In January 1979, as a result of the on-going flow of new candidates into the Town's Masonic Lodges, Worksop Priory Lodge Committee decided to set about creating a daughter Lodge. In 1980 Cyril Morris (the Lodge Secretary) and Richard T. Jackson were charged to progress this venture. Soon afterwards, Cyril became the Organising Secretary and began the process of communicating with Provincial Grand Lodge. To fit in with other usage of the Temple at that time, it was agreed that the Lodge meeting dates would be: the third Tuesdays in September, October, November, February, March, April and the fourth Tuesday in May - the date on which the Installation ceremony would take place.
Suggested names for the new Lodge were:
- "Werchesope": the Doomsday Book spelling of "Worksop"
- "Ollerton": Village situated seven miles south of Worksop
- "Meden": River flowing through Ollerton/Edwinstowe
- "Duke of Newcastle": Dukedom of Pelham Lodge
- "Ryton": River flowing through the centre of Worksop
- "Anniversary": As the new Lodge was being created to celebrate its parent Lodge's 25th Anniversary
By November the name had been selected and sent for approval by the Provincial Grand Master. On 21st October 1980 a Petitioners' Meeting selected the Master Designate from three nominations:
- Malcolm Jackson
- R. Hood
- N.V. Collins
Malcolm Jackson was selected with a large majority. The other officers were then selected. In the minutes of the Petitioners meeting held on 16th September 1980, the annual subscription was set at £15.00.As at September 1980 there were four prospective candidates and by November that year the list of founder had been submitted and approved by the Provincial Grand Master.The Consecration (or birth of the then newest Lodge in Worksop) took place on the 9th June 1981 at The Masonic Hall, 33 Potter Street, Worksop with the Provincial Grand Master, Rt. W. Brother C.H.V. Elliott, T.D., M.A., as Consecrating Officer; after the Consecration, Malcolm Jackson P.M. 7443 was installed as the Primus Master of Ryton Lodge and afterwards, 182 brethren sat down to a five course Festive Board.
In its first 25 years (1981-2006) the Lodge initiated 55 candidates and welcomed 39 joining members.
In December 1984 an "Emergency" meeting was convened to receive a paper entitled: "To Promote the General Good of Society, to Cultivate the Social Virtue and to Propagate the Knowledge of the Mystic Art" delivered by Richard T. Jackson. In March 1999 Malcolm Buxton, who had been initiated into Ryton Lodge, was passed to the Second Degree in Old Worksopians Lodge 6963. It is worth noting that at that time Norman Riley was the Worshipful Master of Ryton Lodge whilst his son, Nicholas Riley, was the Worshipful Master of Old Worksopians Lodge. At this Ceremony a member of Ryton Lodge delivered an Explanation of the Second Degree Tracing Board in its extended form, the first time this had been performed in a Ceremony involving brethren from Ryton Lodge. In March 1999 the only occasion that the Explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board was given by Val Howard.
The Ryton Lodge Banner
The idea of flags and standards goes back to antiquity. The regimental flag (or 'colours') is a device used to instil pride in membership of a regiment and was a rallying point during battle. The following characteristics can be noted form the images on the banner:
- The old part of the Priory Church (representing the Mother Lodge: Worksop Priory)
- The "main Feature" is enclosed in a "shield-like" shape. When "straightened out" it would approach a "Circle" (a Masonic symbol)
- Either side of "The shape" the lining of the ribbon is exposed seven times ("Seven or more make a perfect Lodge")
- Colours associated with the Craft Degrees are readily identifiable.
The Lodge Banner was dedicated on Wednesday 24th November 1982 by W.Brother Rev. Canon R.T. Warburton, D.G.Chap., Pr.G.Chap.
Prominent Ryton Masons
There have been many truly great Masons who of honoured the Lodge over the years since its inception. Space only allows to name but a few. Those mentioned below were there "at the beginning" all Founder Members of Ryton Lodge:
Primus Mater: Malcolm Marshall Jackson(deceased)
"An Original" whose Character and warmth gave the Lodge its "soul"
Richard Thomas Jackson (deceased)
The "Strength" of Ryton Lodge and so much more in Freemasonry
One of the great stalwarts of the Lodge who helped set the Foundations for so much of what was to follow
One of the "nicest people in Freemasonry" and the "Heart" of the Lodge
Founder member - and still a regular attendee at Lodge meetings. Terry represents the continuity between the Mother Lodge and Ryton Lodge.
Donald Peter (deceased)
Who along with W. Brother Jackson formed the "backbone" of the Lodge, forming its "new born life" into Freemasonry
Richard James Richardson
Who careers inside and outside Freemasonry rank him as one of outstanding Men in Worksop and Nottinghamshire. The 'Major Oak' on which Worksop Freemasonry has flourished. Now the most Senior Officer at Worksop
Stephen Robert Stott (the "babe")
Although a "junior" member of Ryton at its inception, Stephen now commands the respect of all throughout Nottinghamshire Freemasonry, having taken on all of the Senior Officers positions in the Lodge
Acknowledgement to the material in this article go to Val Howard (who compiled the 25th Anniversary booklet)
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