Freemasonry began in Bolton in 1732 when Anchor & Hope Lodge was formed followed by a number of other Lodges. There was no one designated Freemasons Meeting Hall, they met in assembly rooms, church halls and public houses.
When the Masonic Hall on Institute Street opened it was, at the time a most magnificent, state of the art, building of which its members were rightly proud…especially as it opened the year before Manchester Masonic Hall! It cost approximately £25,000 a vast sum at the time.
In 1928 Bolton was still “Cotton Town” with a great sense of civic pride! 1928 also saw the building of the Cenotaph in Victoria Square. Its football team Bolton Wanderers won the FA Cup three times during the 1920’s.
However Wanderers like the town itself were beginning to struggle financially by the end of the decade and had to sell “star player” David Jack for a World Record fee of £10,980!
The new Hall enabled the Lodges to put on a range of social activities and those who were in charge were quick to give advice as to how social functions should be run, which included the following:-
“Dancing was not permitted during courses nor were streamers or confetti”.
“Songs may be interspersed between the dancing items”.
Remembering of course that all entertainment at that time was “live”
The Hall has been refurbished and we are as proud of it as those Masons were in the 1920’s
We welcome those who use the Hall and will help them to get the most from the 21st century facilities.