TOW LAW LODGE 3349
Well not quite in the beginning but certainly by 1841 there was a single building at tot hlaw the name translating from the Old English to lookout mound which it is, a useful vantage point at almost 1000ft above sea level. Through time the old name has morphed to the name we know today, Tow Law.
It was known that the area was rich in iron ore and coal but this was not exploited until 1845 when Charles Attwood established the Weardale Iron and Coal Company. By 1851 the population at Tow Law had grown to almost 2000. Mines such as the Black Prince, Royal George, Old Thornley, Hedley Hope and West Edward supported the 6 blast furnaces and provided plenty of employment for the local people. Transportation was required for goods and people and from this need a railway was constructed by the Weardale & Derwent Junction Railway later to be owned by the Stockton & Darlington Railway. The line finally closed to all traffic in July 1965.
Tow Law Lodge 3349 was consecrated on the 27th March 1909 to serve what was then a busy and prosperous town. By 1948 the membership at Tow Law had increased to 172 members. A vibrant and busy lodge maybe but a very long wait for anyone who wanted to progress through the various offices of the lodge. A meeting was held in June 1948 and a decision taken to form a daughter lodge to Tow Law. Several names were considered for this daughter lodge, Hillcrest, Beacon and Fell but as we know the name eventually chosen was Beacon to be allocated the number 6891.
BEACON LODGE 6891
Beacons first Worshipful Master was WBro David Hutton, a former master of the Tow Law Lodge. WBro Edward E Butterfield was to become secretary of Beacon lodge, an office he held for 29 years during which time many of the members knew him affectionally as Uncle Ted.
At the Installation in 1950 the Lodge Officers invited their ladies to serve the Installation meal thus giving the Lodge Stewards an opportunity to join in the celebrations.
Beacon and Tow Lodge have had close ties for many years and have enjoyed fraternal visits since 1990.
On the 1st July 1999 Beacon Lodge celebrated its 50th Anniversary led by the Master of the Lodge WBro Frederick Mills
WEARDALE LODGE OF INSTALLED MASTERS 9568
This lodge was consecrated in March 1995. It was formed to further strengthen the bonds of masonic brotherhood amongst the installed masters in the Wear Valley area. It is the brain child of its secretary, Maurice Oxley and other members, then Masters of their lodges. At present, these sentiments still ring loud and true, welcoming any masonic visitor into their midst.
This lodge, prides itself as a ‘dining lodge’ and true to this reputation a five course festive board ensued, which featured steak cooked to ones preference as the main course. It was a truly memorable evening.