History of L.O.L. 844

LOL 844 from 1914 to 1939

During the first few years after its formation, LOL 844 regularly sent in reports of its lodge meetings to the Orange Standard magazine.

On its formation, LOL 844 was part of Stalybridge District, Group No.18, of the Manchester Province. Rev.William Sykes was W. Master, William Arthur Croft the W. Secretary and William B.Creswick the W.Treasurer. The other lodges in the District were “No Surrender” LOL 155, meeting in Stalybridge; “Bible and Crown Defenders” LOL 497, meeting in the Temperance Hall, Barnsley; “Grace” LLOL 125, meeting in Sheffield; and “Daughters of Derry” LLOL 114, meeting in Barnsley. Both Sheffield lodges met at the National School Rooms, Hillsborough.

By 1938 the other Lodges in the District had all closed and LOL 844 was the only one left, the lodge seal originating from this time still reads as “District Lodge.” William H.Guest was W. Master and William Croft still the W. Secretary. Thomas Rogerson, formerly of the Stalybridge Lodge was District Master, the other officers being provided by other members of LOL 844.

LOL 844 from 1948 to 1970
It is believed that during the war years the lodge ceased to operate, and the records were all lost during the “blitz.” In 1948 the Lodge was reformed, and a new warrant issued to Bro.Alec Marsh, who in his capacity of Deputy Grand Secretary at this time, travelled the country re-organising Lodges, most of which had ceased to function during the war. The Lodge was still in Stalybridge District with Bro.Croft still serving as W. Secretary, altogether he served in the post for thirty-nine years continuous. The meeting place is given in Grand Lodge Reports as “Movable” which probably means in the homes of the members. In 1956 with Bro.Edward Waldron as W. Master and Bro.Alexander Marsh, then Deputy Grand Secretary of England, as W. Secretary, changes soon began to be seen. First, LOL 80, John Bradford Memorial, meeting in Bradford joined the District, the next year Bible and Crown Defenders, LOL 81, Leeds, and Defenders of the Faith, LLOL 125, meeting in Bradford, also joined. In 1958 this changed to the “Yorkshire Orange” District with Bro.Waldron as District Master. By this time Bro.Marsh was also Provincial Grand Master of the Manchester Province and in a position to influence events.
In 1959 the Yorkshire Province, Circuit No.9, was formed with LOL 844 in the Yorkshire Purple District No.20, along with “Sons of Israel” LOL 260, meeting in Sheffield; and “Rising Sons of William” LOL 261, meeting in Scunthorpe. Both the Sheffield Lodges met at St.John’s School, Cricket Inn Road, the Rev. W.J.Parker, the lodge Chaplain, being Vicar. Other Lodges to open in the Yorkshire Province were, “King William’s Chosen Children, JLOL 89, in Leeds; “Scunthorpe Ladies First”, LLOL 221; and “Defenders of the Truth” JLOL 261; both meeting in Scunthorpe.
But by 1967 the Scunthorpe Lodges had closed, the members moving on to the steelworks in Corby, and it was not possible to continue running the Yorkshire Province. In 1968 the Bradford and Leeds Lodges returned to Manchester Province and LOL 844 became unattached.

Parades in Sheffield
In May 1957, and September 1958, Yorkshire District organised Church Parades to St.John’s Church, Park where the W.Chaplain of the lodge, Rev. Parker was Vicar. The route for the Parade on Sunday, 21st of September, 1958, was as follows:-
Muster at Junction of Ridgeway Road and City Road at 1.15 pm. Proceed via City Road, Duke Street, Bernard Street, to St.John’s Church. Service at 2.30 pm. Return parade by Bernard Street, Duke Street, Talbot Place, Glencoe Road, Stafford Road, Granville Road, St.Marys Road, Hereford Street, Moor, Ecclesall Road, Clarence Street, Broomhall Street, Hanover Street, Glossop Road, West Street, Leopold St, High Street, Angel Street, Castle Street, Exchange Street, Disband 6.30 pm.

Around 200 members travelled from Liverpool.

The lodge went through a number of years of dwindling membership but in 1969 the republican insurrection in Northern Ireland began, and all lodges experienced an influx of new members, many of them with Ulster family connections. The following years need a separate story to tell.