Donald Wolfit memories|
Thank you so much for your excellent
article by Neal Arden (MQ, Issue No. 9).
I was particularly pleased to read the
comments on the late Sir Donald Wolfit,
who was definitely more than an actor
‘forced on tour’ as stated.
He was a consummate master of them all,
his working in the Lodge was sheer perfection
at all times. Never did he pause in the wrong
place, fluff his lines, dry up or forget them,
or be in need of a dozen off-stage prompts
or loud whispers from the brethren.
I was Sir Donald’s Assistant Director on
such films as Rise and Fall of a Birdwatcher for
MGM. The great man taught me a lot. It is a
pity others do not listen – if they did, then
standards would rise, not fall.
When I became a Mason in 1991 I joined a
small Lodge in Surrey (Aultone No. 6873)
meeting at Sutton, and was surprised to learn
that our organist was not a Lodge member.
During my visiting over the years, and
particularly in my year as Master, it had
become obvious that we were not alone in
having no musician within the Lodge.
As a computer programmer, I decided
to approach this from the cyber direction.
If we could not employ a real organist, then
we would have a virtual one.
I had moved to Aldershot, and as Semper
Fidelis No. 6664 at Farnborough had lost
their organist, I offered to do musical
accompaniment using my virgin system.
I have demonstrated the system to many
Lodges at many centres, including Great
Queen Street. I set up my laptop on top
of the organ and operate it there. Often
brethren do not realise that I am not playing
the organ itself.
My current system I call the Internet
Lodge Organist, and it is available to
anybody who wants to give it a try. All
that is required is a Lodge member who
has access to a laptop and a reasonable pair
of amplified speakers
If you do try it, please feed me back
information along with any problems
suggestions. Go to www.ilo.org.uk. Email:
For the past 25 years I have collected
one particular model, the Carlisle Salt Pot,
initially to see how many different crests or
transfers I could find. Some 696 later, two
stand out of the rest.
Goss Masonic china|
The article on Masonic stamps (MQ, Issue
No. 9) inspired me to enquire how many
people know of, or collect Goss china?
William Henry Goss carved a career in the
pottery industry, becoming Copeland’s
chief artist in 1854 at the age of 21.
A year later he opened his own factory
and produced a range of goods from busts
and classical figures to the inexpensive massproduced
souvenir heraldic ware.
Collecting Goss china became a craze,
and the designs or transfers were mainly
depictions or copies of coats of arms of
towns and cities or personal arms. Pictorial
scenes, abbeys, schools, military and naval
badges give the collector a wide variety or a
special them to collect on.
Fine examples of
Goss china with
They are Masonic decorations, probably
among the rarest of designs sought after.
Transfers showing the square and compasses,
the sun, moon and stars, sprigs of acacia and
the arms of the Grand Lodges of England,
Scotland and Ireland are among a variety of
designs produced by Goss.
A few have been found that commemorate
a ladies festival, showing the Lodge motif and
giving the name of the Master in that year.
A few examples can be seen in the Great
Queen Street museum.
Prices for pieces with Masonic decorations
have ranged from £150 to £200 each, until
recently, when two pieces auction on the
Ebay Internet site for over £700 each.
I would be most interested to hear from
any Brother who is a collector, or who
wishes to know more.
2 Pennine Walk,
Kent TN2 3NN
W S Gilbert Lodge
W S Gilbert (MQ, Issue No. 8) was also a
member of Northern Bar Lodge No. 1610.
He became a joining member on 15 January
1877, when he was a barrister in Liverpool,
and was made an honorary member on 16
December 1881. He never held office, as
the bye-laws at that time prevented joining
members from doing so.
I refer to the article about Cyril Spackman
(MQ, Issue No. 9), which I read with great
interest. Panmure Lodge, mentioned in the
article, is the great-great-grandmother
Lodge of Old Palace Lodge No. 7173 EC.
W. Bro. Spackman was a founder of this
Lodge, which was consecrated in May 1952.
He designed our Lodge jewel. I had no idea
that he was such a talented man and how
fortunate we were to have him as a Founder.
We have much by which to remember him.
East Preston, West Sussex