Three views of an apron, possibly
French, showing blue on one side
and red on the other
In the years following the war, Bristol
Masons continued to meet in various
locations in and around the city.
Reconstruction began in 1952 and was
completed in 1957. Today, the hall is almost
as it was in its heyday, but with improved
standards of plumbing and electricity.
The Library and Museum of the
Province was destroyed in the bombing, but
after the war an appeal to members for
objects began the creation of a collection
that has both local and international items.
Work began recently to photograph and
catalogue all of the items in the collection
and store them to museum standards. As
well as making them available for members,
it also means that they are properly recorded
for future generations in case of another
disaster. The pictures are of a very high
quality and will allow objects to appear in
publications or posters.
Among the treasures in the museum
is a carved wooden case from India
commemorating the installation of the
Prince of Wales as Grand Master, early
regalia of the Provincial rulers and a horn
mug etched with an elaborate tracing
board from 1755.
Many items salvaged from the ruins of
the hall were refurbished for use or were
retained as mementos, including an 18th
century jug, still peppered with burnt
fragments and with a river of glass from
the melted hall windows flowing across it.
In addition to the many Masonic
collections, there are also items from
Friendly Societies such as the Druids and
the Oddfellows. The qualification badge
of a German air gunner from World War
One or swords reputed to have been used
in the 1831 Bristol riots are among the more
unusual items that touch the lives of local
Masons in the non-fraternal world.
Contacts are also being made with local
Bristol museums to build a relationship and
encourage the display of fraternal items in
Mike Britton is Bristol Provincial
Grand Librarian and Archivist