Banner Comes to Life

After many years use our Banner was beginning to look a little jaded and in need of cleaning.

In common with most items in the Temple, the Banner had been coated with deposits from the oil filled candles which have recently been replaced.

The current Master, W Bro Michael Dykes, expressed a wish that it should be cleaned. Two  of the Senior Past Masters were consulted and a recommendation was made to the lodge committee that the banner should not  only be cleaned, but that the light blue backing material should be replaced with a darker blue to bring out the colour’s of the splendid needle work detailed in the centre panel.

This having been agreed, W Bro David Webb very generously offered to pay for the work by way of a gift to the lodge. His offer accepted, those concerned were instructed to proceed.

The work has now been completed and I trust we all agree that the result is a wonderful improvement in the appearance of the Banner.

Mr Tim Lester , son of W Bro Bill Lester designed the Banner and his mother Mrs Mary Lester worked the design in embroidery.

On completion the Banner was presented to the Lodge by W Bro Bill and Mrs Mary Lester and  dedicated on the 16th November 1988 by the then Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Edward. F. Hanson.

At the dedication ceremony, Bro Graham Harford, who had been initiated into the lodge in the April of that year, carried the Banner into the Lodge flanked by an escort of Grand Officer’s under the direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The then W Bro Bertie Web, one time Vicar of All Saints Church, in Evesham, acting Provincial Grand Chaplain, gave an address explaining the history of Banners as used in ancient times for Religious and Military purpose. He finished by explaining the modern use of Banners within Freemasonry.

Mrs Mary Lester, an accomplished needle worker, spent the best part of two years embroidering the centre piece. The Banner is somewhat different to the original. It retains at the centre a picture representing the former Castle at Elmley from which the lodge derived its name. The lodges location and connection with the Vale of Evesham is marked by the inclusion of a sprig of fruit blossom, an Apple a Plum, a Pear and Raspberries. Evesham’s famous delicacy features in the form of a “round ” of Asparagus.

The Towns situation on the beautiful river Avon is represented by the inclusion of two Royal Swans.

The pair of Golden Gates at the bottom centre of the Banner represent Wood Norton Hall, located just outside the town, the former home of the Prince Philippe,Duke of Orleans. The entrance to the grounds was through two large stone columns on which hung two magnificent ornate gates finished in part in Gold and Green leaf. They became known locally as the Golden Gates.

The hall later became the home of the BBC Training Centre.

The towns status as a Borough, is marked by the inclusion of the former Evesham Borough Councils Coat of Arms and our location within the Province of Worcestershire, is represented by the Provincial Shield.

The Banner is completed by the depiction of Masonic emblems such as the All Seeing Eye and the Square and the Compasses.

The Latin inscription “Aliis non Nobis”  translates, For Others not Ourselves, and is thought to have taken its rise from the fact that the Lodge was formed by Past Masters of Abbot Lichfield Lodge, in response to an extended waiting list for membership of that lodge.

The Castle at Elmley became less significant in standing when William  Beauchamp, the younger, inherited the Earldom of Warwick from his mother’s family. He proceeded to transfer the principle seat of the Beauchamp family from Elmley Castle to Warwick Castle in or around 1267.

This resulted in the demise of the Elmley Estate and the Castle fell into disrepair. It was effectively demolished for the reclamation of the stone for use in other building projects.

The old Stone Bridge over the river Avon as you approach Pershore is one of the best known uses of the stone removed from the Castle.

Grateful thanks to Sue from the Craft Shop in Cheltenham for the splendid work carried out on the banner.

The current Banner replaced the original which was in use from its presentation and dedication on the 18th February 1948. The original is now framed for protection and currently hangs in the anti room at Swan Lane.

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