Hardwick Lodge № 2373
|Meeting at||Chesterfield Masonic Hall|
|Meeting dates||2nd Wednesdays in January, February, March, April, May,
September, October, November & December
|Regular meeting times||6.30 pm|
|Installation meeting time||5.00 pm|
|Warrant Dated||6th August 1890|
Hardwick Lodge № 2373 is the second oldest Lodge meeting in Chesterfield, having been consecrated on the 18th March 1891. At that date, the 7th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish, was the Provincial Grand Master for Derbyshire. The first Worshipful Master of Hardwick Lodge, William Jeudwine, was the Duke’s Agent having responsibility for the running of the Chatsworth Estate. Since Hardwick Hall was more actively used by the family at that period than Chatsworth House, it is fair to assume that this is the reason the Lodge was so named.
The first meeting of Hardwick Lodge was held at the Star Hotel, Chesterfield and subsequent meetings were held next door at the Angel Inn. Unfortunately neither of these premises remains today. In 1903 the Masonic Club was formed, which met at the East Derbyshire Club, Saltergate. This later became Chesterfield Masonic Hall and Hardwick Lodge has met there ever since.
The Lodge banner bears the Coat of Arms of the Cavendish family and their motto ‘Cavendo Tutus’, roughly translated as ‘Safety by Caution’. The original banner now hangs in the West of the Chesterfield Masonic Hall Temple and, being too delicate to handle, is protected by a glass cover. A new banner was commissioned in 1998 to enable the Lodge to participate in the procession at the Annual Meeting of Provisional Grand Lodge, and is stored in a glass case in the ‘Blue Room’ of the Chesterfield Masonic Hall.
Our ceremonial ritual is highly individual having many similarities to the Old Scottish Working. Hardwick Lodge members take a great deal of pride in the high standard of ritual displayed in the ceremonies. Unusually, until recently, only one formal copy of the ritual existed, which is always presented to the Worshipful Master and similarly on to his successor. The only way that the members were able to acquire knowledge, was by attending the Lodge practices (usually held on the Thursday prior to the meeting). These days each member is presented with his own copy of the ritual, but the tradition remains that no copies of the ritual are ever used during actual ceremonies and numbers attending practice remain high.
A particular feature of ceremonies, especially the Installation, is its musical content, which greatly enhances the atmosphere of the occasion. The Festive Boards (dinners) are enriched by supplementing the toasts with song and with the unique ‘Chesterfield Flutter’, a tradition not to be missed.
Hardwick Lodge membership is usually around 60, making it the largest Craft Lodge in Chesterfield, with an active and enthusiastic membership drawn from varied ages and backgrounds. Visitors are always made most welcome, and are particularly numerous at the Installation meeting in March; the January meeting – which is totally conducted by Past Masters of the Lodge; and the meeting in November, where there is a ‘Cruise Night’ Festive Board. This involves brethren moving between ‘continents’ / tables after each course, as well as contributing to various other activities and raising funds for charity. Social events take place from time to time, but the annual Ladies’ Evening held near to Valentine’s Day is particularly popular.
For more information about Hardwick Lodge, please do not hesitate to contact the Lodge Secretary.