Bognor Regis Fressmasons open up Lodge

C111435-1 Bog Lodge   Photo Louise Adams''Graham Herrington, director of the Gordon Centre, Bognor.
C111435-1 Bog Lodge Photo Louise Adams''Graham Herrington, director of the Gordon Centre, Bognor.

CURIOUS Bognor Regis residents have taken the chance to learn about the town’s Freemasons.

They were given a tour of the Lodge Room within the Gordon Centre in Canada Grove and facts about Freemasonry in the town.

Among those who went along was senior citizen Irene Lorimer. She said: “The last time I was here was 15 years ago for my daughter’s wedding reception in the function hall.

“I thought it was about time for me to know what else was going on here: you drive past these places without being aware of what they are like inside.”

Graham Herrington, a Gordon Centre director, said: “My talk is about the history of Freemasonry and the five lodges with about 250 members who meet at the centre.

“The oldest of them is the Gordon Lodge, founded in 1878, and which built the centre in 1929.”

The open days last Thursday and Friday were part of the town’s history on show for national open heritage days.

Also taking part in the region was the University of Chichester, its main event being a tour of the former RAF Operations Room on the Bishop Otter Campus, Chichester.

From Monday to Friday the room is used as a teaching room for students, so this was a rare opportunity to see where some of the key developments of the second world war took place.

To create an authentic feel, staff dressed in period costume while the room was decked out with a map, plotting equipment and old-fashioned telephones.

University spokesman Richard Andrews said: “From our perspective it went very well. We had more than 100 people attending the tours we had across the three dates. We had tours in both Chichester and Bognor Regis campuses and of all the years we’ve been doing this, this was by far the best in terms of attendance.

“The most popular was the RAF operations room tour and the associated talk and on Saturday it was nice that we were able to put a recreation of the plotting room table in the actual room which was used to plan the D-Day invasion.”

Several university staff gave their time freely to the event which also included a tree tour led by a member of the gardening team, looking at a number of old trees on the campus.