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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Markets and Masons.

Our stay in Beverley coincided with a busy period for us with commitments elsewhere so we had gone to collect the car from home.

The Beverley Beck is a dead end and was just a tidal side shoot of the River Hull. That was until 1802 when the land started to be seriously improved for agriculture and drainage schemes were constructed. The large Beverley and Barmston Drain was constructed and this had a level below the LW height of the Beck. Therefore a lock was constructed and an aqueduct passing under the Beck near to the lock at the junction with the River. It is first recorded by name in 1296 and the sculpture at the end of the Beck represents the Medieval Guilds of Beverley, of which there were 39 and included hatters, candle makers, and that of the above sculpture the creelers that worked the ship's cargoes and carried it into the town.

This is the end of the Beck. On the left was the Richard Hodgeson tannery that the 'Syntan' was built for. They had 16 vessels at their peak. The company closed in the 1970's. However the last tannery in Beverley closed in 1986. On the right was an oil and cattle feed company that also used the waterway to move raw materials and finished products. You can see 'Holderness' on the right.

We walked into town on Saturday to do some shopping and passed the Old Friary that has been part of the YHA since 1986. I liked the roof lines that included the east end of the Beverley Minster. I am looking forward to showing you this magnificent church when we come back to Beverley.

 On Eastgate there is this relic of the past. About as far away from a supermarket self service garage of today. The original ones would have been hand pumped but they would then have an electric pump. I suppose it was these simple fuel stations that would really assist with the growth of the use of the car, much like the installation of electric recharging points of today.

There is a pretty good Market in Saturday Market place and the Market Cross looks very fine following a recent £2.5 million refurbishment. The Doric columns support the roof that are embellished with the coats of arms of Sir Charles Hotham (it was he that closed the gates of Hull to Charles I, but was MP for Beverley) and Sir Michael Warton as well as those of the Beverley Town and Queen Anne. In the background is St Mary's Church that often gets over looked for the Minster. St. Mary's is a beautiful church with connections to many of the Guilds and is well worth a look.

I had previously noticed the Freemason's Hall, and lo and behold last Saturday was a Freemason's Open Day to celebrate 300 years of it's founding. The Hall on Trinity Lane is home to at least six lodges which share. We were made very welcome and were greeted with cups of tea, and they had a nice bar, along with sandwiches nibbles and cakes etc. These were most welcome as we missed lunch. Next to the bar was a dining room where the Mason's had their festive boards and it can be rented out for weddings etc. A nice space for a party.

Up stairs is the Lodge Room. This is the senior wardens chair and behind it can be seen the board recording the names of the Past Masters of lodges. The oldest lodge at Beverley can go back to 1793. Due to it's connection to the Guild of Masons of the past there is much symbolism using masonary tools etc. The rooms are corned and angular with black and white chequered floors, set squares, dividers mallets etc etc.

This is the chair of the Worshipful Master with the warrants and banners of each lodge displayed. My Father was a Mason and he loved to learn the ritual speeches and procedures and was able to recite much from memory, which made him very popular. Really it always seemed to me that it was just another sort of Rotary or Round Table. They said that Masonary is only second to the National Lottery in money given to charity!

Part of the ritual that they continue in Masonary is the 'uniform' they wear. There are sashes, cuffs, aprons medals etc. This is a collection of those from the lodge here in Beverley. You can often tell when folk are off to a meeting as they all seem to have little attache cases with this kit in. My Dad had several sets for the different lodges he belonged to. It never really appealed to me but it was great to get an insight into a Hall that is not normally open to the public.

On the corner of Blucher Lane is this model of the barge 'Syntan' that was part of the Hodgeson's Tannery fleet and is preserved today and moored in the Beck.

This is the real thing as we pass. It is open quite often when the volunteers are working there. It is well worth a look. The hold is converted to a work and display space with the history of the fleet and the 'Syntan'. The volunteers are well informed and chatty. You can hire the whole boat for a day down to the Humber and back to complete the journey that we have recently done!

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