Tilsmore  Lodge  No. 4499  was  consecrated  in  1923 and,  for  many  years, rented  a  room above  the Heathfield   cinema,   this being later  converted into a new  extension  of  the adjoining garage.  By  the  mid  1950’s our Installation Meetings attracted 80 people, so other venues were found, notably Uckfield Masonic Centre from 1958 and from 1967  the  Masonic Centre  in Herstmonceux. Meanwhile the “cinema room” continued to be used for all other Lodge and Chapter meetings, Tilsmore Chapter 4499 having  been consecrated  in  1932. In the  late 1970’s Caffyn’s  bought out  the garage  and then increased  the  rent to the point  where it became impossible  to continue to fund  it.  Then the local restaurateur  decided  to  retire.  This  led  the Tilsmore Brethren  to actively try and seek other alternatives and, after what was little more than a hand-to-mouth period, in 1982 the  Burwash Weald Church Hall  became available and, over the coming years, the very character of the Lodge changed

The purchase price of the hall was £20,000, a princely sum of money in those days.  Bro Bert  Haffenden was  elected Treasurer.  Interest  free loans   and various generous gifts both from the Lodge and the Chapter members, plus a legacy,  quickly raised £16,000. Meanwhile  Bro White began the arduous task of drawing up of  Articles of Association, a Constitution,  etc.,  for the Tilsmore Masonic  Hall Co.  Ltd. A mortgage  for £10,000  was  agreed  with  the  Sumafin Masonic Fund (fully re-paid by 1990) and, a year later, the Company  was formed to  operate  what is  now known  as the  Heffle Masonic Centre.  All  subscribing members  of every section (there are currently 5 Masonic units meeting at the Centre) are deemed equal members of the Company and are represented by directors which are nominated by them.

When Wadhurst Lodge no.9080 was consecrated it also donated £1500 to the Centre fund. A “Masonic Club” was formed at the same time to run the dining, bar and all social functions. All profits from the Club being passed to the Company and all Masonic units paying rent direct to the Company. The Bar staff were, and still are, Masons. The  building having been purchased,  all that remained  was to ensure that it was made completely safe, then habitable, then comfortable and, finally, continually maintained, all with minimal funds.  The majority  of the work was, and still is, carried out by the members. A few being knowledgeable, most just willing.  

A paperback book, titled “A Brief History of Tilsmore” traces the history of the lodge from its very formation in 1923.  Along with factual details of the lodge, taken from minutes books, and anecdotes from past and present members, it also contains several coloured plates showing the Lodge. This book is available through the Lodge and can be obtained by contacting the number on the Tilsmore facebook page.

 

OUR HISTORY

 

TILSMORE LODGE 4499