POSTED 13TH SEPTEMBER 2018 – Bedford Castle Lodge 6124
The Castle as depicted in the centre of the banner forms the chief feature in “The Common Seale of ye Towne of Bedford” and is described in The Visitation of Bedford-Shire, 1643 as: “A large castle surmounted by two more one above the other of the third.”
Bedford Castle Lodge was formed on 22nd September 1945 in the Newnham Rooms in Bedford town. The Lodge was consecrated on 12th November 1946 in a ceremony conducted by the Provincial Grand Master Rt. W.Bro The Earl of Courtown.
The much-loved building, (by the Masons) was demolished and that is when 12 Lodges collectively purchased “The Keep” building in Bedford Road Kempston. At that time, Bedford Council had a demolition order served on it, but this was rescinded after the Masons requested to purchase and restore the building.
The lodge members gave their time freely and happily. Bedford Castle members J R Crewdson was the chief Surveyor.
Bedford Castle has always been proud of its Provincial associations including among its members several Grand and Provincial Grand Officer, two of whom served as Provincial Grand Secretaries, W Bro E P Palmer and W Bro R J Crewdson (John). There were also members who received civil honours, such as OBE, MBE, BEM, & QPM.
It was W Bro John Crewdson LGR, now 98 years young and came into Masonry as a Lewis (the son of a Mason) when he was 21, personally made the Ballot Box, Columns, Gavel handles and the Alms Collection Boxes whilst home on leave from the Army. W Bro J F Wilkinson made other equipment, The Column bases, Gavel Heads, the Square, Plumb Rule and Level. Bro J F Matthews made three Alms plates with the Lodge Crest engraved in the centre and the storage box. All these items are made from solid natural oak. All of which are still being used in the Lodge at every meeting.
W Bro John Crewdson was the Lodge Secretary for eight years and went on to be promoted to Provincial Grand Secretary from 1975 – 79.
The Lodge was very proud, when W Bro John Crewdson was appointed to Assistant Provincial Grand Master in 1980 and again, in 1984 when he achieved Grand Rank.
In our emblem The Castle is framed within the square and Compasses and the whole within a banded circle representing eternity. At the foot of the banner a scroll reads “consecrated 1945” and at the top two further scrolls read “Province of Bedfordshire”.
History of Bedford Castle
During the reign of Alfred the Great, about 878, Bedford was an important strong-point on the frontier between Wessex and the Danelagh, and from those remote times the men of Bedford have been ever ready to defend their King and their Country.
Bedford Castle was a large medieval castle in Bedford, England. Built after 1100 by Henry I, the castle played a prominent part in both the civil war of the Anarchy and the First Barons’ War. The castle was significantly extended in stone, although the final plan of the castle remains uncertain.
The building of the Bedford Castle, a large stone fortress overshadowing the town, standing on the North side of the Ouse, was commenced in about the year 1100. It was built to replace the earlier wooden stockaded fort which had guarded the North Town Burh and the ford from very early times, probably very many years before the Kings Dyche was constructed by King Edward the Elder in AD919 as fortification to protect the South Town Burh.
The Castle Mound, now forming part of a public garden, is about the only relic of this once famous castle, the tower and walls of which were razed to the ground after the noted siege of 1224, where Henry III of England besieged the castle in 1224 following a disagreement with Falkes de Breauté; the siege lasted eight weeks and involved an army of as many as 2,700 soldiers with equipment drawn from across England. After the surrender of the castle, the king ordered its destruction.