ISSUE 1, April 2002

Editorial
MQ Interview: HRH the Duke of Kent
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Masonic Charities
Grand Lodge: General News
Architecture: Freemasons' Hall: Art Deco in the Shadow of Covent Garden
Gardener's Diary: Springing into Action
Book Reviews

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Many who have not visited Freemasons' Hall have unwittingly seen parts of it. As a perfect example of art deco architecture and design, film and television companies often use it for location filming. If you have seen any of the Agatha Christie Poirot series or the television production of Jeeves and Wooster, then you have seen many parts of the building.
      Well-known stars such as the late Oliver Reed, Peter O'Toole, Vanessa Redgrave, Albert Finney, Richard Dreyfus, Charlotte Rampling, Helena Bonham-Carter, Robert Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and John Thaw have found themselves in Freemasons' Hall for two or three days' filming.
      Although principally a Masonic building, Freemasons' Hall is increasingly available for other uses. In addition to filming and concerts, the Grand Temple vestibule area has been used by an art college for its final-year degree show; by the London Film Commission for a reception to launch its brochure; by the publishers Penguin and Dorling-Kindersley to celebrate their 'marriage', with a party for 1,500; and, every month, the National Blood Donor organisation mans a donor station in the Tower entrance.
      Above all, the building is open to the public. The Library and Museum are open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm, and on days when the Grand Temple is not in use, tours of the Grand Temple and ceremonial suite are taken on the hour at 11, 12, 2, 3 and 4 o'clock.
      Party visits can be organised on a weekday; Saturday mornings party visits can be arranged, but 9 to 12 months' notice is essential.
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