

9th October 1957, The Lodge Banner is Dedicated by the Provincial Grand Chaplain the Rev. E. Sutton – Pryce. B.A. assisted by W Bro. M. Woolf PAGDC Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.   

W Bro. C. H. J. Talmage PPSGW who had commissioned the Banner at his own expense,  presented it to the Lodge for Dedication, thanked the Provincial Grand Chaplain and Director of Ceremonies for the impressive Ceremony, and spoke of his own pleasure at being able to present the Banner to the Lodge and it’s Members.

29th April 1959 an Emergency meeting was held to Sanction and Sign the petition for the formation of the Shoeburyness Chapter.

12th October 1960 Lodge Summons alters to a two page format, and for the first time in every edition shows the List of Officers in the Lodge, and the names and addresses of all Lodge Members on the back page.

13th March 1963 Lodge decides to leave the “Cambridge Hotel” due to poor accommodation and Dining.

Lodge applies to the Provincial Office for change of Venue, to meet at the “Memorial Temple” Freemasons Hall Woodgrange Drive Southend on Sea Essex, this is approved by Province, and the by-laws altered.

9th October 1963, the 79th regular meeting of the Shoeburyness Lodge, and the first to be held  at the Memorial Temple, where Bro V. W. Munt a local Butcher is Installed as the Master by W Bro R. C. Catling.

February 1965, Grand Lodge reports on a resolution by Right Worshipful Brother Bishop Herbert dealing with the proposed changes to the Masonic Penalties, copies of which were made available and circulated to the members.

At the following Lodge meeting the then Worshipful Master W Bro Eric W. J. Rose stated that the suggestions had been considered by the GP Committee, and the members of which were prepared to leave the ritual unaltered and in its present form, but if any member of the Lodge felt that this gave offence, he should rise and state his reasons.

There being no response to this statement in open Lodge, the Worshipful Master stated there would be no alteration.

 10th March 1965 Lodge Membership is 74.

September 1967 The Lodge of Instruction moves to the Lansdowne Country Club near Cupids Corner.

 8th November 1967 the Lodge celebrates its 100th meeting.

13th January 1971 “The Shoeburyness Lodge Benevolent Fund” was set up as a Deed of Trust, with Worshipful Brothers H. E. Bevell, E. H. Fowles, E. J. Boosey, and R. V. Gibbs being appointed trustees of the Fund.

15th February 1971 the lodge By-laws were altered again to comply with the Decimalization of Money.

March 1971 Worshipful Brother E. H. Fowles was appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer of the United Grand Lodge of England, and was warmly congratulated by the Lodge, this being the first Grand Lodge appointment that Shoeburyness had received.

October 1971 the wearing of “Gauntlets” by Lodge Officers was declared non mandatory by Grand Lodge and Rule 286 Book of constitutions was amended.

March 1972 Worshipful Brother B. C. Burch a Joining member and Past Master of the Lodge is appointed as Past Grand Standard Bearer of the United Grand Lodge of England.

January 1973 Value added tax is introduced and applied to annual Dues and Registrations.

February 1976 the Bagnall report is released and the introduction of “The Charity Steward”  to be incorporated into the existing Ranks of Lodge Officers between the Junior Deacon and the Almoner. Worshipful Brother R. V. Gibbs was appointed to the Office and his Collar with a Trowel appended to it was presented by Worshipful Brother E. (Ernie). Houghton.

Lodge history provided by W Brother Robert Mount PAGDC (Eng), PProvSGW