Banners of Craft Lodges in Hertfordshire (Continued)
Stortford Lodge No: 409
The lodge was consecrated at the Crown Inn Hockerill on 27th December 1831 when Brethren of the Hertford Lodge lent the necessary masonic paraphernalia. At a time when there were no provincial clubs, it offered to local professional men a place to come together. The number present seldom exceeded thirty and, in olden times, rarely more than half that number.
Thus, it has always been customary in this lodge to dine at one table with the meetings maintaining the intimate character of a family gathering. When the tablecloth is rolled back the usual toasts are given with firing glasses.
Amongst the lodge customs are the marrow bones on Installation Nights, the passing of the snuff box, the secretary's toast, and the toast to 'Absent Brethren and bygone Members of the Lodge' which is drunk from a Loving Cup, purchased as a memorial to Bro AW. Nash whose family had been connected with the lodge from 1835 to 1923.
The central panel of the banner is thought to depict William, Bishop of London who bought Stortford Manor and estate in 1060 which led to the town’s current name. The previous town name being simply Stortford. This original name is on the banner between the Bishop and the Hart. The banner was presented to the Lodge in November 1887 by Bro. Thomas J. Mann, Junior Warden who was a brewer by trade and initiated into Stortford Lodge in 1884 and remained a member until 1897, having been master in 1889.