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2015 Festival

John Ashworth Tour de Province


Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire

And so it came to pass that as near to 9 o’clock as possible on Saturday 13th June an intrepid and of 16 Brethren left their own homes and firesides and made their way to the Masonic Buildings in Rochdale and began their Epic cycle tour of all the Masonic Halls in the Province.

The weather forecast had been for heavy rain all day Saturday and light rain on Sunday, you can imagine the relief when both days turned out to be dry, even with a little sunshine, someone was obviously watching over us.

Having been wished Bon Voyage by our APGM, WBro Mike Gibbons, and hundreds of well wishers, Powerful Pierre Shipton led the charge to our first stop at Todmorden and then displayed his prowess powering up the hills to Bacup. At this point three of the vets entered the field including John “the Arrow” Ashworth, Dave “one-shot Garnett” and Jimmy “nothing fazes me” Belfield who set the bar for the day.

By the end of the first morning the youngsters had managed to keep pace with the vets as we visited 7 Halls namely Rochdale, Todmorden, Bacup, Ashday Lea, Padium, Burnley and Colne. After cycling some 50 miles we arrived in Clitheroe safe and sound despite the horrors suffered by those who had endured the climb out of Sabden.

Steady progress was made in the afternoon as we visited another 7 Halls namely Whalley, Clayton-le-Moors, Blackburn, Accrington, Darwen, Bolton School and Bolton. All cyclists took the opportunity to enjoy riding in some of the beautiful countryside of East Lancashire as we travelled another 50 miles before arriving at the Bolton “Hilton” for the night.

It had been a long first day. Our dietician, Master Chef Taala, recommended refuelling with curry and lager followed by a nightcap and early night. No one argued.

June 2015

The APGM WBro Michael Gibbons wishes everyone well for the Epic Journey

Ashday Lea -Rawtenstall

Burnley Masonic Building

Arrival at Colne

Behind BarsClayton-Le-Moors


Suitably refreshed we began the second day with high spirits visiting Farnworth, Radcliffe and Bury before negotiating the heavy traffic as we rode into Salford, Bridge Street and then quickly out to Audenshaw. What a delight to find the Building open and the Steward Accrington Masonic Hall on hand to generously provide tea, coffee and biscuits to ready the youngsters, accompanied by “nothing fazes me” Belfield, for the climb to Mossley. Wisely, the other vets passed on this opportunity but re-joined the riders at Shaw for the penultimate leg into Middleton where we regrouped and John “the Arrow” Ashworth lead the Peloton back to the finish at the Masonic Hall in Rochdale after cycling another 50 miles.

Bolton School

Fortunately we suffered no punctures, no crashes and no injuries over the weekend but I am sure there were a few aching legs on the Monday.

Sincere thanks are due to Simon Rogers for his exceptional work in organising the Tour, to all the riders and the support team for giving up their time to take part and to all those who have supported it by making a donation to support the Festival.

The riders:-Jim Belfield, Dave Garnett, Peter Rhodes, Kenny Greer, Simon Rogers and Steve Carroll from Rochdale Lodge No 6721 David Molyneaux and Andy Evans from Probity & Freedom Lodge No 367 John Ashworth from Liberty Lodge No 5573 David Carter and Mike Coulter from Westholme Lodge No 9101 David Deasy – Oldham Mitre No 5633

The Support Team:-Mark Taala, Tommy Spencer and John Rochelle from Rochdale Lodge No 6721 and Scott Buckley for supplying the huge van to transport the bikes.

Security:-Greater Manchester Police

The total raised to date is something in excess of £1,500.00 but there is still time to donate by visiting Just Giving “Tour-de-Province-2015”

Tea and Biscuits

The final mile Back in Rochdale -All safe and well

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Festival Rep

W. Bro. Kevin Hooson was our festival representative here at Liberty Lodge and as that has now come to a close

Please support Kevin in helping to raise funds for  ELMC.

If you have any ideas please share them with him and most importantly take an active role in raising awareness and funds.

A great big thank you to all the members who continually support all of our charities.

We are pleased to report that the Lodge has given a further £750 to the festival which means that we have now donated:


“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

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2015 Festival News








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